They pulled in around noon. Even though the show wasn’t starting until seven, they were antsy from being on the bus, so they decided to go into the club. They met the people who ran the place and hung out in the green room.
“Check these out,” Ray said a few minutes after they had gotten there. He had his computer out and was beckoning the rest of them to the table. “We got the pictures from yesterday.”
They all gathered around to see the proofs. The boys’ pictures looked like their normal pictures. Braelyn was in awe as she tabbed through her pictures.
“That’s crazy,” she breathed.
“What’s crazy?” Frank asked.
The picture on the screen was of her playing the guitar, her right leg bent and her right heel coming out of her shoe. She remembered the moment from the shoot. She was playing ‘Broken Lines’ and had just strummed the last chord. She wasn’t looking at the camera, but her chin was tilted up and the light caught the gold flecks in her brown eyes. She had a small satisfied smile on her face. In the same quiet voice, she answered Frankie, “I do NOT look like that.”
“Um. Of course you do.” Frank was confused. “It’s a picture of you.”
Braelyn just shook her head smiling as Ray clicked to the next picture. They laughed as they went through the pictures of all of them together. There was a good one of the boys stone-faced, Braelyn in the middle, the picture captured just as she lost it and broke out into laughter. The others were great. Action shots of them torturing each other. Braelyn looking supremely annoyed as Gerard and Frank hauled her back to the others. The one of all the boys holding Braelyn turned out awesome too.
“It says the poster mock up will be sent to us tonight, and if we like it, they’ll start making posters and stuff tomorrow,” Ray said reading the email.
They talked about the pictures for a little while more before dispersing.
Braelyn was scribbling in a notebook, curled up on a couch, a water bottle in the crook of her arm. Gerard and Bob were off doing some sort of internet interview thing and Frank was sleeping, or ‘saving his energy’ as he put it, on the bus. Ray was messing around on a guitar in the same room as Braelyn when Mikey walked in from somewhere.
He came to sit next to Braelyn. “What are you up to?”
“Tryin to figure out a set list.” There was a touch of frustration in her voice. “Usually I just do requests. Plus I have no idea how long anything is.” She was scratching out something vehemently on her page.
Mikey took the pen from her. “Calm down.” She took a deep breath. “You’re a little keyed up today, huh?”
“Is it that noticeable?” She asked, her hands going to her face.
“It’s normal. It’s a big day for you.” She just nodded in response. Mikey continued, “So let us help you with your list. Ray, you in?”
“Ya, man, absolutely.” Ray dragged his chair over.
They worked on it for an hour, Gerard giving his input when he returned. At the end of it she had eight songs, mostly her own stuff with a couple of covers. The boys assured her it would sound awesome. Then it was time for autographs in the front of the house. There were a million people there, all wanting to see My Chemical Romance. Braelyn was sitting at the end of the table, but there were a lot of people stopping for her to sign stuff too. A lot of them knew her from the internet, some stopped simply because it was logical.
It was weird. Especially the people who actually wanted her autograph because they had listened to her stuff and liked it and not just because she was sitting next to Frank Iero.
Around five, the fans were cleared out. The boys had sound check and then it was Braelyn’s turn. Once her sound check was over, Braelyn hurried back to the bus to get ready. The boys were playing some video game when she stepped on the bus. She gave them a small smile when they said hello and she rushed into the bunkroom. Her hands were shaking as she searched through her bag.
Braelyn jumped. She spun around, hand to her heart, to see Gerard standing in the doorway. “Good Lord. You scared me.”
“Sorry, sugar.” He came to sit on Mikey’s bed. “Tell me what’s wrong?”
Her arms dropped to her sides. “Just stage fright, I guess.”
“What’s to be afraid of?” He asked. She raised her eyebrows at him. “Listen, Braelyn. You’re good. We wouldn’t have asked you out on tour if you weren’t. Plus you love performing. I’ve seen you do it before. You’re a great performer, Braelyn. Don’t sweat it.”
When she spoke, Braelyn’s voice was small. “What if they don’t like me?”
Gerard laughed. “Of course they’ll like you, sugar. Why wouldn’t they?”
“I’m not exactly the typical My Chemical Romance opener.”
“We do what we want. We pick who we like. If we only liked stuff like ours, we’d be pretty boring. Our fans know and appreciate that about us.”
Braelyn had been looking down at the floor. She looked up now, fear in her eyes. “I’ve never played so many of my own songs. My sets are usually ninety-five percent covers. Some of my songs haven’t been played for an audience outside of Addi and Gemma.”
