The sky was burning up like fireworks

Didn't mean a thing to you


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Fic: Simple As That
bluestreaker14

Title: Simple As That
Author: bluestreaker14
Pairing: Joe/Nick
Genre: Romance/Drama
Word Count: 2784
Summary: After that concert, he's beginning to regret ever having the idea of a solo project.
so my first fic posted so please be somewhat nice. ;P Although constructive criticism is always welcome so feel free to tell me what I'm doing wrong. =)

Nick rushes off stage, breath heavy, smiling brightly as small tears build up in the corners of his eyes. He's ecstatic, the adrenaline pumping through his veins. He hasn't performed with his brothers in so long. The rush of the screaming crowd and the comfort of his best friends around him. It's something he hasn't felt in way too long. And, after that incredible performance, he realized how much he's missed it.

So caught up in his own high, Nick doesn't see his charging brother until the breath is knocked from his lungs and he's lifted into the air excitedly.

"Nicholas! Holy shit, Nicholas!" Joe's not very coherent as he practically throws Nick against a wall, shrouded in darkness. Nick responds with an 'oomph' as his back collides with cold brick. It feels good against his burning skin.

"Damn it, that was amazing!" Joe screams, pushing back Nick's curls from his face and smiling brightly at him.

Nick returns the smile, arms encircling his brother's waist and squeezing. "You can say that again," he puffs out, still breathless from the rush of the stage.

"Damn it, that was amazing!" Joe repeats and he smiles in that cocky way that usually makes Nick want to punch him. Now all Nick wants to do is laugh and pull his brother closer.

"Must you be such an ass?" he asks, hands gently sliding along the small of Joe's back, helping to calm down the hyper middle child.

Joe just smiles that same cocky smile and replies, "You wouldn't love me if I wasn't."
And Nick can't deny how true his words are.

Nick smiles lightly, eyes drooping dreamily as he leans his head back against the wall, closing his eyes. Joe steps closer.

"I can't believe how amazing tonight felt. I haven't felt this great in a long time," he admits.
He feels Joe's hand in his hair, threading his fingers through softly. It's distracting but Nick could care less. He's too out of it to care about much.

"So not even your first show was this great?" Joe questions. His voice has that hint of cockiness Nick doesn't feel like hating at the moment.

Nick takes a deep breath, eyes sliding open to look into his brother's, wide and excited, a hint of Danger. "Not even close," he replies, and Joe's face is expected. Confused and slightly surprised. He'd been expecting for Nick to say nothing could beat that first show. Nick knows that. He also knows Joe won't like what is currently on his mind. So he steps away from him.

Joe's hand grasps Nick's wrist, pulling him back. "What's going on?" His eyes are concerned. Nick's heart clenches.

"Nothing. Everything's fine," Nick replies, voice hoarse from the knowledge of having to lie to his best friend. He's not capable of that. And he knows Joe isn't capable of believing him.

"You're lying." It's as simple as that. Nick's caught in a lie he knew he'd never get away with. That doesn't mean he won't try.

Nick shakes his head, immediately noticing when Joe's grip on his wrist tightens. "I'm not lying. I'm fine," he says, his shaky voice giving him away. But Nick is stubborn. He won't disappoint Joe.

Joe leans closer, eyes remaining locked with Nick's. "Nicky..."

Mr. Jonas's voice shatters their bubble, pulls them back to reality and reminds them of where they are, of what they should be doing. "Alright! Pack it up! Let's go! Nick!"

Nick gently tugs his wrist back. "I have to go to the meet n greet," he mumbles, half thankful that he gets to avoid Joe long enough to come up with a way to convince him he's fine, half upset he needs to avoid Joe at all.

Joe reluctantly releases Nick and steps back, still staring at him with those big, sad doe-eyes. Nick sighs and steps closer to him, running a hand down Joe's cheek. He hates seeing Joe upset. So he can't stop himself from whispering, "We'll talk later."

"Nick!"

Nick steps away and walks over to where his father is waiting. Mr. Jonas quickly ushers Nick in the direction of the meet n greet, already hearing the screams of the girls waiting for him. Now he has a headache.

He goes through the meet n greet, all smiles as if everything is fine, as if he doesn't have a million things currently running through his head. He knows he'll have to face Joe eventually. He prays the line will drag on a little bit longer.

When the last girl gets her autograph and leaves, Nick quickly stands up and rushes out back, hoping, praying that Joe will still be there, just to have that comfort of someone at his side on the long, silent ride home. But he's only met with the cold, bitter wind against his cheeks.

