Alli nodded and then shook her head before dropping it helplessly into her hands. "God, what the hell
is wrong with me?"
"That's what I've been trying to figure out for years, babe," AJ teased her, but his smirk faded
when he saw the desperate look on her face. Dammit, McLean, you know how much she cares about that kid...
the better question might be 'what the hell is wrong with him?'."
Alli sighed heavily. When she spoke, her tone was
uncharacteristically soft. "But, J, I thought we'd decided that we didn't know the answer to that question?"
in affirmation. "That we did."
"So what's the point in asking it again?"
AJ shrugged lightly. "Maybe one of
these days we'll find an answer?"
Alli rolled her eyes. "Yeah, and maybe one of these days pigs will fly out of Carter's
ass." She leveled her friend with a pointed gaze. "Don't think so, AJ."
AJ chuckled at the imagery. "Hey, babe, Nick's
already got a lot of things flying out of his ass. None of them are too pleasant, but they're certainly noticeable." He giggled
gleefully at his own inconspicuous fart joke, but Alli had him one better.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Come to think
of it, nearly everything Nick says these days seems to fly out of his ass..."
AJ nearly spit out his coffee as he
sputtered in surprise. As soon as he recovered, he glared sternly in Alli's direction.
"Alli..." he warned, wagging
a finger at her. She glared right back at him, matching his tone and demeanor exactly.
would you most like to hear Nick pull out of his ass next?"
Alli couldn't hide her smile that time. The question was
random, but it was most definitely an AJ thing to ask. After a moment's thought, however, her expression grew serious as she
fixed her sad gray eyes on the Backstreet Boy she considered to be a brother.
"Honestly?" AJ nodded. "I'd like to
hear him call me his best friend again and mean it. I'd like to hear him tell me that I'm the only one that understands him,
that he loves me for me, and that he feels better with me around." She sighed again. "Of course, that's totally unlikely,
"Nothing's too unlikely to hope for," AJ countered pointedly, and Alli's shoulders sagged in defeat.
tell me that," she said, quietly but seriously. "I might actually start hoping again."