"Waiting for my prince's return. Hurry up, asshole."
There is a different tone to Saffron's voice and now she's making the director rethink casting her as Rapunzel, the smaller role, instead of Cinderella; it's less acerbic, he notes, and more soothing, innocent. There is an unusual sparkle in her eyes as she gazes off into space dreamily, thinking of her prince. And, in an utterly cheesy moment, she is thinking of her tall and lanky prince with the pinstriped pants, asymmetrical haircut and light brown eyes that make her melt. Never before has she felt so schmaltzy, so over-romantic, but with good reason.
He loves her.
As the stagehands help her off her tower, that is all she can think of, and the goofy smile on her face throws everyone off balance. She was petulant, snarky, obnoxious, blunt, and moody; where did she go right? How did she luck out? And, above all, how did this skinny, intellectual rockstar poet manage to get past all that?
During intermission, she glances at her reflection in the well-lit mirror, almost laughing at the sight. For months, there had been a fear in the back of her mind, a fear that Ryan would leave her for someone blonde (Those musicians tended to go for those flaxen California blondes), and here she is, looking overly ludicrous, almost laughable, in a blonde wig that does not match her naturally tanned skin tone. It might be her dark eyes that throw the entire image off- Rapunzel had always been a blue-eyed beauty in her mind (much like Valerie, as a matter of fact), not that girl staring back in the mirror.
Speak of the devil, Valerie saunters into the large and noisy dressing room, clad in a slightly frumpy Jack's Mother costume. (Valerie had the belting voice and the more mature appearance, while Saffron pulled off a starry-eyed expression, with her delicate soprano- that was why they were not double cast in this particular production.) "Alright, babe, what's the story now?" she asks, with a knowing smile, perching herself on the counter, "you're scaring everyone, and not in a good way."
Like the dreamy, slightly neurotic character she plays, Saffron replies, "He loves me... he told me before my first tower scene." She flinches as Valerie begins to squeal like Marina and hops around the poor girl for a few seconds before pulling her into an awkward embrace (the wig got in the way).
"Oh, good for you, baby, he seems like a great guy," she says sincerely, snatching Saffron's cellphone from the countertop, "Lover boy has to see you like this! Now, pout like the moody girl you are, Saffron!" Saffron gives a good glower at the little camera before they send it across the country, into Ryan's Sidekick.
At a rest stop, Ryan bursts out laughing at the very image of his Saffron, looking falsely wretched in that massive, curly wig. There's a smile somewhere there, tugging at the corners of her lips, and that makes him grin broadly. The message accompanying the picture states: "Waiting for my prince's return. Hurry up, asshole."
"Oh, she's a keeper," Spencer says with a snicker, sipping a Big Gulp and looking over Ryan's shoulder.
As the best friends make a quick phone call to Saffron, Jon eyes Brendon leaning against the bus, flip flopping his way towards him. "Hey, man, are you-"
"I'm just tired," Brendon interrupts. Really, being lethargic was a valid excuse for heartbreak, considering how the band had been bouncing from city to city, making promotions, performing at events, photo shoot after photo shoot...
Jon contemplates on some sort of sage words of wisdom he can give the boy, but, regretfully, nothing comes to mind. (He had never been the go-to man for advice, as awesome as he happened to be.) No, he decides to let Brendon fight his own battles- he was a big boy, he could get through this. A pat on Brendon's arm lets him know that at least Jon will be there.
As they load back onto the bus, Brendon tries to figure out why the hell he's fallen so hard for Miss Moody. He tells himself it is merely because she is the unattainable girl- the one who initially resented him and eventually gave her heart to Ryan. He represses all romantic thoughts of her and tries not to look so pained as Ryan hands him the phone to speak to Saffron.
"Hey, Blondie," he says, managing a grin, the image of her in that hideous (in his opinion) wig embedded in his mind.
"No fair, I don't have a stupid nickname for you!" He could picture the annoyed glare on her face and broadened his smile.
"Too bad, Sex Kitten," that nickname happened to be his favorite next to 'Miss Moody.' "How's the show going?"
"Wonderfully," she replied, "it's a shame you're not here to catch my break down scene. Rapunzel's got postpartum depression- it's fun."
"Only you would find fun in playing a chick with postpartum depression," he snickers, finding comfort in the fact that he still can mange to have a conversation with her without feeling... weird.
"Well, I'm on the cooler side of bizarre," Saffron snickers, "So, how are you doing? Still single?"
Ouch. He flinches and responds, "Oh, well, I might have this thing with one of the dancers."
Saffron clucks her tongue and he can almost hear her roll her eyes. "Of course you do; dancers are the best." Now he can hear a smile. "But, now I have to go before they yell at me for almost missing my cue the last time."
For a few seconds, Brendon glances at the phone in his hands to his good friend, now engrossed in a book. No, he doesn't feel a bit of resentment towards him, knowing that he genuinely cares for her. Perhaps, simply 'getting over it' would be best. "Wait, here, talk to Ryan before you go." He hands the Sidekick to Ryan again, and catches a mumbled 'I love you,' and though it still sends a peculiar pang to his stomach... well, he'll be fine, he knows it.
Closure. They're okay.
Note: Aw, Brendon, you're maturing. ^_^ But, again, this fic ain't over. And, damn, this is the longest fic I've written to date. Seventeen chapters!