Categories > Celebrities > Fall Out Boy > Everybody Wants Somebody

Chapter 5: Hum Hallelujah

by scarsandstories93 0 reviews

First shows and first glances. Enter Bill Beckett.

Category: Fall Out Boy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover,Drama,Romance - Published: 2017-03-30 - 3021 words

“I comb the crowd and pick you out. My mouth moves too fast for you to figure it out. It starts eyes closed, to fingers crossed, to ‘I swear, I say. I swear, I say.’

"To hands between legs, to whatever it takes, to drinks at the club to the bar to the keys to your car, to hotel stairs, to the emergency exit door. To the love, I left my conscience pressed between the pages of the Bible in the drawer. ‘What did it ever do for me?’ I say. It never calms me when I’m down. Love never wanted me, but I took it anyway. Put your ear to the speaker and choose love or sympathy, but never both. Love never wanted me.”

Sarah took a deep breath as she stepped out of her car, Gretsch in hand. Bill’s home was small but quaintly beautiful on the outside. It reminded her of Patricia’s home in Glenview but with more brick and ivy on the front and with more concrete jungle surrounding it on either side. The butterflies had returned; why was she so anxious? She’d rehearsed plenty before today. Was it meeting Bill, or was it something else? Or rather, was it someone else?

She shoved her trepidation aside as she knocked on the front door. She heard someone clamoring down the steps and pause before they opened the door. In front of her stood a tall, pale man with a boyish face, dark brown eyes, and cropped wavy ashy brown hair. A fedora atop his head, a classy but casual vest and skinny khakis accentuated his thin frame.

“Sarah?” He asked tentatively. They smiled sheepishly at each other.

“Yeah. Bill, right?” He nodded and stepped aside to let her in. She took in the home around her as he closed the door: plain but carefully assembled, with lots of antique wood. “Your home is pretty lovely.” Jesus why did I say that?

“Thanks,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck and fidgeting with his hat. “I mean, it’s home.” He smiled at her again. They stood around in the entryway for what felt to Sarah like an eternity. “So, off to the studio? For the collab?” He asked with a clap of his hands.

“Let’s do it!” Sarah followed Bill up the stairs to his studio. A camera and microphone were pinned to a wall on swivel mounts. A medium-sized Turkish rug laid beneath them. Six different guitars hung on the adjacent wall; another wall had a desk with a computer facing the window. A small loveseat and an armchair matching the rug rounded out the feel of the room. He gestured to the loveseat for her to sit, and he took a seat in the armchair once he chose one of his acoustic guitars. Sarah intuitively began tuning and playing short scales and riffs, only looking up when she felt him staring at her. He caught himself and spoke.

“So, this collab,” he started, clearing his throat. “There’s a song off of, ah, of something new I’m working on a--and I’d like to share the stage with you when I premier it.”

“Oh! Neat! Wow!” She felt herself starting to sputter. So much for those public speaking lessons. “Wait, don’t you have a band? Patrick mentioned--”

“Oh, well, I mean, yeah, I—I do. I just, I mean, Patrick gets it. A band is a group effort and I like to work on some of my own stuff, too.” She nodded and smiled at him when she noticed his blushing.

“Do you have the demo for the song recorded yet?” He got up and fumbled around his computer.

“Yeah yeah, I do, just a sec.” After some furious typing and clicking, Bill brought the computer back to Sarah and pressed play.

“Early in the morning, feet stuck on the ground.
Gotta fix my cup of caffeine, then I'm turning things around.
Climbing up the mountain, a piano on my back,
Gotta cut it loose, throw away the noose and forget about the past.

I know you're gonna say I'm not cool enough,
Tell all your friends I screwed it up.
I could give two shits, just let me breathe.

I don't, I don't care what you’re saying about me,
No I don't care.
I don't, I don't care what you think about me,
No I don't care.
Well I can't let you be this constant compromising me.
Comatose bones in the silicone drones.

Early in the morning, feet stuck on the ground.
Gotta fix my cup of caffeine, then I'm turning things around, yeah.
Climbing up the mountain, a piano on my back,
Gotta cut it loose, throw away the noose and forget about the past.

I know you're gonna say I'm not cool enough,
Tell all your friends I screwed it up.
I could give two shits, just let me breathe.

I don't, I don't care what you’re saying about me,
No I don't care.
I don't, I don't care what you think about me,
No I don't care.
Well I can't let you be this constant compromising me.
Comatose bones in the silicon drones.

Leaving it behind me, snake skin in my tracks.
The venom could have killed me, I sucked it up and spit it back.
When you finally close the window, you find an open door,
But it’s up to you to walk right through and forget about before.

I know you're gonna say I'm not cool enough,
Tell all your friends that I screwed it up.
I could give two shits, just let me breathe.

I don't, I don't care what you’re saying about me,
No I don't care.
I don't, I don't care what you think about me,
No I don't care.
Well, I can't let you be this constant compromising me.

