From chapter 10:

"Joey??" Alyssa whispered loudly only a few hours later.

"Hrm?"

"Joey wake up." Alyssa said in a normal voice.

"What?"

"It’s time Joe."

"No it’s not, I don’t have to be there till like nine." He mumbled as he rolled over and fluffed his pillow.

"Nope, come on Joe. Baby time." Alyssa sat up slowly and took a couple deep breaths.

"Come on Lyss, it’s something like three in the – what?!" His eyes flew open and he looked at her sitting up in the bed. "You’re having the baby?!" He was wide awake now. "Wait, hang on, don’t push or anything, just… just hang on, let me call the doctor and tell her we’re – wait Lyss just don’t do anything." Joey jumped up and reached for his phone book on top of the dresser.

"Joey wait, don’t freak out. I’m fine."

Joey stopped with his book in his hand and looked at her, "You’re fine?"

"I’m fine Joey, so don’t go nuts on me here. Just call the hospital and tell them that my contractions are about 6 minutes apart and have been going on for about an hour."

"An hour?! You’ve been in labor for an hour? Lyss we’ve gotta go."

"Cool your jets, rocket boy. You’ve been to the classes with me, you know this can take hours. Just mellow out and call the hospital." Alyssa stood up and waddled toward the bathroom.

"Where are you going?"

"To the bathroom." Alyssa laughed.

"Wait, can you do that?" Joey asked.

"Jesus." Alyssa sighed and rolled her eyes. She changed directions and went back to the bed. She sat on her side and picked up the phone to call the hospital herself, "Hi, this is Alyssa Carnes, I’m a patient of Dr. Combs? My contractions are about 6 minutes apart." She explained to the nurse that answered the phone.

"All righty, the party’s started huh?" She laughed. "How long have you been having contractions?"

"Regularly? For about an hour or so."

"When did they initially start?"

"Um, I guess they started yesterday afternoon, but then they were only like every hour two." Alyssa ran her fingers through her hair.

"Your contractions started yesterday?" Joey asked as he picked his jeans up off the floor and pulled them on over his boxers.

Alyssa frowned at him and turned her attention back to the nurse, "So we’ll be on the way over to the hospital here in a couple minutes. I have to call my sister and have her come over to watch my son, but I know Dr. Combs wanted to meet us there."

"Sure thing, I’ll give her a page right now, and we’ll see you in a little while. Has your water broken?"

"No, not – " Alyssa stopped midsentence and cringed, "Yep."

"Just now?" The nurse asked.

"Yeah, right now." Alyssa looked down into her now soaked lap. "Lovely."

"What’s it look like? Is it green at all?" The nurse asked.

"No, it’s pretty clear." Alyssa looked at her nightshirt.

"Great, that’s good. Of course that means you need to get your tail in here."

"Okay, we’ll be on our way. Thanks." Alyssa hung up and waddled to the bathroom. "Joey, can you get me my sweats?"

Joey stood there in his jeans looking through her drawers for her sweats, "Call your sister."

"Joey, I have to go to the bathroom, you call her." Alyssa said through the door.

"Shit…" Joey pulled the sweats out and walked them over to the bathroom, he opened the door and set them on the hamper, "There you go."

Joey went back to the dresser and pulled out a clean shirt for himself then picked up the phone to call Melody. "H’lo?" She mumbled into the phone.

"Mel? It’s Joe. It’s time. We’re going to the hospital." He sputtered out quickly.

"Right now? Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes."

"We’re leaving right now Mel!" Joey said loudly.

"We’re not leaving right now Joe, relax. I need to get my bag still and say goodbye to Tony." Alyssa said softly from the bathroom.

"We’re leaving right now." Joey repeated into the phone.

"Okay, I’m on my way." Melody laughed and hung up as Joey made several more calls.

"Wha?" Lance answered the phone.

"It’s me." Joey said.

"Joey?"

"Yeah. We’re having a baby, we’re going to the hospital." He said quickly.

"Okay…" Lance said, completely confused. "Can we meet you there in a few hours?"

"Yeah, yeah that’s fine, this can take a couple hours you know." Joey tried to sound calm.

"Great, hey congrats man, we’ll see you in a few." Lance yawned and hung up the phone, then Joey called New York to tell his parents.

"That’s great Joe." His mom said, still half asleep. "We’ll come on down as soon as we can get a flight, okay?"

"Okay mom. I love you."

"I love you too babe, how’s Alyssa?"

"She’s okay. She’s going to the bathroom." Joey ran his fingers through his hair.

"Joey come on, she doesn’t need to know that." Alyssa came out of the bathroom in her dark blue sweats with her hair in a ponytail. "Are you about ready?"