Mr. Jonas and Big Rob come up behind him but Nick doesn't take notice. Joe actually left. He never leaves. He's always there waiting, no matter how long the meet n greet lasts. Even if they were there well past one in the morning, there Joe would be, warm and welcoming for an exhausted Nick. He knows he hurt him.

"Come on, Nick. We gotta go," Big Rob informs, hand coming down to rest on Nick's shoulder. Nick jumps at the contact and looks up at the burly bodyguard, eyes sad and confused. But Big Rob takes it as low levels, exhaustion, and too much caffeine. So he carefully guides Nick into the back of the van and closes the door.

Nick just doesn't understand why this hurts so much, to realize Joe wasn't there waiting for him. After all, during their tours, if he had something to do late at night, he never expected Joe to wait around for him. And more times than not, he didn't. He'd head back to the hotel and lounge in bed until Nick got back. So why is it that now Nick is disappointed to find his big brother not standing outside waiting for him with open arms like every other night of this tour? He can't understand it.

"Nicholas!"

Nick shakes his head and looks at his father, who's giving him a concerned look. "You ok?" he asks.

Nick bites his lip and merely nods. He doesn't trust his voice at the moment.

Mr. Jonas doesn't look convinced but he doesn't press it. Instead he opens his door and says, "Come on. You look like you could use some sleep."

Nick looks out his window and sees that they're at the hotel. He quickly climbs out and follows his dad inside. He doesn't know the time but figures it's late. They lobby is deserted.

When he reaches his room, he fumbles with the key, hands shaky from the caffeine. He's been living off the stuff for god knows how long and he's still not used to the effects yet.

When he stumbles inside, he's surprised to find the light on. Venturing in farther, his heart beat picks up at the sight of his big brother, shirtless, sprawled out on his bed. He's not asleep. Just has his hands behind his head, staring up at the ceiling. He looks bored.

Nick stares at him for a while, only allowing his eyes to wander down for two seconds to just catch a glimpse of the body he hasn't seen in a long time. He looks back up at Joe's face and opens his mouth to ask how he got in when Joe says, "Mom let me in." He turns his head and looks at Nick, eyes soft and inviting. He's not mad. Merely curious. Nick feels somewhat relieved.

Nodding, Nick begins to undress, grabbing a pair of pajama bottoms and a t-shirt from the suitcase he hasn't bothered to unpack. He doesn't know how Joe could not be wearing a shirt right now. The hotel room isn't much warmer than it is outside. Then again, the cold never really did bother Joe.

"Nicky, what's going on with you?" Joe asks, voice filled with genuine concern for the younger boy. Nick looks up at him, sees his worried face and considers lying his way out of this. He can't let Joe know the truth.

"Nothing's wrong," he replies, tossing his dirty clothes into the corner to wash in the morning. He walks over to the bed and sits on the edge. Joe sits up, coming up behind him. Nick doesn't look at him. "Just been a long day."

Joe's fingers curl around the back of Nick's neck, squeezing gently in an attempt to make Nick look at him. Nick won't move. He knows he'll break down and confess everything if he looks at Joe, looks into his eyes and sees how worried Joe is. "Nicky, you're lying to me," Joe whispers, breath tickling Nick's ear. He's closer than he thought.

"I'm not lying," Nick mumbles feebly. He's quickly losing his ability to even sound remotely convincing. Joe is just too close.

"Please, Nicky," Joe whispers into his ear. "Please just tell me what's wrong."

Lips so close. Breath so warm. Nick turns his head, looks into Joe's eyes, and presses his lips to Joe's. It's quick but it's enough. A few tears slip past Nick's heavy-lidded eyes, streaking down his face. Joe cradles his face in his hands, lowers his head so it's in his lap. Nick closes his eyes and concentrates on the feeling of Joe's hand in his hair, stroking back his unruly curls.

He doesn't know what to say to Joe. He knows his older brother won't be happy. And he doesn't want to see the disappointment when he tells him this might have been a bad idea. After that concert, he's beginning to regret ever having the idea of a solo project. And the thought scares him.

"Baby?"

Nick allows his eyes to slip open, looking up at Joe. "I wanna come home," he mumbles, sounding like a little child again. It's almost an exciting thought until the meaning of Nick's words sink in.

Joe leans closer, gripping a small section of hair in his fist. "What's going on?" he asks, breath ghosting Nick's face and Nick visibly shivers. The idea of what Joe does to him scares him. So vulnerable in the presence of his older brother. He hates it.

"I miss you. I wanna come home," Nick repeats, voice growing more child-like with every word spoken. He swallows hard. It doesn't help.

Joe gives him a confused look. "Nicky, you see me almost every night. You can't miss me that much," he states.

