The guys have a dress rehearsal with the women and then spend a day on the beach.
“Nick, take that jacket off. It makes you look fat,” Michelle said. She had never been one to beat around the bush in her job. “Julie, grab him that blue one, with the logo thing.” Julie nodded, disappeared, and cam back with a navy blue jacket with a sponsor logo on the left side. Nick just stared, dumbfounded that Julie knew which jacket Michelle wanted. “Much better. Julie, make sure that jacket goes on the ‘definitely’ rack.”
“AJ have you finished putting on that outfit yet?” Michelle yelled at the fitting room, where AJ disappeared ten minutes before. She heard a muffled answer. “I don’t care what you think; I need to see you in it so I can make decisions based on how it looks.” AJ emerged in pants too large for even a belt to hold up, a baggy shirt hanging off one shoulder, and glasses that barely stayed on his nose. “Ah,” was all that Michelle said.
“Michelle, what do you think about this?” Julie asked. Michelle turned around and saw Brian wearing a white suit with a blue button up shirt underneath. She noticed the way the blue brought out his eyes and the color in his face.
“Perfect. Julie, make sure you write down that Brian looks excellent in blue.” She saw Brian smile at the compliment before turning back to AJ. “Obviously everything needs to be smaller. I wonder why that outfit was marked for you,” she thought to herself out loud. “Well, at least we know black looks good on you, but you definitely need a different style of glasses. Those don’t compliment your face at all.”
“I like these glasses,” AJ told her. Michelle stopped rummaging through a box of glasses and looked at him.
“I don’t care if you like them, they make you look ridiculous and you aren’t wearing them.”
“I’ll pick out my own glasses.” Michelle glared at AJ, not enjoying having him refuse to listen to her advice. Julie stepped in before a fight broke out.
“Michelle, could you help Howie pick out the right shirt? I’ll take over with AJ.” Michelle nodded, and walked over to Howie and picked out a dull red for him to try on. Julie walked over to AJ and gave him a new outfit. Michelle finished up with Howie and moved to Brian who was struggling with a leather jacket. She held it so he could slip his arms through the sleeves.
“That shirt doesn’t go well with the leather jacket. Hold on.” She walked over to the racks and grabbed a different shirt for him to try on. While she dealt with him, Julie finished with AJ and walked over to help Kevin pick out some sunglasses.
“I like the shiny ones,” Kevin said, pointing to a pair whose frames were bright metal and lenses were like mirrors.
“No, I think we should go a bit less flashy. Try these on.” She handed him a pair of sleek black frames and black lenses. She handed him a mirror.
“You’re right, these do look good. You have good taste.”
After finishing the session, Michelle and Julie made notes on which outfits worked and which didn’t, which would help them the next day work out specific outfits for specific songs and music videos. That night they talked about the fitting session while they got ready for bed.
“Okay, did notice the Boys had no qualms about changing in front of us?” Julie asked Michelle while she cleaned her face.
“Yeah, except Nick. He seems rather shy about showing his body. I was surprised by the others. Of course, it’s not like they had anything to be ashamed of.”
“Michelle!” Julie exclaimed, feigning shock. Michelle gave her a knowing smile. “Alright, I admit it, they do have nice bodies. Kevin especially seemed to prefer not wearing a shirt.”
“I noticed,” Michelle said with a laugh. “Brian looked pretty good too.”
Both women laughed at themselves, agreeing to keep their distance from the Boys so nothing became awkward while they worked together.
When the Boys arrived at work the next morning, they immediately went to the wardrobe room. The racks were rearranged by whose clothes were on it. Michelle told the Boys that they were going to go through their performance schedule and decide on specific outfits for each wardrobe change. Since the order of songs was viable to change, they went with the most likely order. They started with “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”.
“Okay, based on the music video you did for that song, and the general style apparent in all your videos, you need loose-fitting clothing. Let’s see if we can’t find something similar to what you wore in the video.” She and Julie pulled out different outfits for each guy. When Nick stepped out first, Michelle inspected him while he asked a question.
“So you’ve watched our music videos?”
“It’s my job to research the previous styles of my clients.” The rest of the Boys came out and were inspected. “No, Howie, that color’s all wrong for you. Try this purple shirt on instead. Julie, find Kevin a black jacket to go over that shirt. AJ, if you insist on wearing that, at least let me see it with an unbuttoned shirt over it.”
Michelle continued giving orders and making the Boys change constantly. When they finished the first half of the songs, they decided to take a lunch break. The Boys invited the women to eat lunch with them at the beach.
“There’s this great hot dog stand on the beach,” Howie said, “and it’s really close to the water.”
“Julie’s a vegetarian,” Kevin reminded him.
“That’s okay,” Julie said. “Michelle and I already made lunch plans.”
“Maybe some other time,” Howie said.
“Are you guys busy Saturday?” Brian asked. They shook their heads. “Okay, why don’t you guys meet us at the beach around 3? You can bring your own food and we’ll have a picnic.” Julie looked at Michelle.