"Yeah, yeah I’m ready. Lets go." Joey reached for his keys and his wallet on the dresser.

"Let me go say goodbye to Tony, why don’t you go turn on the porch light for Melody, she should be here any minute." Alyssa grabbed her pre-packed overnight bag and waddled down the hall to Tony’s room.

She pushed the door open and just stood in the doorway for a minute watching him sleep through the tears in her eyes. She crossed his new Bulls room and sat on the edge of his bed to stroke his forehead, "Hey big guy." She whispered. Tony grumbled like his father and rolled over, "Hey sweetie, guess what? Me and daddy are going to go have the baby now."

"Me too?" He mumbled as he rubbed his eyes.

"No Tone, remember Melody is going to come over. She’ll be here when you wake up and when the baby is born she’s going to bring you right over to the hospital to see us." Alyssa kissed his forehead quickly as another contraction swept her body.

"Will she make me some peanut butter toast?" Tony lay back on his pillow and closed his eyes.

"I’m sure she will angel, anything you want." She wiped her eyes quickly and sniffed.

"Does it hurt mommy? Why are you crying?"

"No, baby it doesn’t hurt. I’m just going to miss you so much." Her bottom lip trembled as she realized this was the last time it would ever really be just her and Tony.

"But when you come back you’ll have a new little baby mommy, that’s not sad."

"You’re always going to be my baby Tony." She leaned over and kissed him again, "I love you sweetie."

"Love you too mom. Have a safe baby." Tony laughed lightly as he lay back down.

Alyssa chuckled and stood up, "I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay." Tony yawned and pulled the blanket back up to his chest.

"Good night."

"Night mommy." She heard him whisper as she shut the door and made her way to the front door where Melody was hanging up her coat.

"Hey you, how are you feeling?" Mel asked as Alyssa walked up.

"I feel good actually." Alyssa shrugged. "Where’s Joey?"

"He’s getting the car." Melody laughed. "He’s come unglued, you know that right?"

"I know." Alyssa sighed. "I’m half tempted to drive myself."

"Can you fit behind the wheel?"

"Shut up." Alyssa laughed and cringed as she had another contraction. "Alright, where is he? Sheesh the car is like ten feet away." She grabbed her bag and stepped out onto the front walk.

"Is Tony asleep?"

"Yeah, I just said goodbye." Alyssa wiped her eyes again and laughed, "I’ve turned into such a cry baby around him, I swear."

"He’s your baby." Melody smiled.

"I know." Alyssa wiped her nose on her sleeve as Joey pulled the car around to the front of the house and jumped out. "You ready?" She asked him as he ran up and grabbed her bag.

"Yeah, lets go." He stopped suddenly and looked at her under the porch light. "You look beautiful babe." He said softly as he leaned in and kissed her quickly.

"See? That’s what started this whole thing." Melody laughed from inside, then waved as they walked down to the car.

Joey drove them quickly and safely to the hospital and got Alyssa checked in while she got herself situated in her bed with the IV. Joey walked in a few minutes later and stood beside her bed as Dr. Combs checked her out and pronounced her six centimeters dilated, "You’re more than halfway there Alyssa, good job."

"Whoa, that’s pretty fast isn’t it?" Joey asked.

"Not for a second, no. Once a lady has a baby, all the rest come faster usually, the body knows what it’s doing." Dr. Combs smiled.

"Wow… so we could be done here in just a couple hours huh?" Joey asked as he glanced at his watch.

"Eh, it could, yeah. I’d say this afternoon is more likely though." She smiled. "You’re looking good Alyssa. I’m going to go check on some of my other patients, but if you need anything just ring the nurse, okay? And if you want to keep things moving you can always walk, let gravity do its share."

"I will, thanks." Alyssa forced a smile as the doctor left. "Well Joe, you feel like going for a walk?"

"She was serious? You can walk around?" Joey asked as his eyebrows shot up.

"Yeah, it helps get the baby moving south." Alyssa explained as she swung her feet over the side of the bed. She pushed the IV cart around the edge of the bed and nodded at Joey, "Come on, lets walk."

Joey walked beside her and held her elbow to keep her balanced as they circled the nurses station. When a contraction would hit, Alyssa would stop and lean against Joey until it was over, then they would continue walking. The doctor flagged her down more than an hour later and brought her back to the room to get checked out, "Wow, whatever it is you’re doing, don’t stop now.  You’re another 2 centimeters. I think it’s time we put the monitor on and keep track of this here baby, what do ya say?"

"Okay." Alyssa panted as her stomach muscles convulsed. "How about that epidural?"

