Don't Panic

Note: I absolutely love Coldplay's album Parachutes and decided to write a series of stand-alone fics using the song titles. I think the European release is different from the US album, so don't wonder if the order and number of songs is not the same. In some of the stories I might only use the title, in others the whole lyrics, and the pairings will vary - just as my fancy strikes me...

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They had always been close, despite the big difference in age. And when Kevin joined Backstreet and they were looking for a fifth member, he had at once thought of his younger cousin. Brian had always loved to sing and his voice was perfect to round up their sound, so Kevin had called him and arranged a casting for him. Of course Brian had gotten in - and was soon singing a lot of the leads, a fact that made Kevin incredibly proud.

And now he was getting married. Kevin shook his head - he still had troubles believing that Brian would be a married man in less than 24 hours. Of course he had grown up and matured a lot since the early days of Frick and Frack and their endless pranks - but sometimes Brian still seemed so young, goofing around and playing computer games with an intensity that reminded Kevin of a 10 year old boy following his older cousin around like a puppy.
Kevin smiled to himself - Brian had always wanted to play with the older guys, with his brother and Kevin and had tagged along, no matter how many times Harold had chased him off. But Brian had been persistent - a trait he still possessed and that had brought him to where he was today.

"Yo, Kev, man - where have you gone? Time to get dressed for tonight!" AJ's excited voice brought Kevin back to reality and he smiled at his friend, who was all but jumping up and down in anticipation of the long planned bachelor party. "Sorry, spaced off for a moment - you go ahead, okay? And don't worry - I'll be on time!" he cut short AJ's protests. "You take much longer to look good than I do anyway, Bone!" AJ snorted, but laughter was dancing in his eyes as Kevin continued: "But not everyone can have my classic good looks..."
Now AJ broke out in laughter and put a hand to Kevin's forehead as if he was running a fever. "God, Kev - you're absolutely insufferable since you've found out that the fans compare you to a Greek god! I'm afraid old age is catching up with you!" he said, laughing and turning to leave - but not before throwing back over his shoulder: "I'll leave you to the contemplation of your greatness - but I'll still be the hottest guy tonight!"

Kevin laughed - it was fun to goof around with AJ. His crazy friend seemed to be able to make him loosen up - that was, when he was not busy driving Kevin nuts. But that was just what made him AJ and Kevin wouldn't want to miss him and his antics, even if they did get on his nerves on a regular basis.
They all had their place in the group, and AJ was the trouble maker, just as Nick was the baby, Howie the mediator and Brian... Kevin smiled as his thoughts returned to his cousin. Brian was just... Brian. Funny and sweet Brian with the smile and the voice of an angel. And soon he'd be married, joined forever with the woman he loved.

Kevin was happy that Brian had found Leighanne. Of all of them he as the only one knew how wonderful it was to share his life with someone special. It didn't matter that Brian was so young - he knew what he was doing and Kevin had supported him from the moment he noticed that Brian's relationship with Leighanne was different, was serious.
But still Kevin couldn't suppress the faint regrets he was feeling, because although he knew that Brian wouldn't love him less, he also knew that things would be different after tomorrow.
Kevin sighed a bit and started when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"You okay, Kev?" Howie inquired, trying to decide whether he had to worry about his friend. But Kevin smiled at him and explained softly: "I'm just thinking that Brian will be married by this time tomorrow - it just takes some time getting used to the idea..."
Howie smiled, his eyes sparkling: "Yes, I feel the same - it seems like yesterday that Brian colored AJ's favorite boxers pink and now he's getting married. And before me, which is unfair - I'm the second oldest, it was _my_ turn!" He laughed and Kevin couldn't help but chuckle. Howie had enjoyed wallowing in fake self pity, annoying everyone with pathetic sighs of "It should have been ME!" At first Brian had taken him seriously and tried to cheer him up, until he realized that Howie was just playing him.
Still grinning Kevin hugged Howie quickly and said: "I guess I should go and change - we'll be leaving soon."

Howie nodded and turned in front of Kevin, he was obviously already all set to go. "What do you think?" Kevin smiled and said honestly: "You look great, D - the girls will be all over you!" Howie grinned satisfied: "That was kind of the idea... Have to find a wife, you know!" He winked at Kevin and left, probably for some last minute primping.
Kevin smiled and went upstairs to get ready for the big night. He wondered how Brian was doing - he hadn't seen him since lunch. If he was as nervous as Kevin had been before his wedding?