“Sugar, you’re freaking yourself out unnecessarily,” Gerard said, giving her a reassuring smile. “I’ve heard your stuff. It’s great. Your set list is good. People already like you. Take a couple of deep breaths and calm down, ok?” She nodded and did what he said. “Now give me a smile before I make Frankie come in here and cheer you up. And that might involve the water gun he has hidden in his bunk, soooo…”
Braelyn laughed, a smile on her face.
“That’s better.” Gerard stood and hugged her.
“No problem.” He let go of her. “I have to go kick Ray’s ass. Can I steal your eyeliner later?”
She smiled wider and nodded. “Absolutely.”
“Thanks.” He left the room.
Braelyn went back to digging through her bag. She soon found what she was looking for. She put on a brown knee length hippie skirt, an old white semi-see-through Clash t-shirt with a green tank underneath. She slung her wide brown rhinestoned belt around her hips, over her tee shirt. She found the little brown flats she got the day before and put those on too. She then went to the bathroom to fix her hair. She curled it loosely and pulled back the front. When she came back out to put her curling iron away, the boys were busy getting ready and, like the night before, they were all in various states of being undressed. Braelyn just laughed and went out to the table to do her makeup.
It was six thirty. They were all in the green room. Braelyn wasn’t really paying attention to the others. She just sat there and warmed up. As show time got closer, Braelyn put down her guitar and started roaming around the room, getting water, eating some chips.
“How you feeling?” Mikey asked, coming to stand next to her.
She turned to him and smiled, “Surprisingly, pretty good. Gerard gave me a good pep talk earlier.”
“Excellent. I know you’ll be awesome.”
She smiled and chugged some of her water. Someone who worked at the club walked into the room. “Ms. Porter. It’s time.”
Braelyn nodded as she finished her water. The boys made a big deal of hugging her and things like “Our baby girl’s all grown up.” She hugged them back and pinched Ray's arm a little when he made the baby girl comment. Then she grabbed her guitar, set list, and a bottle of water and headed out on stage.
The place was packed. They were milling around, getting drinks from the bar, not really paying attention to the stage. A couple of people did notice Braelyn and started clapping, bringing everyone’s attention to her. She smiled and sat on her stool. She pulled the mic closer to her.
“Hey everyone,” she said, managing to keep her voice steady. “I’m Braelyn Porter.” There was more applause. “Wow, there are a lot of people here.” She plugged in her guitar and strummed a couple of chords. “So this is my first big show, I’m really excited. So I hope y’all have as much fun as I plan on having.” Someone cheered. “Ok. Enough talking.” She started her set. It was a ridiculous amount of fun. The crowd sang along with the cover of Piano Man. A few people in front even knew the words to ‘Broken Lines’ which Addi had put on YouTube a while ago. She thanked the audience and skipped off stage when she was finished.
“Awesome!” Frank was waiting for her when she bounced off stage. He picked her up and twirled her around. When he set her down, the other boys rushed in for hugs and compliments.
“Piano Man was so cool,” Bob said, “I didn’t know you played piano.”
“The third song? That was my favorite.” That was Ray, talking about ‘Favorite Kind of Pain.’
“You guys have to go,” the girl from earlier.
Braelyn waved goodbye to them and said, “Have a good show!”
They took the stage with a round of thunderous applause from the crowd. They played, Gerard talked, they played some more. Bob, Frank, and Mikey came off stage for a break about a half an hour into the set while Gerard and Ray did some acoustic stuff. Another fifteen minutes into the set, Gerard spoke to the crowd.
“We have ‘Disenchanted’ next on our set list.” The crowd roared. He held up a hand to quiet them. “Now, I have a question. We recently played this a bit differently, and I really enjoyed it. Would you guys like to hear the new version?” Another roar. “Alright. This new version involves our very good friend Braelyn Porter. I think maybe she’ll come back out on stage if you cheer loud enough.”
The response was deafening. Braelyn grabbed her guitar and headed out on stage. She strapped up and waved to the crowd. Into her ear, Gerard whispered, “Just like last time?”
She nodded and began to play the intro. They did the song just like last time. The audience loved it. Braelyn bowed and again left the stage. The boys finished their set and came off stage. The crowd was still cheering ten minutes after they left, so they went back out for an encore. Then they hung out in the green room with a couple of fans who had won the radio contest while the venue cleared out. After a while, they all said goodbye and the boys and Braelyn climbed back on the bus. They left for Miami where they would be for a couple of days.
A/N: Another chapter, I hope you like it. Review please!