"I thought you might say that." Dr. Combs smiled as the anesthesiologist came in with the epidural Alyssa wanted so badly. "We'll get you hooked up with that, then you'll be just about ready to start pushing."

"This is it." Joey whispered as he cradled Alyssa's head in his arms. "This is really it." He kissed her forehead and smiled, he could tell his life was all coming together.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Okay Alyssa, you’re almost there." Dr. Combs said as she patted Alyssa’s knee. She had been pushing for more than an hour, and it was time to get the baby out. "You’re ready."

"Okay." Alyssa panted softly as she leaned on Joey.

"You’re doing gr-" Joey started.

"Don’t talk to me Joe."

"I’m just sa-"

"I’m serious, don’t talk." Alyssa glared at him as she used his shoulder to pull her into an almost sitting position.

"The next contraction I want you to push Alyssa, real hard." The doctor instructed.

"Okay." Alyssa nodded and stared hard at her focal point, Tony’s stuffed Pikachu. "This sucks. Who has second kids anyways? Don’t they remember this shit?" She grumbled.

"Selective memory. You’ll forget all of this as soon as this baby is in your arms."

"Bet me." Alyssa growled as her next contraction clenched her body. She grabbed Joey’s sleeve and pushed as hard as her tired body could.

"Lyss, you’re doing great babe." Joey said softly as he placed his hand on her back to help her bend in half.

"Do. Not. Talk." Alyssa said softly as she continued to push.

"All right dad, you wanna be the first to touch your baby?" The doctor smiled up at Joey.

"What?" Joey asked as he moved toward the foot of the bed.

"If he’s going to keep talking, I want my mom to come in here." Alyssa threatened.

"Here." The doctor moved to the side as Joey rounded the edge of the bed.

"I – whoa… oh whoa…" Joey cringed and closed his eyes. "Ow… man… whoa."

"Dammit Joey shut up!" Alyssa shouted.

"Is that the… whoa shit… is that the head?" Joey asked softly.

"It sure is, one more push and it’ll be out all the way." The doctor said, not taking her eyes off her patient. "Would you like to touch your baby?"

"I uh… whoa…that’s just… can I?"

"Sure, it’s your baby." Dr. Combs smiled as Joey tentatively reached forward and made a face.

His fingers gently touched the crown of the baby’s head and he pulled away quickly, "Wow… Lyss, you should see –" He stopped before he finished his sentence. The look she gave him said if he didn’t stop right there he would never see this child because she would kill him first. "Sorry." He mumbled as he went back to Alyssa’s side of the bed. He placed his arm behind her again and pushed her into a sitting position so she could finish pushing.

He remained silent by her side as she pushed through the next couple contractions, delivering the head and one shoulder, "Okay, this is it. One more big push and you’ve got yourself a baby." Dr. Combs smiled.

"I don’t want to." Alyssa whined.

"You can do it babe." Joey said softly. He expected her to yell at him but all she did was grab his shirt tightly and press her face into his chest, "You’re almost there Lyss. I love you babe, you’re doing great." He kissed her forehead and rubbed her back slowly.

"Joey, can we get married now?" She asked softly into his chest.

"What?" Joey laughed. "Come on Lyss, focus on doing this first." He smiled and shook his head.

"After this?"

"Yeah, yeah we can get married after this, I have the weekend off." Joey laughed and gave the doctor a look, "Do they always go nuts at the end?"

"Yeah." Dr. Combs smiled and patted Alyssa’s thigh, "Okay, come on Alyssa, one more. Let’s go."

"Just one?" Alyssa said as she pulled herself up again.

"Just one… that’s right. One more big push."

"Okay." Alyssa sighed and brushed her hair out of her face. "Okay, okay, okay."

Alyssa pushed while Joey cheered her on, and two minutes later the doctor held up a screaming pink baby, "It’s a boy!" Dr. Combs smiled. "Congratulations guys."

"It’s a boy." Joey said as he looked down at Alyssa with tears in his eyes. "It’s a boy Lyss."

"Yeah." Alyssa took a deep breath as the tiny baby was placed on her chest. "Oooooh, oh Joey he’s perfect." Alyssa said as she started to cry.

"He’s beautiful." Joey said as his voice cracked. "Oh wow… Lyss, he’s so tiny."

"Joe? Do you want to cut the cord?" Dr. Combs held the cord scissors out to him.

"Yeah. Yeah, I want to cut it." He smiled, and took the scissors. He cut where the doctor pointed then set the scissors down as the nurses took the baby off Alyssa’s chest to weigh him and clean him up.

The doctor cleaned Alyssa up while the nurses wrapped the baby in a soft receiving blanket, then handed him to Joey, "He looks great." The nurse smiled, "Seven pounds, three ounces, 19 inches long. And look at that hair."

