Disclaimer: I don't ovwn any of the characters from EE. This is not assiocated with the show, Tristar, CBS, and Fox Family in anyway. All comments are welcome.
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Gary Helps NSYNC
by Lori Anderson
Six thirty am, and Gary reached over to shut off the annoying alarm clock before it woke up his sleeping children in their rooms. They needed their sleep, and he was going to make sure they got enough. Yawning, Gary got out of the bed and walked over to the chair where his blackrobe was lying on. Toni had teased him about about hanging it in their closet the other night, and Gary had to smile thinking about it. "Why don't you hang your robe up in the closet honey? It doesn't look nice flung over the chair like that," she had told him when she had seen him lay it over the top of the chair.
"It 's easier for me to get when it's on the chair," Gary had replied before he got into their bed.
Toni had sighed and given up. She wasn't going to get into an agrument with him about it.
Gary put on the robe, tied it in front, and went to get the paper like he did everyday.
He opened the door and gently removed the paper from underneath the cat.
"Sorry pal. Can't let you in. You know that my wife doesn't like you," Gary told the cat and shut the door.
He went into the kitchen, put the paper on the table, went over to the counter to get his coffee cup, and poured himself a good hot cup of black coffee to help wake him up. Setting the coffee pot down gently on it's plate, Gary went over to the table and sat down in his chair ready to see what the paper held in store for him.
Finding nothing on the front page, he opened it to the second page, and took a sip of his coffee. Gary didn't find anything there and but, he did find something on the entertainment section.
"Member of pop band serious injured by falling prop on stage. During rehersal for their up concert, Lance Bass was struck by a falling pole which had been accidently knocked over by one of the stage hands. An ambulance was called, and Lance was taken to the hospital where he was listed in fair condition. The concert was canceled until further notice so that Lance could recover. The members hope that their fans understand and be patient," Gary read from the article,
"Good morning honey. Anything in the paper this morning of interest?," Toni asked as she came into the kitchen to pour herself a cup of coffee before she started fixing breakfast.
"Uh huh. Morning sweetheart. Have you heard of a group called NSYNC?," Gary replied.
Toni came over to the table with her coffee mug, and sat down in a chair besides her husband.
"Yeah, I've heard of them. They're a really big group that's popular with kids today. Why do you ask?"
"According to the paper, one of their members is going to be struck with a falling prop on stage during rehearsal for their concert. The name of the person is Lance Bass."
Toni sipped her coffee. "Does the paper say what time this happens?"
Gary checked. "It says this afternoon at two oclock."
Toni smiled. "You'd better be prepared to see your name in the paper after making this save."
"Gary, once you save Lance from being hit by that falling prop on stage, you can count on their manager being so grateful he may want to tell the press about you, maybe have your picture taken with the group."
Oh boy Gary thought. How many times had he seen his name in the paper that he could remember?
"I can handle it. I've been through it before."
"Yeah, sure. Like the time your friend Chuck got you on the Jerry Springer show and had that nephew on his following you around with his video camera taping your saves, and the next day, your name was in the paper."
Gary sipped his coffee and remembered that day when Chuck had come back into town the first time. The fight on the Springer show, and how he had to save Chuck from being killed in a plane crash. "This time it'll be different. There'll be no video cameras around when I do it."
Gary knew the theater where the group would be rehearsing well. It was the same place that he had saved Matina McBride from a falling light a couple of years ago when Sammo was there. That had been an experience for Gary trying to keep the paper a secret from Sammo, and he sure that Sammo understood. Gary arrived at the theater right around two oclock, and went around to the side entrance hoping that he could get inside. The group was scheduled to start rehearsing any minute, and Gary had to prevent Lance from being hurt, and to do that, he had to get inside, find the stage, and warn Lance, getting him out of harms way.
Gary manged to get inside and followed the hall down to the stage where the group was rehearsing. Lance was just getting on his spot where he would be rehearsing his part with the rest of the group. He didn't notice that a light pole was bumped by one of the stagehands as he went past.
