Braelyn was sitting on her bed flipping through television channels just after they’d arrived in Los Angeles. Mikey walked in through her open door and flopped on her bed.
“Are you sleeping tonight?” he asked.
“Nope.” Braelyn’s voice was decided. “Gonna watch tv til we have to go to the television station.”
“Ok. I’m in.” Mikey was doing his best to be supportive. He knew something was wrong, but no matter what he said, she wouldn’t tell him the reason she wouldn’t sleep.
“You don’t have to,” Braelyn said back. “You need sleep. I’m used to being awake.”
“Used to it?” When Braelyn didn’t elaborate, Mikey continued, “Well one night won’t hurt.” He moved to sit next to her, taking her into his arms. “Besides, Gerard’s been keeping you all to himself.”
Braelyn looked up at him, suddenly worried. Was he mad at her?
He saw the look in her eyes. Mikey just smiled and kissed her forehead. “Don’t worry. It’s fine. He needed someone and he picked you. I’m just glad he stopped.”
It was already four in the morning and they were leaving for the station at seven, so there were a few hours before they had to be ready. Braelyn let her head fall to Mikey’s chest. His hand ran through her hair.
After watching History Channel for a while, Braelyn spoke. “I think Gerard is lonely.”
“Ya. Well,” Mikey hesitated. “He’s my brother and he’s a pretty cool guy, but the fact that he’s alone is probably his own fault.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re seriously the only girl that Gerard has had a meaningful friendship with in years. There are no shortage of girls who would gladly spend the night with Gerard Way: Frontman of My Chemical Romance.”
“I can’t believe there wasn’t a single girl who wanted to get to know the real Gee,” Braelyn replied.
“We’ll never know. He has all of them leave before too long. Sometimes we don’t even know their names.”
“That’s healthy,” Braelyn said, sarcastically. “But I haven’t seen a bunch of groupies on tour…or have I just been missing it?”
“I haven’t seen any either, come to think of it. Weird.”
Braelyn just giggled a little bit, rolling her eyes. Boys are so unobservant. Her mind wandered back to the television, Mikey’s hand had started making small circles on her back. It was soothing. Her eyes were jumpy though. Maybe she should just close her eyes. Just for a second, she told herself. She wouldn’t let herself fall asleep and slip into a nightmare. Her eyes just needed a rest from all the sensory input. She let them close.
To keep herself awake, she kept talking to Mikey, telling him stories about high school and he would tell her of the antics he and Gerard would get up to when they were kids. Braelyn managed to keep her promise to herself. She was feeling much less wired when they got up to get ready for their interviews. Braelyn showered, put on her calico print dress on, dried and curled her hair, and put on her makeup. Then she put on her cowboy boots and met the others at the door.
“It really should have ‘Free Candy’ painted on the side of it,” Frankie said when they walked up to the white panel van that was going to take them to the station.
“Inconspicuous Van is inconspicuous,” Braelyn said to him. They giggled and got in the van, continuing to make kidnapping van jokes. Within a few minutes they were at the station.
Frankie carried Braelyn on his back as the rest of their party walked like ‘normal’ people. Braelyn read the sign that informed them that they were in the L.A. Fuse studios.
“Uhhhh, hey friends,” she asked, “What show are we going on?”
“Hoppus on Music,” Frankie said, twirling in a circle as they walked inside.
“You mean the one hosted by Mark Hoppus. Like THE Mark Hoppus, from Blink-182?”
“Is there another Mark Hoppus?” A new voice greeted them.
Braelyn’s mouth fell open as the boys greeted Mark who was now standing in front of them. Frankie set Braelyn down in order to give his friend a hug.
“You must be Braelyn,” Mark said to her after the others had said hello.
Braelyn was still gaping until Frankie nudged her. She breathed in and shook her head a little bit, jolting herself back to reality. “Yes I am.”
“It’s nice to meet you.” Mark hugged her.
“Glad you could make it today,” some woman who looked important with her headset and clipboard. “But we’re on a bit of a schedule to get you guys out of here for your other obligations, so let’s get started.”
They were all taken away by show staff to make them camera ready. It was then that Braelyn learned this would be the first time she was interviewed by herself. They boys would be interviewed for a different segment. This made her excited and a little nervous.