"Wow." Joey cautiously held the tiny baby in his arms and turned to face Alyssa, "Lyss, look at him. Oh wow he looks just like Tony." Joey laughed through his tears, and used his free hand to wipe his eyes.

"Do you want to go get our parents and the guys?" Alyssa asked as Joey half sat on the bed beside her.

Joey just stared down at his son and shook his head slowly, "No… no let’s just sit here for a minute." He handed the baby to Alyssa and put his arm around her shoulder so that they could stare at the baby together. She slowly pulled the blanket back and looked at his hands and fingers, feet and toes. Joey stuck his finger in his sons hand and smiled as he squeezed tight.

"He does look just like Tony." Alyssa whispered and wiped her eyes.

"I love you so much baby." Joey smiled and kissed her quickly. "I just can’t believe he’s here. He’s ours I mean… we… Lyss this is just so awesome." Joey sniffed and wiped his eyes on his sleeve.

"So what do you think? Aaron or Matthew?"

"Aaron Matthew." Joey nodded. "Happy birthday Aaron." He smiled and checked his watch, "2:34pm on September 14th. Wow, one more date embedded in my mind."

"One more?"

"6:12am, November 17th." Joey smiled, rattling off Tony’s birth date and time without a second thought. "My boys."

"Joey… he’s beautiful." Alyssa whispered.

"Yeah he is."

"I want Tony to be here." She started crying again. "I want my baby, can you call Mel and have her bring him right now?"

"Yeah, yeah…sure." Joey reached for the phone and dialed their home number. "Hey Mel."

"Hey! So what is it?" She asked first thing.

"It’s a boy, Aaron Matthew." Joey listed off his stats for her then asked, "Can you bring Tony over now? Alyssa needs her other baby." Joey smiled.

"You bet, we’re on our way. Hang on." Melody put the phone down, "Hey Tony guess what?!"

"What?" He heard Tony ask.

"You’ve got a new baby brother." Melody smiled.

"Is that mommy?!" Tony grabbed for the phone and said, "Hi! I’m a big brother now?"

"You sure are big guy! You’ve got a little brother." Joey laughed and ran his finger over Aaron's hand.

"Oh let me talk to him." Alyssa grabbed the phone from Joey and started crying again, "Hi angel, how are you?"

"I’m okay mommy, are you crying?"

"No, baby I’m okay." She wiped her eyes and tried to harness her tears, "Melody is going to bring you to see your new baby brother. He looks just like you Tone."

"Does he like the Bulls too?" Tony asked.

Alyssa laughed and shook her head, "I’m sure he’ll love the Bulls, you can teach him all about basketball."

"Yeah, I can teach him how to dunk it. Is he really small?"

"Yep, he’s super tiny right now. Go get your shoes and stuff on and Melody will bring you over and see him, okay?"

"Okay, I have my shoes on already and Mel has her keys ready to go." Tony laughed. "I’ll be there in a minute, I love you mommy, bye!" He hung up the phone and Alyssa laughed.

"They’re on their way."

"I’m going to go tell everyone out there, is it okay if they come in?" Joey asked.

"Yeah, but just for a little while." Alyssa nodded and turned her attention back to the baby in her arms.

"Okay." He kissed her again, then kissed Aaron's little head. Joey pulled the door open and walked down the hall to the tiny waiting room area where the guys were waiting with Alyssa and Joey’s parents. "Okay guys." Joey laughed as he stood in the doorway with the biggest smile ever, "It’s a boy."

Cheers erupted through the waiting room as everyone made a beeline for Alyssa’s room. It was chaos in there for a few minutes before everything died down and Aaron made the rounds, being held by everyone.

"Dude, you’ve got a baby." Justin smiled as he nervously held Aaron out in front of him. "How nuts is that?"

"I know." Joey smiled and shook his head. His face was beginning to hurt from the constant smile.

"He looks like you." JC smiled over Justin's shoulder and looked back up at Joey, "You’re going to make this work, right?" he glanced over at Alyssa.

"Yep." Joey nodded, "It’s all going to work out."

"Can I hold him?" Chris asked as he bounced over to the group.

"Be careful." Joey winced as Chris took the baby from Justin.

"Watch his head." Lance added from the side.

"Jesus you guys, I’ve held tons of babies before." Chris sighed and held Aaron out in front of him, "Your uncles over here are crazy kid, let me tell you. I’m the only sane one in the bunch. Anytime you’ve got a chick question or anything like that, you come see me. Those fools over there will lie right to your face. I tell it like it is." Chris explained to the baby as the others scoffed and rolled their eyes. "You’re a cutie though, and it’s not often I say that about another dude."