Gary did though, and ran towards the stage ignoring the dirty looks of the security guards.
"Watch out!," he yelled and yanked Lance out of the way just in the nick of time when he got on the stage.
"Oh man! Lance, are you alright?," Justin asked concerned for his friend and bandmate.
Lance nodded. "Thanks to this guy, I am. Thanks for saving my mister," he replied.
The stage manager had seen Gary save Lance too, and came over to them from the side of the stage.
"Someone get this thing off the stage!," he ordered pointing to the pole on the floor.
Two stagehands carried the pole off the stage giving Gary a smile of thanks.
"I'm Stan. I'm the group's stage manager. Thank you for saving Lance from that thing," Stan said.
"You're welcome. My name's Gary Hobson," Gary replied shaking Stan's hand.
"We owe you alot Mr. Hobson. How did you know that thing would hit Lance?"
"A friend of mine used to work here, and he told me about how unsteady some of the props are. He mentioned that some of the light fixtures weren't too sturdy at times."
By this time, the other members had gathered around Gary and Lance.
"Maybe we ought to think of moving the concert to a safer place Stan," JC suggested.
Joey looked around. "We can't JC. The paper's already given this place for the concert," he said.
"Hey Stan. Why don't we let Mr. Hobson watch us rehearse to thank him for saving Lance?," Chris asked.
"Good idea Chris. You guys get ready, and we'll watch from the front row of the middle isle."
Before Gary could tell them that they didn't have to do it, Stan was leading the way to the seats.
"Sit down right here Mr. Hobson. You're going to enjoy this," Stan told Gary indicating a seat besides him.
"Please call me Gary," Gary said as he sat down in the chair besides Stan.
"Okay guys. You're on!"
The group nodded and began their introduction to their song "Bye Bye Bye" with the band playing behind them. It was one that they knew Gary would like as they sang and did their dance movements.
When they were finished singing, Gary stood up and applauded smiling his famous smile.
"That was great guys! Thanks. I've got to go now. I've got a bar to manage," he said.
"Wait a minute before you go Gary. The group would like to give you free tickets for you and your family for the concert as their way of showing their appriecation for what you did for Lance," Stan told him.
"You don't have to do that Stan."
"Nonsense. I'll have the one of the stagehands get the tickets for you."
Five minutes later, Gary left the theather with the tickets in his pocket and headed downtown to his bar.
Gary entered Mc Ginty's after his save of Lance and headed for his and Marissa's office.
"Sorry I'm a little late Marissa. I had a save at the theater a little while ago," Gary told his friend.
Marissa smiled at her friend and co-partner from her own desk as she sat her coffee cup down. "I knew it had to be something like that. Who did you save this time Gary?," she asked.
"Lance Bass. He's a member of NSYNC, and I had to save him from a falling light pole at the theater. The manager was so grateful that he gave me four tickets to the group's concert later."
"That must have been some save for you to get tickets to their concert. I've been hearing the tickets are selling like hot cakes and just about sold out on the radio. Any idea of whom you're going to take?"
Gary nodded as he poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down at his own desk. "Yep. I'm taking Toni and the twins to the concert. After everything that has happened, I think this will be good for them."
"Good thinking partner. Toni will be surprized and your twins will excited when you tell them later."
Gary sipped his coffee. "Yeah. I can just see the look on their faces. Where's Chuck? I didn't see him when I came in. He's usually behind the bar or roaming around."
"He called while you were out. He said that he was taking today
off to be with Jade so they could spend some tme together. He said
she was so upset over what happened that he was afraid that she might have
a miscarriage or something. So, he was going to stay home and make
sure that she felt better. He knew you'd understand when you found
out. Chuck's showing how
much he cares for Jade."
"Yeah. I'm glad he called and told us what he's doing. Jade needs him more than we do right now. Especailly being in her delicate condition, she doesn't need anything to really cause her stress."