Nick shakes his head. He doesn't get it. He doesn't understand that all Nick wants is for things to return to how they used to be, how everything was easy before they discovered they had the ability to have their own dreams, to live their own lives apart from each other. Before Kevin decided he wanted a family. Before Joe learned that, yeah. He had potential to be a great actor. And before Nick's head got so mixed up that feelings poured out in the form of songs that couldn't fit Jonas Brothers but somehow had to get out there. Nick feels like he's losing what's important to him, even though be swore music was his number one. Looking into Joe's beautiful, concerned brown eyes, he's thinking he might have been wrong.

Nick is still shaking his head when he feels Joe's lips on his forehead. They're barely touching. Just skimming the skin, his warm breath brushing against him. And yet it calms Nick, pulls him back to reality long enough for him to make sense of his mind, of what has been running through it since the very end of their performance tonight. He thinks he's made a decision. He's not exactly sure.

"Now just take a deep breath and explain to me what has you so worked up," Joe states, letting his fingers work their way through Nick's hair slowly, gently, a way to help him remain calm. Completely unaware of what's going on in his head and yet knows exactly what to do to help him fix it. Nick doesn't think he can love his brother anymore than he does at the current moment.

Nick blindly searches for Joe's free hand, grabbing hold of it tightly and lacing their fingers together. He loves how it feels every time. "I miss you, Joey. I miss being on stage with you every night. I miss looking over and seeing you there. I miss you randomly doing stupid stuff just to make me smile for once. I miss you being all stupid and touchy feely even with thousands of people watching. I miss us." Nick wants to hit himself. Since when is he this open and honest with his feelings? Especially his feelings about Joe? He's always had a hard time expressing what he's truly feeling when it comes to Joe. That's why he's thankful that Joe has always seemed to be able to know exactly what he's thinking and feeling. The fact that he has to spell out this whole thing...he almost wants to start crying. But he's not exactly sure why.

Joe's eyes soften. The concern vanishes and is replaced by the love and adoration that Nick could never understand how it was meant for him. Joe smiles that cheeky smile and leans down, rubbing his nose against Nick's. "Nicky J, you know I love you. And I want you to be happy," he tells him. His fingers trace his baby brother's features, outlining everything from his eyebrows to his chin. "And as much as I miss performing with you, too, I don't think you'll be happy if you give up now."

Nick feels the back of his eyes start to sting, an early sign of the tears to come. He knows he'll be happier with Joe. He's always happier with Joe. And he tells him so. "I realized tonight that without you, the music and the touring and the fans...they mean nothing. Everything means nothing if I don't have you to share it with."

Joe just continues to give him that same smile. Nick is generally surprised Joe hasn't freaked on him yet for even considering giving up now. "Nicky, I understand how you feel. I get that way every night when I fall asleep and realize you're not there. But this is your dream we're talking about. Something you've had your heart set on for months. Don't throw that away for something that really isn't gone. I'm here. I always will be here. You never have to be afraid of that." His words bring tears to Nick's eyes and send them right over the edge and down his cheeks. He's not used to being this open. It's new and different and not something he totally hates. He figures that's a good start.

Nick tugs on Joe's shirt, bringing his face down to meet his and molding their mouths together. He can feel Joe's same cheeky smile against his lips and he can't help but giggle. Joe pulls away and gives him a confused smile. "What's so funny?" he asks.

Nick brings his giggles down and looks at Joe. "Nothing. I just kinda realized I'm a bit pathetically in love with you." His face heats up and he gnaws on his lip.

Joe smiles brightly and begins planting kisses on every available inch of skin. Quick, closed mouth kisses that leave Nick's skin tingling and begging for more.

"It's ok," Joe mumbles against his cheek. "I'm a bit in love with you, too."

Nick's face breaks out into a smile. Joe returns it and they close the gap between them and ok. So maybe Nick won't have the opportunity to perform with Joe every night until their tour in the summer. Maybe he'll miss it a lot. Maybe he'll cry a little on the nights Joe can't make it. But he's starting to not care. Because he knows he still has Joe. He knows he'll always be there, he'll always love him. And as Joe pulls Nick closer, wraps his arms around him tightly and kisses him in that way that could make Nick fall to his knees, he realizes he doesn't care. Because he is Joe's and Joe is his. That's how it will always be. It's as simple as that.

Nick pulls back and looks at Joe, both boys breathless. "Stay," he whispers.

Joe smiles and lays them both down on the bed, throwing the covers over them. "Always."

IDK. Just got the idea from watching way too many vids of the boys performing Please Be Mine the other night. And it was bugging my already cluttered head too much so I wrote it down and posted it here. =) Hope you liked it



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