"Quit hitting on the baby." Justin laughed as Chris ran his finger down Aaron's forehead to the tip of his nose and made a surprised look.

"Okay my turn." Lance reached for the baby and cradled him in the crook of his arm, "Hey there Aaron. I’m Lance, and I don’t even know these guys." He laughed lightly. Aaron squished up his face and began to cry loudly.

"Lance is pinching the baby!" Chris said loudly as Lance began to look panicked.

"He’s probably hungry." Alyssa said from the bed.

"Oh hey that’s our que." Lance handed the baby back to Joey as he and the other guys waved goodbye to Alyssa and headed for the door.

JC stopped at the door and turned around. He took a deep breath then walked back to the bed where Alyssa and her mom were sitting, "Hey Lyss? I uh… I just wanted to say I’m sorry, you know, for uh… for being kind of an ass." JC smiled sheepishly and blushed, "You’re the best thing that’s happened to Joe, and I’m sure this is only gonna make him a better person. We can deal with the media lashing."

"You guys are used to it." Alyssa said softly.

"Yeah, we are. So um, I’m sorry I wasn’t supportive from the start." He leaned over and kissed her cheek quickly. "Joey’s one lucky guy."

"Yeah he is." Alyssa smiled up at JC, "He’s got four of the best friends he could ever hope for."

"We’ll see you later, okay?"

"Thanks JC." Alyssa waved at the guys as they ducked out of the room.

"Okay guys, time to clear out." Joey called from the doorway. "Parents and everything, scoot."

"Joey, it’s okay, they can stay." Alyssa said from the bed.

"Nope, I’ve got a special visitor out here who wants to meet his little brother by himself." Joey smiled.

"Where’s my Tony?" Alyssa perked up and smiled. "Okay guys, get outta here, I wanna see my big guy." She hugged her parents and Joey’s then sent them on their way. They’d had an hour with Aaron, who was now hungrier than ever.

"Hi mommy." Tony poked his head around the corner of the bed.

"Hi sweetie, come on up." She patted the bed beside her.

Joey lifted Tony up onto the bed and said, "Be careful Tone."

"I am." Tony shimmied up so he was sitting beside Alyssa and leaned on her shoulder, "Is that baby Aaron?"

"It sure is, what do you think?" Alyssa asked as she tried not to cry.

"He’s really small mommy. Like a toy." Tony looked closely at Aaron and frowned. "Does he know his name?"

"I uh… I don’t know." Alyssa cast Joey a questioning look.

"Hi Aaron. Your name is Aaron and my name is Tony and I’m the big brother. You’re just a baby right now, you’re not big like me." Tony explained to Aaron, who just stared up at Tony with squinty baby eyes. "He doesn’t know his words yet."

"Nope, he doesn’t talk yet… not for a long time."

"But that’s okay." Tony nodded. "He’s got small hands and everything." He reached out and touched the baby’s hand.

"Yep." Joey nodded. "You know you were this small one time too."

"I know." Tony nodded. "But now I’m the big brother, and he’s the baby. One day he’ll be the big brother and we’ll get another baby maybe."

"Ha, don’t count on it." Alyssa laughed lightly and caught Joey’s eye. "I think not."

"Eh, we can talk about that later."

"There will be no talking about it." Alyssa shook her head and smiled down at Aaron. "I think this will be enough."

"No, I want a sister next time." Tony shook his head.

Joey laughed and reached over to mess Tony’s hair, "So do you think we should keep Aaron?"

"Yeah, we have to. Aaron picked us for his family so he has to stay with us." Tony sighed, his parents just didn’t get it.

"Sounds good to me." Joey nodded.

"Me too." Alyssa smiled and kissed Tony’s forehead. Joey looked at the three of them on the bed and he couldn’t stop smiling. That was his family right there. His entire life was wrapped up in those three and for once he felt that as long as they were okay, everything else didn’t matter. The press, the fans… everything. He was glad to have those things, but the only thing that really mattered was there in that room.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"So I know this is a touchy subject and all, but now is a good time to clear up some rumors." Carson Daly said as he smiled out at the crowd beneath the TRL studios. Nsync stood with their backs to the huge windows and laughed amongst themselves, rumors were always flying around.

"Me and Britney?" Justin asked.

"Nah, we all know about that." Carson shook his head.

"The one about me and Kathie Lee?" Lance laughed.

"No… I haven’t heard that one, what’s that about?" Carson asked. "No, actually you know what? I don’t wanna know. This one is actually about you, Joey."