"That's what I love about you partner. You're so understanding."
The phone rang just then, and Gary answered it on the first ring. "McGinty's, " he said.
"Gary, this is Stan from the theater. The guys wanted me to tell you that they're going to deciate one of their songs to you tonight for saving Lance. By the way, who are bringing to the concert tonight?," Stan asked.
Gary smiled. "I'm bringing my family to the concert Stan. My wife and twins," he replied.
"You have twins? That's good Gary. I"ll tell the guys so they'll know when they see you. See you tonight."
"We'll be there. Good bye Stan," Gary said and hung up the phone.
He took a sip of his coffee and looked at Marissa. "That was the manager. He said that the group is going to deciate a song to me tonight for saving Lance, and he wanted to know whom I was bringing to the concert."
Marissa took a sip of her coffee. "What did you tell him Gary?"
"I told him I was bringing my family to the concert, Toni and the twins."
Marissa nodded. "You have a good time tonight at the concert, and tell me about it tomorrow."
"Okay. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow."
Gary decided he'd call Toni the first chance he got and tell her what happened at the the theatre earlier. He knew that the kids would be excited about seeing their first concert, and that made him smile. "I think my chidren have Halloween on their minds Marissa," he told Marissa inside the office.
"Really? Have they talked about what they want to be for Halloween Gary?," she asked smiling.
Gary shook his head. "Not yet, but I know it's coming. At least, it won't be like the last time."
"Are you going to take them trick or treating, or is Toni? We'd better start thinking about getting the bar ready for it sometime. Remember Partick's really strange costume he wore?"
Gary nodded. "Yeah. That was some costume alright. I felt sorry for him in that thing that night."
The phone rang, and Gary answered it. "Mc Ginty's. Oh hi Chuck. How's Jade?," he said.
"She's doing a little better now that I'm with her Gar. She was still a little shook up from what happened. I'll be in tomorrow. She wants me to stay with her for the rest of the day, and I said I would," Chuck replied.
"Sure pal. No problem. You just stay there and keep your wife happy and feeling safe. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Thanks Gar. In her condition, she doesn't need any uncessary stress."
"Good thnking Chuck. See you tomorrow. Bye."
Chuck hung up his phone in his living room and went to see how Jade was doing.
"How are you feeling honey?," he asked sitting besides her on the sofa.
"I'm fine sweetheart now that you're here. Did Gary understand about your staying here with me?," Jade replied glad that her husband was sitting besides her and comforting her.
"Yeah, Gar understood. He said he'd see me tomorrow, and told me to keep you happy and safe."
"That's Gary alright. You're so lucky to have him for a friend."
"He's your friend too even though you two didn't become friends until later."
"Let's not talk about my past please. I put it behind me to marry you, and I don't want to think about it."
"Okay. We won't talk about it. Is there anything I can get you?"
"No. Just hold me. That's all I want you t do right now. Just hold me in your arms."
Chuck did, and Jade relaxed in his arms feeling safe and happy.
Gary called Toni from the office phone to tell her how the save went, and the tickets for the concert.
"That's right honey. Before I could tell the manager that he didn't have to gvie me the tickets, Stan had one of the stagehands come and hand me the four tickets. They're going to deciate a song to me for saving Lance today. I don't think that light prop fell by accident," he told her over the phone.
"You think someone pushed it towards Lance on purpose? I find that hard to believe sweetheart. Who would want to hurt Lance for knowing how much the group's liked here and everyone's going to the concert? What makes you think it wasn't an accident?," Toni asked her husband from the living room phone at home.
"I don't know yet. It's just a hunch that I have."
"I've heard that one before. Does the paper give you any hints or clues?"
"No. It just told me that Lance would've been hurt if I hadn't showed up when I did."
"There you are then. You've got your answer. The paper would've told you if it wasn't an accident."