“Sure,” Michelle said. “Where should we meet you?”
After they settled on a meeting place, everyone left for lunch and returned an hour later. They continued figuring out the wardrobe until it hit seven. The Boys left, and the women stayed to put the racks back in order.
“Are you okay with going to the beach on Saturday?” Michelle asked.
“Yeah. Are you?”
“I guess. I’m curious about this hot dog stand they were talking about. I’ll have to find it and try it sometime. What will you bring for lunch?”
“I’m not sure, maybe good old peanut butter and jelly.” Michelle laughed and they finished up in the wardrobe room. Both looked forward to Saturday and spending time with the Boys.
On Saturday morning, Michelle woke up early, having grown used to getting little sleep in order to get more things done in the morning before Julie got up. She ate a bagel with butter for breakfast and did some work on picking outfits for the Boys based on pictures from the wardrobe. When Julie did finally get up and remind her of their lunch that afternoon, she realized her only bathing suit broke last year and she never bothered to replace it. She grabbed her keys and headed out to search for a new one. Unfortunately, since it was the second week of December, only winter clothes were out. After searching through stores for two hours, she found one still selling swim suits. She picked out a navy blue two-piece made up of a halter-top and shorts. She also bought a wrap to go around the bottom, so she’d be prepared for summer.
When that was finished, she returned to her apartment and both women made lunches. Julie made peanut butter and jelly, just like she said; Michelle made a barbequed roast beef sandwich. Despite being December, both wore capris and tank tops over their suits. They left their apartment and reached the beach five minutes early.
“Sorry for being late,” Brian said when the Boys finally arrived. “Nick took forever getting ready and then we got caught in traffic after leaving our hotel.”
“It’s okay,” Michelle said. “We haven’t been waiting long.” They followed the Boys out towards the water. The women watched as they set up a grill and opened a chest full of ice and drinks.
“You brought a grill?” Julie asked, surprised.
“Yes,” AJ said. “We wanted to grill burgers for lunch.”
“Feel free to have a drink,” Brian told them. He listed off the different drinks they brought.
“We brought our own water, but thanks,” Michelle told him.
“I tried to get them to leave the grill, but they wouldn’t listen,” Kevin told Julie while the others were busy grilling.
“That’s okay. I’m used to others eating meat around me. Just because I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you can’t . . . But that was nice of you to think of me,” she added, wanting to be polite. Kevin smiled at her, and then helped the others set up beach chairs around the grill. Julie noticed Nick getting ready to go in the water. “You do realize how cold that water is, right?” she asked.
“I’m from New York,” he told her. “This is nothing.” With that he ran straight into the water. Julie laughed and turned her attention back to the others.
“He always does that,” Brian told Michelle. Julie noticed with a laugh that Brian was eating Michelle’s sandwich and she was eating a burger. “I think he’s trying to prove something, I just don’t know what.” Michelle laughed. “Do you ever go in the ocean in winter?”
“I have before, but I don’t make a habit of it. Have you ever gone in in winter?”
“No, and I plan to keep it that way.” They talked a little longer, but soon AJ called Brian over to help with the grilling. Julie took his seat.
“Having fun?” Michelle had a bite in her mouth, so she just nodded. “I wondered if you felt like making a sand castle with me.”
Both women walked to the shore line, a safe distance from the waves, but where the sand was still wet enough to work with. They started by digging a moat to protect their castle. Next, they built up a foundation, a foot wide. They made a few rather clumsy looking towers, complete with shells added in the walls for decoration. When they finished, they noticed the sun setting. They also noticed the Boys had gathered around them.
“Nice castle,” Nick said, “but it’s missing a flag.” He held up a small stick, something he had picked up off the ground, and, when Julie nodded, he stuck it in the tallest tower.
“Oh yes, now it looks much better,” Brian said. Everyone laughed.
“Well, now that you’ve seen our fine sand castle making skills, I suppose it’s time we head home,” Julie said.
“What? And miss out on singing round the campfire?” Nick said playfully.
“I’m afraid so.”
“I have church early in the morning,” Michelle told them, “and work to finish up before then.”
“What church?” Brian asked.
“It’s a small church near our apartment.” They said their goodbyes and left.
“Why did you switch sandwiches with Brian?” Julie asked in the car.
“Oh. He’d never had barbeque sauce with roast beef before, and he wanted to try it. So he gave me his burger after he took a bite and decided he wanted it all. What were you and Kevin talking about?”
“He was just apologizing for the grill and meat.”
“That was sweet of him.”
The following two weeks passed swiftly, with everyone frantically getting ready for the tour. Michelle and Julie worked hard figuring out outfits for the Boys, while they did fittings, rehearsals, and even started working on their new album. They finished two songs before it was time to leave. Michelle and Julie spent many nights working late to make sure everything got packed and labeled correctly for the tour. Soon it came time for them to pack their own belongings.