"Me?" Joey asked, he knew this time would come. JC looked at him quickly and kind of half smiled, "What’s a rumor about me? There aren’t any rumors out there that I know of."

"So you are married with two kids?" Carson and the audience laughed, but the boys on stage remained quiet.

Justin looked at Joey and raised his eyebrow, "Secrets out Joe."

"No, that’s not a rumor, that’s a lie. I’m not married… yet." Joey shook his head and blushed. This was the leap he’d worried about for almost a year, but he was glad it was happening here surrounded by his friends in a territory he was familiar with.

"And the kids?" Carson smiled, still thinking it was all a rumor.

"Well uh, yeah. I’ve been with this girl for a while, it’s a long story." Joey cleared his throat and glanced out at his fans, who hadn’t quite caught on yet. "We just had a new little baby uh, two weeks ago. His name is Aaron."

"Wow, so it’s true then? You have a kid?" Carson asked, completely surprised.

"Yeah. Two actually. I uh, I have a four year old, he’s um, almost five actually. Tony." Joey nodded and rolled his mic between his hands.

"No way." Carson laughed, "You… Joey Fatone has two kids?"

"Yep." Joey nodded as JC leaned over and patted his back.

"Is this the girl that was in the news last year?" Carson asked.

"No." Joey shook his head and laughed, "No, I don’t know who that was. Um, the girl I’m seeing now is an old friend, obviously. But we’re not married or anything, nothing like that yet." He smiled out at the fans who still looked shocked.

"Well I’ve gotta tell you guys, I’m shocked. How do you guys feel about Joey becoming a family man?" Carson asked the others. "This shows gotten way off topic today huh?" He asked the camera.

"We’re uh, we’re okay with it." Chris nodded and looked at the others down the line. "We all know Al – his girlfriend, and you know, we’ve hung out with Tony and stuff."

"Everything kinda happened so fast with this, it was sort of hard at first, you know, wondering how the fans would react." JC tilted his head to the side, "But no one really knew about it till… well right now I guess. Joe just didn’t want Tony’s face all over the tabloids and everything. I think he handled it really well. And his girlfriend, she’s a really great person, we all like her a lot." JC nodded and smiled at Joey.

"Why is this the first anyone's heard of it?" Carson asked, looking at Joey.

Joey shrugged, "This is the first anyone asked. I didn’t make an announcement or anything because it’s personal, you know? I don’t mind if people know, obviously, but I just… I didn’t want to draw a lot of attention to them."

"Well hey, congrats man… on your new little guy and I hope things go well with that." Carson shook Joeys hand and laughed, "Now, back on topic here, your new album guys, how’s it going with that?"

"It’s going great." Lance said softly from behind Justin. "We’re almost done, about another day or two tying up the loose ends."

"What can we expect with this one? Will there be another "Bye Bye Bye" on it?"

"We hope so." JC laughed, "It’s, I don’t know. It’s different, we had a lot more input with this one and we worked with some really great people again. Babyface, James Taylor, we’re doing a cover of one of his songs, um…"

"Teddy Riley." Justin added. "It’s gonna be good, real energetic and upbeat ya know?"

"Are there some ballads on there? You know how these girls love those slow songs." Carson smiled out at the fans as they screamed.

"Oh yeah, we’ve got a couple ballads on there, three?" Lance looked at the others for back up.

"Four." Chris nodded and counted on his fingers, "Yeah, we have four I think. Well, one is kind of… not a ballad, but it’s slow."

"Can’t wait to hear it guys, hey thanks for stopping by and uh… well filling us in on your poppa status there Joe."

"No problem." Joey laughed and shook Carson's hand.

"Lets get on with the countdown now, coming in at number three this week is "New Life", the first hit from Willow’s debut CD, check it out." Carson led into the video then turned to the guys, "Hey I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to put you on the spot there man. I thought it was just a rumor."

"No, it’s all right." Joey smiled and sighed, "I knew it would come out eventually, might as well set it straight before it gets out of hand, right?"

"True." Carson nodded. "So you have a five year old? Man you’ve been keeping that one a secret for a while huh?"

"Nah, it’s a long story, I only just found out last year and stuff. Then she got pregnant again and so now… now we’ve got Aaron too." Joey continued to blush as he sighed with relief.

"How do you think the fans are going to react when this gets out?" Carson asked.

"I think they’ll be cool." JC nodded, "We’ve got some of the greatest fans and I think they should be happy for Joe. He’s a great dad and he’s grown up a lot, he’s changed a lot too, for the better I mean."

"Yeah but I’m still just Joey." He laughed and placed his mic on the stool.

"Do you have pictures?" Carson laughed as the video played on the monitors behind them.