It didn't seem like it at first - Brian seemed to enjoy his "last night of freedom", as AJ called it, enormously. All his friends were there, they had rented a whole club and everyone was dancing and drinking and just generally having a good time.
Nick and AJ had wanted to rent strippers, a notion Kevin and Howie had talked them out of, knowing that that would have made Brian uncomfortable. But there were enough pretty girls there to console the two youngest band members for the lack of nudity and they soon stopped complaining. Nick had already disappeared to who knew where with a giggling blonde and AJ was grinding away on the dance floor. Howie soon followed his lead, obviously intent on compensating for the fact that it wasn't him getting married.

Kevin watched them have fun and then turned to see how Brian was doing. He was sitting at the bar and, thinking that no one paid him any attention, let his smile slip off his face and Kevin was at his side at once. "Hey cuz..." Brian started and hurried to make a happy face again. "Hey, Kev! Are you enjoying yourself? Great party!"
But Kevin decided that he wouldn't let this go and pulled Brian from his stool and into a broom closet at the back of the club.
"Come on, Bri, you know you can talk to me. Something's off with you and I want to know what!" Kevin looked into Brian's blue eyes and willed him to trust him. And Brian did, pouring his heart out while everyone else was partying.

"Oh, Kev - I feel like such a cliché, but I'm not sure anymore that I should really get married! What if it hurts our careers? What if our love doesn't survive the times apart? What if I end up divorced at 25?" He sounded almost panicky and Kevin suppressed the smile that was threatening to escape him. He certainly did not want Brian to think that he made fun of his misery! Instead he pulled his cousin into a tight embrace, running his hands over his back soothingly.
"It's okay, Bri - it's completely normal to be afraid the day before your wedding, no reason to panic! You remember how nervous I was before marrying Kristin? Believe me - all your doubts will go away the moment you see Leighanne enter the church and you'll remember the reasons why you asked her to marry you." He paused and kissed Brian's forehead, feeling his cousin cling to him like a lifeline. "You know that this won't hurt our careers - I got married and no one really cared, the fans still love and support us. It will be the same with you, so don't worry about it! And about the separations - you've been together for a long time and haven't seen each other often, so you know that your love is strong enough. And you love Leighanne and she loves you and you'll have a bunch of kids and grow old together."

Kevin finished his little speech, his eyes never leaving Brian's, and he saw with relief that he believed him. Brian relaxed in his arms, but didn't let go of Kevin. He smiled up at the taller man. "Thank you, Kev! I... I guess I just got cold feet and needed someone to remind me why I was doing all this." And then, suddenly, he lifted his head and kissed Kevin lightly - just a quick peck on the lips, but still a kiss.
Then he quickly looked away and a faint blush colored his cheeks. "Sorry... sorry... I... I just..." Kevin's lips cut short his stammering as they closed over his - for a real kiss this time.

"Don't be sorry, Bri!" Kevin said softly, as they broke apart after what seemed like an eternity of lips against lips, of tongues dancing, hands wandering and bodies grinding against each other.
Brian looked at him, his lips swollen from their kisses, his arms still wrapped around Kevin. "I won't. I'll never be sorry - not for marrying Leighanne and not for kissing you." He kissed him again, and they both knew that this was the last time they would do this.

When they finally separated Brian suddenly grinned and said impishly: "I wonder if that would have worked on _your_ wedding, too... Would have been a lot more fun than spending hours talking you into coming out of your room!" They laughed, both feeling relieved that things were not weird between them. Then Brian got serious once more: "Just... thank you, Kev! If it wasn't for you I'd probably have panicked and perhaps done something stupid." Kevin smiled at him: "Don't panic, cuz - just remember that I'll always be there for you!"

And with that he took Brian's hand and led him back to his bachelor party.

~~~~

Coldplay - Don't Panic

Bones sinking like stones,
All that we fought for,
Homes, places we've grown,
All of us are done for

And we live in a beautiful world,
Yeah we do, yeah we do,
We live in a beautiful world

Bones sinking like stones,
All that we fought for,
Homes, places we've grown,
All of us are done for

We live in a beautiful world,
Yeah we do, yeah we do,
We live in a beautiful world

We live in a beautiful world,
Yeah we do, yeah we do,
We live in a beautiful world

Oh, all that I know
There's nothing here to run from,
'Cos yeah, everybody here's got somebody to lean on

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