Gary sighed. "You're right. Anyway, I'm taking you and the kids to the concert tonight. I think they'll enjoy it, and it'll get them away from all the bad news that's been happening lately."
"You've got that right . We can tell them when you get home later. Anything else happen today?"
"Nope. Just what I told you is all. I'll see you and the kids at five for dinner. Love ya."
"Same here, and we'll eat something light. Bye goodlooking."
Gary smiled as he hung up his phone in the office. She knew that always made him blush when she said that.
Marissa came into the office then from the bar. "Well, how did Toni take the news Gary?," she asked.
"She took it well. I know the kids are going to be excited when we tell them," Gary replied.
"They should be. I think it's wonderful that you're taking them to the concert tonight. I have specail plans tonight as well. Emment's going to pick me up, and we're going to eat out at the new club that all the lawyers eat at. One of the other lawyers recommended it to Emment, and we're going to see if the man was right."
"Have fun Marissa. I'm so glad that Emment passed his bar and did good on his first case."
"So am I Gary. I'm very proud of him."
When Gary got home from work that afternoon, he showed Toni the four tickets he had been given for the concert by the group's manager. "Where are the kids?," he asked searching the room for his twins.
Toni smiled. "They're washing up for dinner. I've told them that we've got a surprise for them, and that, we'd tell them what it is when you got home. You should have seen their faces. They're so excited about it that they went to wash up for dinner without me reminding them," she replied kissing him on his mouth.
"When we show them the tickets, they'll be jumping for joy. I think I call them now so we can tell them."
"Go ahead. I'll get dinner on the table while you're doing that."
"Rose! Jeff! Come into the living room please. Daddy has a surpirse for you," Gary called.
The twins came running into the living room their hands all washed and dried for dinner.
"What's the surpirse Daddy?," Rose asked smiling at her father.
Gary smiled back and took out the tickets for the concert from his pocket. "All of us are going to the NSYNC concert tonight. Your mother, you, your brother, and I have tickets for the concert, and are going as their special guests. That's the surprise. What do you say to that?"
"The group NSYNC?! Oh boy! Daddy, that's great!," Jeff replied excited.
"I knew you'd like it son. How about you Rose?"
"I love music Daddy, even their music," Rose said her blue eyes shining with joy.
"Good. I want you both to be on your best behavior tonight. We might get to go backstage afterwards."
"Okay Daddy. We'll be good," Jeff promised and Rose nodded her agreement.
Gary knew that he could depend on his kids to keep their promise to be good at the concert that night.
He and Toni were doing a great job of raising their kids.
While Gary and his family were getting ready for the concert, the group
was getting ready in their dressing rooms for the concert, their soundchecks
and rehearsal over. They were looking forward to their performance.
Their manager came into the the dressing room, a concerned look on his face.
"Guys, I don't want to worry you, but I was just handed this note by one of
the stagehands earlier. I think you should read it," Stan told the group showing them the note that he held in his hands.
"Let's see it Stan," Justin said as the others stood beside him waiting for their manager to hand over the note.
Stan handed Justin the note. "Here you are Justin."
Justin took the note and read it outloud, "You will soon perform for only me pleasure! I will be watching you on the stage tonight, but you won't be able to see me. The Collector."
"Geez, this guy must be some kind of nut to write something like this to us," Lance said.
"I agree Lance. What a weirdo," A. J. said shaking his head.
"I've alerted the guards to watch for anyone supscious lurking about," Stan told them.
"Okay. let's not let this nut whoever he is spoil tonight for everyone. Inculding us. Right guys?," Joey said.
"Right!", the others agreed and the note was quickly forgotten and put away in a drawyer.
Meanwhile, Gary and his family were driving towards the theatre around 6:30 after a light dinner.
"There it is kids. I'll find a parking space, and then, we'll go inside and find out seats," Gary said.
"They were so excited about the concert that they hardly ate any of their dinner," Toni told him.
"We ate some Mommy," Rose said and Jeff nodded.