"Yeah, in my wallet." Joey patted his pockets, "Which is back in the hotel. I’ll have to show you next time."

"They’re cute kids." Chris laughed. "They take after their uncles. You know, Tony’s got the crazy curly fro and Aaron's got the platinum bleached blonde look going, they’ve both got the chin fuzz like me and JC."

"Nah, they look like Joe, which is scary." Lance shook his head.

"Well really, thanks for stopping by guys, you’ll come on back for the CD release next month, right?"

"Heck yeah, we’ll be here." Joey laughed as Carson cleared his throat and got ready to announce the number two video of the day.

The red light came on above the camera and he smiled, "That was Willows first time in the top three, man I love that video." Carson looked over his shoulder at the monitor as it played the last few seconds of the video. "Nsync is just about ready to take off back to Florida, so thanks for coming by guys, and we’ll see you next month when you release your still unnamed album." He shook all their hands then they waved at the crowd and headed off the stage, stopping to take a few pictures and sign some autographs as Carson led into the number two video of the day.

The fans seemed thrilled for Joey and asked them all a bunch of questions as they left the studio, the reception was a lot better than Joey could have hoped for.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"You told everyone the secret!" Tony screeched with a wild laugh as Joey walked in the house later that night. He was in his pajamas and ready for bed, but he had insisted on waiting up for Joey.

"Yeah I did." Joey laughed and scooped him up. He covered his mouth as he yawned and whispered, "Is your mom mad?"

"No." Tony shook his head, "She said a bad word though."

"Uh oh." Joey pretended to look scared as hey walked through the house to the living room where Alyssa was sitting on the couch with Aaron in her lap. Joey stopped in the doorway and just watched her wipe his mouth with the little blanket. For a split second a feeling of fear washed over him, this was the rest of his life from now on. Joe the family man, the soon-to-be husband and father. No more Playboy parties, no more wild nights after shows, nope, from now on it was going to be all about diapers and tiny shoes in the hallway, matchbox cars and fevers.

Joey laughed softly to himself, he wouldn’t change a thing, "How much trouble am I gonna be in?"

"You won’t be in any trouble unless the house becomes surrounded with crazies." Alyssa smiled over her shoulder as she picked Aaron up and placed him on her shoulder to burp him.

"I can’t promise they won’t."

"I know." Alyssa sighed and patted the baby’s back.

Joey set Tony on the floor and walked over to the couch, "Here, do you want me to do that?" he reached for the baby.

"I’ve got it." She said softly.

"Nah come on, you get to hold him all day." Joey laughed and took Aaron from her. He balanced him on his shoulder and began to pat his back softly. In the last two weeks he’d become an expert burper, and he discovered that he enjoyed it. "So… the world knows now."

"Yep." Alyssa nodded slowly as Tony climbed onto her lap. "Hey Mr. Man. It’s time for you to go to bed."

"Just five more minutes?" Tony whined.

"Nope, come on." Alyssa stood up and pulled him off the couch. "Let’s go."

"Hey Tone, how about if we cruise over to Justin’s tomorrow and shoot a little ball?" Joey asked.

"Yeah!" Tony cheered from the doorway. "Right on!"

"You’re not in the studio tomorrow?" Alyssa asked.

"Nope, we’re going in on Friday to take a listen to the final copy and make any last minute changes. Then we… are… done."

"Very cool." Alyssa nodded.

"Then we get a week off before we start tour rehearsals."

"Oh joy." Alyssa rolled her eyes and herded Tony toward the stairs,

"Good night daddy!" Tony shouted down the hall.

"G’night Tone. See you in the morning."

"Love you!"

"Love you too." Joey smiled and looked down at Aaron who was now sound asleep against his shoulder, "And I love you too. Yes I do. Yes I do little Aaron." Joey said in a baby voice. He stopped when he realized how stupid he must sound, then smiled. Man… if everyone could see him now.

Alyssa put Tony to bed then came back down to sit on the couch beside Joey, "Guess what?" She said softly as she scooted closer and placed her hand on the back of Joey’s neck.

"What?"

"I love you." Alyssa leaned over and gave Joey a sweet and tired kiss, "And guess what else?"

"What?" Joey smiled.

"We’re getting married in three days." She giggled like a schoolgirl and lightly stroked Aaron's silky hair.

"I know." Joey smiled and looked down at his sleeping son. The day they brought him home from the hospital, Alyssa had decided she wanted to get married right then and there, for the right reasons. Not just because they ‘had’ to get married before the baby was born, or because they felt they ‘should’. Joey couldn’t agree more, and he was happy when she said she didn’t want a big extravagant day long party.

