Some Good Reasons 18

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Perfect lasted all through the night and into the next day.  It was as if the trip to New York was bringing them back to what they'd been when they'd first gotten together.  Without the kids and the pressures of Orlando to weigh on them they were able to relax and enjoy each other.  She actually hated to leave him when he had to go to his audition so she'd snuck into the theater to watch him.

Kelly held her breath on the second level of the theater looking down on onto Joey and Manley going over the scene. She wasn't sure if she should have even been inside the theater at the moment, but when Joey had left her to go into his meeting she had gotten bored sitting in the lobby and had done like she'd done so many times when left to wait: she'd explored. He'd told her this morning that he'd been asked to try out for a part in RENT, which had totally thrown her into a bad mood. She knew that the group was going to be on vacation for a while longer, until Meredith and Justin's baby was born, at least, which meant the guys would be around. She didn't like the idea of Joey going to New York for a few months to do a play.

"Thanks for doing this with me man," Joey said.

He didn't have a microphone with him, but the place was so quiet that she could almost hear his heart beating in his chest. He looked nervous. She didn't have to be standing near him to see the signs. He kept looking at his hands then up at Manley then around the bottom part of the theater.

"No troubles," Manley said from beneath the baseball hat and leather jacket he was wearing. He slid to take a seat on the table that was on stage, "My wife is out of town so I'm just hanging out for the day before the show starts."

Joey nodded, "Still it means a lot to me that you'd take the time."

"Really it's ok." Manley said and leaned back a little. "I wonder where Michael is--" He tapped his fingers against the table, "Are you sure you know the scene?"

"Yeah," Joey explained, "I'm not really an amateur when it comes to this stuff. I did plays in high school before and--Actually I've seen the scene a lot and I know that you're supposed to push me--go ahead with that. I want to make this as real as possible."

Michael Greif, the director, appeared on the side of the stage pulling a chair with him out onto the corner of the stage. "Are you gentlemen ready?"

"I am," Manley said and took a deep breath. He got up and removed his hat then put it back on backwards so the serious expression in his face could be seen.

Kelly knew that this was a fairly important

Joey nodded. "Let's do this."

"Let's start from the point just as Mark is saying are you insane?"

Joey nodded.

Kelly smiled as Joey cracked his neck then took a deep breath and started into the scene.

MARK
Are you insane?

There so much to care about
There's me -- there's Mimi

ROGER
Mimi's got her baggage, too

MARK
So do you

Manley moved across the stage and got into Joey's face.

ROGER
Who are you to tell me what I know, what to do

MARK
A friend

Manley's voice got angry now and Kelly could see the expression on Joey's face change.

ROGER
But who, Mark, are you?
"Mark has got his work"
They say "Mark lives for his work"
And "Mark's in love with his work"
Mark hides in his work

MARK
But from what?

It was the words that came out of Manley's mouth next that caught her the worst.

ROGER
From facing your failure, facing your loneliness
Facing the fact you live a lie
Yes, you live a lie -- tell you why
You're always preaching not to be numb
When that's how you thrive
You pretend to create and observe
When you really detach from feeling alive

MARK
Perhaps it's because I'm the one of us to survive

ROGER
Poor baby

Kelly slid out of her seat as tears formed in her eyes. She didn't know why Joey could sing a million and one songs and never made her cry, but a few words in a play could send her over the edge.

"You ok?"

Kelly wiped her eyes and looked over at Loni who'd been waiting with her during the audition. "Yeah," she said, "I'm just being dumb and motherly right now. I miss my kids."

"You sure?"

"Yeah," she nodded.

Joey chose this moment to come out of the theater. He had a huge smile on his face and was practically skipping across the carpeted floor. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," she said pushing his hand away as he reached for her. "I'm just tired after last night and I miss the kids."

"Why don't we call them then?" He still looked concerned.

"Yeah," she said.  She wanted to tell him to take the part, wanted to tell him that this was all ok, but part of her told her to keep her opinions to herself.  He didn't even have the part yet so she couldn't get too worked up over all of this.  She knew though, in that instant, with that look in his eyes, that if he did get the part she'd be alone and he'd be in New York.

"You sure you're ok?"

"Yeah," she said, "We should call the kids."

Joey's cell phone came out of his pocket and he dialed the phone quickly and handed it to her.

"Fatone Residence," Joey's father said into her ear.

"Hi Joe," she said trying to sound as positive as possible.  "How are the kids doing?"

"Good," he said, "How are you doing Kelly?"

"Missing them," she said and let her tears flow knowing that if Joey did this that there would be more days like this.  Traveling back and forth and time away from the kids, more time than she wanted to be away from the kids.

"Honey don't cry," the older Fatone said, "Let me get the kids to talk to you.  Hold on."