"No snacking inside you two. You're here to listen and enjoy the concert, okay."
"Okay Daddy,", Jeff said smiling.
Gary found a parking space, parked his car, and he and Toni got their children out of the backseat.
They walked towards the front door and Gary showed the security gurards their tickets.
"Go on in Mr. Hobson," the guard told him smiling.
"Thank you. Let's go inside everyone," Gary said, and they went inside to find their seats.
Forgetting about the strange note, the group went to the stage to get ready to sing for their audience. They took their places and waited for their introduction by their manager who was already on stage. "Ladies and gentlemen: Here they are, the group you came to see, NSYNC! Let's give them a big hand!," Stand told the audience clapping himself as the curtain went up and the lights came on.
"Thank you! We're happy to be in Chicago performing for you, and tonight, we are decidating one song to a friend of ours in the audience, Gary Hobson. So, sit back and enjoy the show," Justin said smiling.
Gary almost blushed when he heard Justin say that the group was going to decidate a song for him. "They don't have to do this," he whispered to Toni feeling a little embrassed.
Toni just smiled and patted his hand to let him know that she understood how he felt.
The group went into their first song, and soon everyone was enjoying the concert.
"This next song is for Gary Hobson, our personal friend. Gary, this is for you," Joey said smiling at Gary,
The band started playing the music to the song "That's What Friends Are For."
The group started singing it, and Gary could feel everyone's eyes on him , and almost blushed again.
When the song was over, the audience clapped and Gary and his family went along with them.
Two hours later, the concert ended, and the group thanked the audience for an enjoyable night.
Rose was yawning, and Jeff was almost nodding off himself in his seat.
"We'd better them home honey. They're ready to fall asleep," Toni told Gary picking up Rose.
Gary nodded. "Yeah. It's past their bedtime, but at least they enjoyed theirselves tonight," he replied.
He and Toni carried their sleepy children out of the threate and out to their car for the ride home.
When they got home, Gary and Toni carried their children inside the house and put them to bed.
"Good night Rose," Toni said kissing her daughter on the check.
"Good night Mommy," Rose replied and closed her eyes.
Gary kissed his son goodnight, shut off the light, and joined Toni out in the hall.
"This will be one night they'll remember forever," Toni whispered.
"Yeah. I'll lock the doors, and join you in the bedroom in a minute,' Gary said.
The alarm rang at 6:30, and Gary sleeply reached over and shut it off wishing he didn't have to get up. He turned around to see that Toni was still asleep, and decided that he'd get up without waking her. Gary put on his robe and went to the door knowing that the cat and the paper would be waiting for him. He opened the door, bent down, and gently slipped the paper out from underneath the cat.
"Sorry pal. You stay outside from now on," Gary told the feline as he shut the door behind him. Yawning, he went into the kitchen, put the paper down on the table, went over to the coffee maker, and poured himself a cup of coffee. He went over to his chair, took a sip of his coffee, put the mug down, and opened the paper. "Oh boy. Looks like I've got a busy day ahead of me today," Gary told himself.
The article said "Mysterious Man Stalks Popular Rock Group. A man dressed in a safrai outfit was spotted lurking around the hotel where the group, NSYNC, is staying during their Chicago tour. The man is trying to find out what floor they are on, and has threaten to sneak in wearing a disguise around noon today."
Gary sipped his coffee again, and shook his head in amazement. Crazy people out there, he thought.
Five minutes later, Toni came into the kitchen wearing her robe and went to pour herself a cup of coffee.
"Morning sweetheart. Anything interesting in the paper this morning?," she asked sitting besides Gary.
"Yep. Some nut dressed in a safria outfit is after the group. He's going to try to sneak into the hotel at noon wearing a disguise. Morning honey," Gary replied kissing her on her lips.
Toni sipped her coffee. "First, you save Lance, and now, you have to stop some nut from going after the group. Do you know what hotel they're in?"