Alyssa had thrown everything together in a matter of weeks and kept it extremely low key. They would have a private ceremony and reception for family and close friends at Alyssa’s parents' house. They had a beautifully manicured lawn with a spanish style patio surrounding the entire house.

"You reminded the guys right?"

"Yes, and they’ll all be there, of course." Joey nodded.

"Okay." Alyssa smiled and kissed Joey again, "Are you nervous?"

"No." Joey said a little too quickly, "Not really anyways."

"Good, because it’s too late to back out now." She laughed lightly and rested her head on his shoulder.

"I wouldn’t do that." Joey smiled. "This is just a huge step ya know."

"No bigger than having a baby."

"Well I really didn’t have a choice there." Joey moved Aaron from his shoulder and cradled him in his arm. "I’m just a little nervous about… everything I guess. And now that people know, it’s just like, that’s just a little more."

"I know." Alyssa nodded. "I’m nervous too. But I’m happy at the same time. This is going to make everything perfect."

"Yeah… it will." Joey smiled.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Yesterday teenage hearts were breaking all across America. Joey Fatone of Nsync, age 24 said ‘Bye Bye Bye’ to his bachelor hood, and married the mother of his children Saturday, only three days after announcing to his fans that he was a father twice over. His fellow bandmates, Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass and JC Chasez were in attendance, as well as the couples five-year-old son Anthony and newborn Aaron. The couple tied the knot in a private ceremony at the bride's parent's house, where they joined their friends and family for a poolside reception immediately after. Joey was known worldwide as the ‘player’ of the group, but this weekend he proved them all wrong. The couple haven’t announced any plans for a honeymoon, but with the grooms tour starting in less than 2 months, they’ve most likely decided to wait until that’s over. Then again, they haven’t been announcing much lately. That’s the news for now, more at ten to the hour." Brian McFayden smiled smartly at the camera as the MTV News music played in the background, and "Celebrity Deathmatch" started.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Alyssa held her hair back and she leaned over the table to push the birthday candles in the Tigger shaped caked. She smiled slowly to herself as she headed back outside to round everyone up for cake, "Up!" said a little green eyed one year old at her side. Her white blonde hair fell in her eyes as she looked up at Alyssa.

"Hi April!" Alyssa bent at her knees and picked the little girl up. "Hi there sweetie, where’s your daddy?" She asked as she scanned the crowd. "There he is, I see him!" Alyssa laughed and carried the little girl across the back yard to the group of guys. "Look who I found."

"April!" Chris grabbed the toddler from Alyssa’s arms and tossed her in the air.

"Be careful!" Lance reached out protectively for his daughter, and took her away from Chris, much to her dismay. April extended her arms and reached out for Chris again.

"See? She likes it." Chris laughed and took the little girl again.

"Just wait till you have kids, you’ll know what it feels like." Lance shook his head and smiled across the lawn at his wife Denise.

"Hey babe." Joey’s face lit up as he walked over to where they were standing and wrapped his arms around her expanding waistline. "Is it cake time?"

"Yep, where’s the birthday boy?" Alyssa smiled.

"He’s playing ball with Justin and Tony." Joey glanced over his shoulder at the makeshift mini basketball court.

"Are there going to be two cakes?" Lance asked. "A birthday one and an anniversary one?"

"Nope, today’s Aarons big day. And our anniversary isn't for another couple weeks. We’ll do something later." Alyssa smiled and kissed Joey quickly.

"You guys need to stop ‘doing something’, don’t you think three is enough?" Chris asked as he playfully poked at Alyssa’s round stomach.

"This is the last one, I can tell you that much." Alyssa laughed and removed Joey’s arms from around her waist. "Come on, let’s get the cake done so we can do presents."

Alyssa walked across the lawn telling everyone to head back inside for cake and ice cream. The small herd of children and their parents wandered into the house and surrounded the kitchen table as they sang happy birthday to a very excited birthday boy. Aaron laughed and clapped his hands as he blew out the three candles in the center of his cake.

Joey grinned at Alyssa as he stood behind Tony and rested his hands on the young boys shoulders. "These are my kids… my kids. My wife… my life." Joey thought with a smile.

Alyssa held Aaron on her hip as he continued to blow on the candles, and winked at Tony who was cheering his little brother on. Joey smiled knowingly across the crowd as Alyssa placed her free hand on her stomach. Hannah gave a light kick to show her participation in the party.

Joey caught Alyssa's eye and silently formed the words, "I love you"

Alyssa bent to help Aaron blow out the last candle, then mouthed the same words back. Joey followed Tony through the crowd as Alyssa began to cut the cake, the party had begun.

 

It's over L what did you think??

 

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Copyright � 2001 Amy Lynn