Comatose bones in the silicon drones,
Drowning and drowning and drowning into deep doubt.
Comatose bones into silicon clones,
Drowning and drowning and drowning into deep doubt.”

Sarah had gotten really into the song. She resonated deeply with the lyrics; hell yes she didn’t give any shits, just let her be. There she was, the afternoon before her first live performance living in a city she’d heard so much about, living the life she’d known she always wanted, and there wasn’t anyone alive who would make her compromise her aspirations.

The thought of her parents brought a tear to her eye.

“Fuck fuck fuck was it that bad that it made you cry?” Bill placed an arm around her shoulder. She laughed, wiping the tear away.

“It’s just, my parents. They didn’t exactly approve of my life goals when they were alive, and for the first time I get to live just for me. Your song reminded me of that.” He suddenly remembered he was touching her, and she felt the hesitance in her skin. “Anyway, basically the lyrics really spoke to me, and the beat is awesome, and I’d be honored to premier this with you.” He grinned and dropped his arm from around her.

“Then let’s get started.”

They spent the next couple of hours helping Sarah memorize lyrics and deciding who would play what and on which instruments. Bill appreciated her ability to pick up the melodies quickly and her intuition on when to improvise. He was enthralled with her talent, the way she sang, how she played, the way she moved…

On the last run-through, he checked his watch and turned back to Sarah, startled.

“Oh, shit, we should probably head out,” he said as he got up and started gathering his things together. Sarah’s heart nearly stopped; suddenly she’d remembered she was performing tonight, and she was paralyzed. Bill stopped and looked at her, smiling. “Hey,” he reassured, walking up to her and putting a hand on her shoulder. “You got this. We got this.” He squeezed her shoulder as she looked up at him and smiled warmly. She felt like she could almost get lost in his eyes… She realized she stared too long and blushed.

“Thanks,” she squeaked. She stood and gathered her guitar and bag, following Bill out of the room and down the stairs. They hung around the entryway for a moment, both awkwardly shifting their weight back and forth as they passed glances.

“So uh, meet you there I guess?” Bill asked.

“Um, yeah, I uh, I guess so. See you.” Sarah moved her hair behind her ear. Bill opened the door for her, and out she went.

As she put her guitar in the back seat and attempted not to hyperventilate from the impending nerves from the show, she noticed Bill come running towards her.

“Hey! Did I forget something in there?”

“Oh! Well, no, no you didn’t. But um,” he looked at his shoes as he ruffled his hair, “since this is going to be, uh, our last, like, more calm time alone for awhile, uh, would you, um-- oh fuck.” He sighed heavily. “Would you like to go out for coffee sometime?” Surprised, Sarah just stood there, keys in her hand and blinking blankly. “Sarah?”

“Oh! Uh, I uh, well I’m flattered but, God, I--”

“I don’t need an answer right away if you need some time, I know it’s kinda crazy today and it’s a long shot.” She sighed, relieved. “I’m still stoked for tonight though. You’re gonna be great. We’re, uh, we’re gonna be great.” He smiled as he waved, jogging back inside with gusto.

Sarah sat in her car a little stunned. But why was she? She could tell he liked her, or at least was interested in her, and she thought she might be interested, too? What was holding her back? Or, she supposed, who? She contemplated the dilemma on her drive to the venue.


It was about fifteen minutes before her set. She’d felt reinvigorated during sound check, but as the time to go on stage neared, she felt the nerves setting in again. She paced around backstage impulsively, pulling at her fingers and wringing her hands. Bill had been keeping his distance since asking her out. And Patrick had said there was a surprise waiting for her, but she hadn’t talked to him all day. What is he up to? She pondered. She tried to peek out into the audience when someone tapped her shoulder, sending her a foot in the air.

“Pete?!? You fucking scared me!” She play slapped him, and he laughed. They went in for a hug. “What’re you doing here?”

“I’m the surprise!” He boasted. “Surprise!”

“What do you mean you’re ‘the surprise’?” He clutched his heart and dramatized a heart attack.

“Aw, Sarah, I’m hurt, that really hurts.”

“You know what I mean, dude.”

“Well gee since it’s like that,” he said, miming brushing himself off. “I’m here on official business.” Sarah raised an eyebrow; he stuck out a hand for her to shake. “On behalf of Decaydance Records, I’d like to inform you that a certain,” he coughed, “SOMEONE will be in the audience tonight who is interested in signing you.” Two and two clicked in her head, and she excitedly shook his hand.

“Fuck! Wow! Wait, really?” He laughed.

“Well, it depends on how the night goes. Your performance quality and audience reaction and all that, but based on your demo, it shouldn’t be that much of a concern.” He winked at her, and she hugged him again.

“Thanks, Pete.”

“No problem. Anyway, I better sneak out there, but break a leg!” He winked again and walked off. Seeing someone more familiar helped ease her anxiety, and by the time her set started, she strutted out on stage.