"Yeah. Stan told me the other day. They're at the Marriot."
"So, all you have to do is go there around noon, and stop this guy from sneaking in."
Gary nodded. "That's it. What's on your plate today?"
"I'm taking the kids shopping so they can pick out their Halloween costumes, and get some candy for the trick or treaters who come to our house."
Gary finished his coffee. "I almost forgot about that. Do they know what they want to be yet?"
Toni nodded. "Rose wants to be a princess, and Jeff is going to be a baseball player."
Gary smiled. "Good choice. I'll see you and the kids later. Have a good day."
"You two sweetheart, and good luck."
Gary grabbed his jacket and headed out the door.
Gary had a feeling that whoever the nut was trying to sneak into the group's hotel was up to something that wasn't good, and he decided to get to the hotel earlier than what the paper said to check it out. He arrived at his bar and walked towards the office where he could tell Marissa what was going on. "Good morning Marissa. Chuck," Gary said greeting his friends smiling.
"Morning Gar. Thanks for understanding about yesterday. Jade really needed me around," Chuck told Gary.
"That's okay pal. How is your wife this morning?"
Chuck sipped his coffee before he replied. "She's better. She was able to eat some toast this morning, and drink some orange juice without it coming back up. I told her I'd be home for lunch if that's okay."
Gary nodded. "Sure. No problem. Can I talk you to in the office for a minute Marrisa?"
"Sure Gary," Marissa replied wondering what it was he had to say that he didn't want Chuck to know.
When they were both in the office, Gary told Marissa about the paper telling him about the strange man who was trying to get into the Marriot later to bother the group.
"You think he's up to something, and you want to make sure whatever it is, it doesn't happen. Gary, they've got security people handling them and there's no way some nut is going to slip past undected." Marissa said.
"If he's disguised somehow, he can, Marissa. The paper said he was going to try to sneak in disguised as something, but didn't say what it was. I've got to get there and make sure he doesn't get the chance."
"Good luck my friend."
"Thanks. I didnt' want Chuck to know about this since he's worried about Jade recently."
Marissa sipped her coffee and nodded. "He has enough to worry about without the paper right now."
At 11:30, Gary left the bar and headed downtown towards the Marriot hotel to prevent the man with the safari otufit from trying to sneak in unawares into the hotel. He knew from Stan that the group was going to do some rehreasing for another concert in the afternoon, and would be relaxing in their hotel rooms until then.
The concert was at night, but the reheresal was scheduled for the afternoon
at the theatre. He arrived at the hotel, and looked around for the
person that the paper had descirbed, and sure enough, Gary spotted the man
coming from a store with a package in his hands. He had no idea what
was in the package, but he knew it was something that man would use to get
inside the hotel without being caught by the security guards. Gary had an
idea. He walked over to the hotel doorman. "Excuse me, but I'd
be on the lookout for any extra guards or cleaning people that might come
through the door. Sometimes, people will disguise like a worker in
a hotel just to try to get close to whoever it is they want to see.
The guy across the street has a package in his hands, and I think he's going
to use whatever's inside to sneak into the hotel without being caught," he
doorman pointing to the man across the street who was walking towards another building.
The doorman looked over at the man and frowned. "Thanks for the warning mister. I'll inform the manager and security people to be on the lookout for any extra cleaning people or security people. What's your name so I can tell the manager and the security guards who warned me?," he said.
"Hobson. Gary Hobson."
"Thanks Mr. Hobson. I'll go tell the manager right now what you just told me."
"You're welcome, and have a nice day."
The doorman went inside for a minute, and Gary took a look at his paper to see if the headline was still there. He smiled when he saw it had changed. "Man Caught Trying to Sneak Into Wearing Secuirty Uniform."
At noon, Gary watched as the man disguised as an extra security guard was caught by the security people inside the hotel, and held for the police inside the manager's office with a guard watching him. Gary had saved the group from a dangerous person and went back to Mc Gintys.
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