"Ok."

Joey put his arm around her and hugged her as she waited to talk to the kids.

*****

A few days later...

"Joe!"

He turned around from where he was on the couch and could see the kids and Kelly sitting at the table.  Colton was working on his letters and numbers.  He'd been having trouble and Kelly had been helping him out, which caused Brianna to be interested in school work and had started to color next to them.  Trey had been put down for a nap and the baby monitor was sitting in the middle of the table.  "I'm on the couch honey, what do you need?"

Her voice calmed.  "Can you bring me Brianna's other coloring book?"

"Where is it?"

"In the living room," she said looking up, "Next to you on the end table."

"I'll get the phone," he said when it started to ring.  He dropped the coloring book on the table and grabbed up the phone from the wall walking away.  He'd been waiting for a call from New York to come in and knew that if the news was good he wanted to celebrate away from Kelly since she'd seemed stressed about the idea of him leaving to go to do the play.  If he didn't get the part he wasn't about to let her see how disappointed he was about it.

"Fatones," he said and walked towards the backdoor to talk.

"Joey?"

"Yes?"

"This is Michael Greif."

"Hi Michael," he looked towards where Kelly was sitting with the kids.  She didn't look up from her work with them.  "How's it going?"

"Great," he said, "I know you've been waiting for my call and I'm sorry it's taken so long.  The lawyer that we work with was on vacation and I wanted to make sure he was back in town and signed off on the contract that we're going to be offering you before we sent it to your people."

"Contract?" he asked.  "Contract?"

Michael laughed a bit.  "Yes.  Contract.  I'd like to officially offer you the part."

He stepped out the door and closed the door behind him.  "Really?"

"Yes," he explained, "I'm going to have the contracts sent over so you can look them over, but now I guess you have the time to think over moving to New York to do this."

"What start date do we have?" Joey asked, "I mean when would you want me in New York?"

"Rehearsals would start on the 8th of next month and we'd let you practice for two weeks or so to learn your parts--so I'm expecting about a month or so from now.  We've got an apartment for you to move into if you want it until you find a more suitable place if you're planning to bring your family here."

Joey sighed and thought about Richie's place.  If he was going to move he could stay in Brooklyn and commute over to the theater.  The kids would be able to live normally or at least slightly normally if they ended up in the city.  "I've got family in Brooklyn so if I need to move around I've got people I can stay with."

"The contracts should be in your manager's office tomorrow morning,"  Michael sounded distracted for a moment as if he was working on something while they were on the phone.  "I've given him a call to make sure that he knows that they are coming.  So I guess this leaves the decision up to you.  We'll need to know fairly soon though.  The contracts say 7 days from today's date."

"Ok," he answered.  He couldn't believe that this was going so fast.  "I'm sure my manager and I will be able to get back to you as soon as possible."

"Well I'll leave you to your decision," he said, "I hope that you can work it into your schedule to work with us.  We're really excited to have you possibly on the cast list."

"Thanks," Joey said, "Thanks for considering me seriously for the part."

"You deserve it," Michael said.

"Thanks."  Joey said, "Talk to you soon."

They hung up the phone and Joey wanted to jump for joy, but when he turned and saw Kelly watching him with worry on her face, he took a deep breath and opened up the door and went back into the living room.

Kelly turned back towards the coloring books.  "Who was that?"

He wanted to celebrate, but he knew it would hurt her feelings if he did, so he calmly explained, "I got the part."

Her eyes never moved from where she was coloring in a picture of Oscar the Grouch.  "What?"

"I got the part," he said.

"Yeah?" she said looking up.

"Yeah."

"Congratulations," she said sounding stressed from his news.

His shoulders slumped as she turned back to the coloring she was doing with Brianna.  "I'm going to--I'm going to go upstairs."

"Diddy, I go?" Brianna said.

"No," he said looking at his daughter, "You stay here and play with mommy."

He turned and trudged upstairs, the air rushing from his lungs as he went.  His chest felt heavy and his heart was breaking in to two million little pieces.  This should have been the happiest day of his life, next to the birth of his children and his wedding day, but it clearly wasn't meant to be that way.

Slipping into the bedroom he sighed a heavy sigh and flopped down onto the bed.  Tears came to his eyes and he covered his face with his eyes.  How could something so right for him feel so horribly wrong?  He'd wanted this his whole life.  He'd wanted to be onstage, performing, and now that the group had taken their break he wanted something to show for his time off.  He wanted to prove to people that he was more than NSYNC, not that NSYNC was at all a burden, but that if for some reason the group ceased to exist that he wasn't some washed up performer and that he could go on from that and not be considered a has-been.

"Honey?"

"I'm not doing it," he said instantly not looking towards where her voice was coming from.

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Last updated: 07/10/04.