She walked back onto the bus and straight back to her bunk to check on her shirt. “Hey Chels,” she greeted the girl who was sitting on the floor doing her own makeup.
“Hey Brae,” she replied not looking up as she applied her eyeliner.
“Shit,” Braelyn muttered.
“What’s up honey?” Chelsea asked.
“The stain didn’t come out of my shirt.” She held it out for Chelsea’s inspection.
“Oh, yaaaaa….you can’t wear that.”
“Right?” She sighed with frustration. “I don’t have anything else to wearrrrrrrr.”
“What about what you already have on?” Chelsea asked. “The whole ‘I’m wearing my boyfriend’s clothes’ thing is kinda cute. You can totally pull that off.”
“Yup. Plus I think Mikey digs you in that shirt. You should have seen his face when you walked out wearing that and your itty bitty shorts.”
Braelyn just grinned to herself, grabbed her makeup case, and went to the front of the bus. “Time for stars boys.”
“Can we have green tonight?” Frankie asked.
“Absolutely.” She was drawing on Topher’s hand when she asked, “I need to do laundry, Topher. When can I do that?”
“Oh. I keep forgetting you haven’t done a tour before. Put it in a laundry bag and put it out here before you go on stage. One of the assistants will do it.”
“Really?” Braelyn said, shocked. “Someone else is gonna do my laundry?”
“Yup. Welcome to the big leagues,” Topher said laughing.
“Ok.” Braelyn had been doing her own laundry since she was about six. She felt kind of bad that someone else was going to have to do it. So after she had packed up all her laundry (sorted, of course), she left a note thanking whoever was stuck washing and drying her clothes. By the time she had finished, a PA was looking for her to take her to the stage. She passed the green room and waved to the boys. She had gotten a few feet further when she felt a familiar tug on her arm. She turned to Mikey.
“Good luck tonight,” he said before he leaned in and kissed her. Before he pulled away, he whispered, “I like your shirt.” He kissed her quickly again before letting her go.
Braelyn stood there for a second before the PA tapped her on the shoulder. “Miss Porter. You’re going to be late.”
Braelyn snapped out of her reverie. Mikey had already disappeared back into the green room. She shook her head a little bit and said to the PA, “Sorry. I’m coming.”
Braelyn strapped up and went out on stage with a big smile on her face. She played and thanked the crowd before skipping off stage. There were the boys, as usual waiting for her. She hugged each of them hard, knowing that this show, the first without Bob, was going to be difficult for all of them. She kissed Mikey’s cheek before he went on stage. She and Chelsea watched as the boys played. Of course, they played well, Alex was a good drummer, but Gerard wasn’t very interactive with the crowd and Mikey and Ray seemed to be a little out of it. Even Frankie wasn’t bouncing around as much as he normally did. But the crowd was awesome. They obviously knew what happened. They had signs that said things beyond the usual “I heart MCR.” There a few signs that said “Stay Strong” and one that said “I miss Bob.” One that said “Fuck Bob” made Braelyn chuckle a bit, but Gerard whispered to her when she hugged him after Disenchanted to have security take it.
The boys finished the set and came off stage. They were supposed to go do a meet and greet, but the boys all went straight to the bus. Braelyn followed and tried to get them to come back, but she could only convince Ray. Luckily the fans were really understanding when Ray stood on a chair and announced that the others wouldn’t be coming out. Chelsea suggested to Topher that they take everyone’s addresses and send them all an autograph poster or something. Topher did that. After everyone wrote down addresses, talked to Ray and Braelyn, Topher herded them back to the bus.
Gerard was the only one not in the bunkroom. He was curled up in a chair staring at a blank page of his sketchbook. Braelyn said goodnight as the bus started moving. She hugged Chelsea, Topher, and Ray. As she walked by Gerard’s chair, she dropped a kiss on the top of his head and gave him a squeeze around the shoulders.
In the bunkroom, she pushed aside Mikey’s curtains. As she suspected, he was awake, lying, staring up at the ceiling. She whispered, “I’m going to bed, ok?”
He nodded and she kissed his cheek. Braelyn got up and closed his curtains. She slid out of her denim shorts, pulled on her pajama shorts, and climbed up into her bunk. She turned on her iPod, pulled up her blanket and tried to fall asleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night, Braelyn was still wide-awake and she felt someone tap her shoulder. She rolled over to see Mikey.
“I can’t sleep.”
Braelyn reached out to him. “I’m sorry. Can I do something to help? Do you want to go watch a movie or something?”
He shrugged. Braelyn pushed down her covers and swung her legs out of her bunk. She jumped down and reached back for Mikey’s hand. He took it. She led him to the front of the bus. Gerard was still sitting there.
“Hey Gerard, Mikey and I are gonna watch a movie. You wanna join?” He said nothing in reply. He just kept staring. Braelyn looked at Mikey questioningly and he just shrugged, sitting down in the vacant chair. Braelyn shook her head and went to look through the movies. After choosing one and putting it in the player, she went to sit on the arm of Mikey’s chair.
Mikey wound his arm around her waist and tugged her into his lap. Braelyn’s head fell to his shoulder as she settled in to watch the movie. By the time the movie was half over Mikey had fallen asleep. Braelyn turned to look at Gerard. He was still just staring. She slipped off Mikey’s lap, doing her best not to disturb him. She knelt in front of Gerard.
“Hey, Gee,” she whispered as she pulled at his sketchbook. “Are you ok?”
He didn’t answer.
“You look tired, friend. Maybe you should go to bed?”
Again, no answer.
“Come on.” She stood and offered a hand. He took it and she pulled him to his feet. She gave him a hug. “Night, Gee.”
He didn’t say anything, but he did hug her back before leaving the room.
Then she turned her attention to Mikey. “Hey Mikey,” she called softly. She tugged on his arm a little bit. “It’s time for bed.”
Mikey’s eyes slowly opened, “Huh?”
“I’d carry you to bed, but I don’t think I’d make it very far.” She smiled at him. “Quickly, before you wake all the way up.”
Mikey stood and shuffled toward the bunkroom like a zombie, taking Braelyn’s hand as he went past her. She giggled softly. When he climbed into his bunk without letting go of her, Braelyn sat down beside him.
“Night, Brae,” Mikey mumbled.
“Night, Mikey.” She kissed his cheek and sat next to him for a few minutes. When his grip on her hand slackened because he was back to sleep, Braelyn got up and closed his curtain.
A/N: I hope you enjoy. Go review! hearts, Corri