As she walked out into the darkness and heard the audience erupt with anticipation, it occurred to her that she hadn’t thought of a damn thing to say when she got up to the microphone. The lack of foresight was nearly enough to send her running back off-stage and chalking her dream up as a loss. But when the lights went up, something in her turned on, too.

It was like she became a different person, like a hidden aspect of her personality made an override in her brain. Sarah became confident, cool, collected; a natural-born musician and performer. She transitioned between her introduction, two demo songs, and a Fall Out Boy cover of “XO” with ease; she found Pete hanging out towards the back of the venue and winked at him. An enthusiastic and receptive audience reinforced her mantra: I was born for this.

When she returned backstage, Sarah was coated in a light layer of sweat and natural oxytocin. Her skin tingled with an afterglow. Bill gave her a thumbs-up as she went into the dressing area to freshen up and do a quick final run-through of his song. A soft knock on the doorframe pulled her focus.

“Patrick?!?” Sarah jumped up, put her guitar down, and hugged him excitedly. Patrick chuckled. “How--”

“I told you I moved some things around,” he answered nonchalantly with a grin. “Did you see Pete?”

“Yeah, he came by before I went on! Thank you, for sending him, I mean.” She blushed. “How was LA?” He groaned.

“Same old, same old. I’m just glad I got to make it out for this.” He kept grinning at her. Sarah tried not to overthink it.

“Did Bill tell you we’re premiering a collab for his solo project?” Patrick nodded.

“Yeah he--” His phone started ringing; he checked the caller ID and silenced it. “So, yeah, he told me right after you guys practiced at his place. He sent me the demo but--” The phone rang again; he muttered something under his breath. “Sorry, I have to take this real quick, one sec. Hey, you. Yeah. Yeah, I’m here. Mhmm, but—Yeah. Yep. But hey, Elisa, I really—Hey I really gotta go but I’ll call you back in a few minutes. Yeah. Yes, I will! Oka—Okay. Yes. You too.” He sighed as he hung up. Sarah looked at him inquisitively.

“So who was that, your girlfriend?” She asked jokingly.

“Well, actually yeah.” Sarah’s heart panged. “That’s Elisa. We had dated for, uh, for awhile before we broke up for a bit, but we’re newly back together so--” Sarah nodded, careful not to let her feelings slip.

“Well, hey, if you’re happy, I’m happy, man.” She smiled at him. It felt forced.

“It’s, it’s complicated. But that’s a conversation for another time. Tonight’s about you.” He smiled at her as he reached into his bag and pulled out a small white box with a bow. “Go on, open it.”

“Patrick you didn’t have--”

“Nonsense, just open it. You’ll see.” She made a face and blushed, slowly pulling off the bow. Upon opening the box, she discovered a long silver necklace with a guitar pick holder at the end. “It’s to hold your guitar pick from tonight so you can always keep those energies and vibes and shit with you when you play. We musicians are incredibly superstitious, so anything we think will help us play well and have a good show, we’ll do it.” Sarah hugged him, but it felt different from before.

“Thanks, Patrick. Very thoughtful of you.” She heard the crowd go wilder from Bill going on stage. “I should probably head out there, give him my support.”

“Yeah, I should probably go, too. Give Elisa a call back.”

“Yeah.” She offered a small smile. “So, see you later?”

“Definitely.” He hugged her again before he walked out. Sarah had to fight to maintain her composure. What the fuck? She thought. Why was she so upset? He was just a friend and a mentor but not much more. A one-night stand, sure, but certainly not a lover. And yet—

She set aside further considerations on the subject as she grabbed her guitar and went to watch Bill play.

In an instant, Bill transformed from the awkward, shy boy she had known until that moment to a confident, stage-loving man who thrived under the lights. Sarah had failed to see their similarities before, but now…

She lost herself in watching him perform until her attention jerked into the present when he introduced his collaboration with her. She eagerly whipped her guitar strap over her shoulder and sashayed beside Bill. They shared a smile.

The entire time they played together, they were perfectly in sync. They took turns prancing and dancing around the stage, singing to each other and to the crowd. Sarah let any tension she’d had melt away with each pluck of her guitar strings. The song came to a close with her and Bill singing in unison, standing with their noses almost touching; some members of the audience whooped and hollered and whistled at them.

“Our Creative Differences, everybody!” Bill announced. The crowd applauded, the noise ringing in Sarah’s ears. The whole time, she couldn’t stop staring into Bill’s eyes. The exhilarating experience buzzed on her skin and vibrated into her bones like a deep tissue massage. Or like falling into, well, something that she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

Bill pulled her into a hug, allowing her to talk in his ear.

“About that date. I’d love to.” She ended the hug with a big grin, nodding in reassurance. She waved and backed off the stage. She decided she was going to be happy, goddamn it; why not give Bill a shot?

“So hum hallelujah, just off the key of reason. I thought I loved you, but it's just how you looked in the light. A teenage vow in a parking lot, ‘til tonight do us part.’ I sing the blues and swallow them, too.”
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