Braelyn’s make-up artist didn’t do much to her, saying she was all set after some powder. She was then led away to the set of Hoppus on Music where Mark was waiting to talk to her.
“So Braelyn, today we’re just going to talk a little bit about you and your music.”
“Sounds good,” Braelyn said.
“Ok, so we’ll be filming on this camera with a secondary camera over there,” Sandy pointed. “But don’t worry about it too much, just sit and talk to me, maybe wave to the audience. You know, whatever feels natural.” Braelyn nodded. “Excellent. We’ll do the interview first and then later in the show you’ll be playing.”
“How ya doin? You look a little nervous.”
Braelyn laughed a bit. “A little freaked. Excited though. I’ve never been on television before.”
“Well, you’ll be great, I’m sure.”
“We’ll be standing right there by the camera,” Frankie said as all of the boys gathered off stage.
“You’ll be able to see us the whole time,” Mikey said, arms circling around her waist.
“Showtime,” Mark said, winking and then walking on set. He sat down in on of the chairs on camera. Someone checked her make up and hair one more time while someone else on set began counting down. Then Mark started.
“Welcome to Hoppus on Music on Fuse. Today we have an awesome show. First up, we have a young lady who is currently crossing the country playing music and living her dream. You may not have heard of her before, but after today you’ll never be able to forget her. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Braelyn Porter!”
Braelyn was shocked at the amount of applause that followed Mark’s introduction. A crew member told her to go and Braelyn did her best to confidently walk out onto the set. She waved at the audience with a smile on her face. She hugged Mark and sat in a matching chair, crossing her legs at the ankles. She was looking around in awe. “Wow.”
“Hi. Thanks for having me,” Braelyn said, her voice shaking a little bit.
“For those of you who don’t know, Braelyn is touring with our very good friends, My Chemical Romance.” He paused as the crowd cheered. “So, Braelyn, let’s start from the beginning. Where are you from?”
She looked over at the boys, nervously. They were all either giving her signs of encouragement, or, in Frankie’s case, making faces at her. She smiled and answered, this time without the shake. “I’m from a little town outside of Dallas, Texas.”
“Dallas is a pretty kickin’ scene, if I recall.” Braelyn nodded. “Where you a part of that at all?”
“Ya. Actually I spent a lot of time both in Deep Ellum in Dallas and in Denton as a high schooler, going to shows, performing, helping out at venues. The usual.”
“How long have you been performing?”
“About twelve years. I started playing at a family friend’s bar when I was fifteen. I took a break for a while, but I’ve been back for a few years and it’s been awesome.”
“I hear it’s a pretty interesting story how you came to be on tour with MCR.”
“Definitely unusual,” Braelyn said with a laugh, running a hand through her hair. “I was playing my normal gig in Texas, and my set got cut short by management. I came to find out that my second set of parents, who own the bar, have been friends with the band for a few years and that when they’re in Dallas they always try to swing by and play a set at the Rover. So after meeting them briefly and slightly awkwardly in the break room, I went out to finish my set with requests from patrons. The last one I got was to play ‘Disenchanted.’”
“Had you played their stuff before?”
“Ya. I was doing all kinds of covers at that point and I had probably played ‘Disenchanted’ a thousand times. But there’s a difference between playing it for a bar full of drunk people who probably won’t remember the words and playing it in front of the people who actually wrote the song.”
“Did you fuck it up?” Mark asked, grinning.
“I don’t know. You’d have to ask them.”
“And then they just asked you to go with them?”
“They walked into the bar the next morning and asked if I wanted to go.”
“Tell me about it.”
The rest of the interview passed with the normal questions, who were her influences, what was it like to be on tour, and all that. Then it was the boys’ turn. They fielded questions about what was next for them, life on the road, and even a few well-worded questions about Bob. Then it was time for the performances. Braelyn played a well-received ‘I Need You’ and they boys played ‘Famous Last Words.’
A/N: DID YOU KNOW THEY PLAY DEXTER'S LABORATORY ON BOOMERANG IN THE WEE HOURS OF THE MORNING? I'm thrilled. Continuing on. Kinda filler-y I know, but I had to write something. I have a major block on my other two stories, and I don't think I'll be able to stand it if I get a block on this one too. So I hope it's not awful. Anyways, review. Be awesome. K. hearts, Corri