Author: Just Emily PM
Andy loves dancing and she loves just being one of the guys. That doesn't mean she wants to be "one of the guys" in some pop boy band. *ON HOLD BUT WILL BE CONTINUED*Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Chapters: 8 - Words: 22,688 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 27 - Updated: 08-27-11 - Published: 12-24-10 - id: 2876093
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
To be fair, Wynn hadn't meant anything impure with his suggestions. According to him, I was a guy after all. Besides, Jude and Eli were also invited. I had gone inside the club right away to see an annoyed Eli reading my note. He accused us of trying to ditch him, but when I told him Wynn's suggestion he brightened up and ran onto the dance floor. I waited outside with Wynn for Eli who dragged along a very disgruntled Jude. The only thing that kept him from refusing was the fact that he already had a number scrawled across his hand.
An hour later I was sitting in Wynn's living room on his multi-colored couch. Eli and Jude had been here many times before so they crouched under his television right away debating over movies to watch and games to play. I ran my hands up and down my legs, jiggling my foot a bit. Wynn was in the kitchen ordering some pizza. I started thinking that it might even be fun. He'd said that we all hadn't had a chance to bond, and here was a chance to better the good old team spirit.
"Here," he tossed me a soda and then sat down on the couch.
"Thanks." I gave a nervous chuckle and looked down at the soda sitting in my hand. I played with the can, shaking it back and forth.
"I had no idea you guys did stuff like this," I commented, trying to fill the silence.
He turned around. "Sleepovers? Hang out? Just because we're famous doesn't mean we're not people."
I'd meant I had no clue boys had sleepover bonding, but that might sound a little odd to say.
"Here." Jude sat back and threw a game controller in my direction.
"Do you game?" Wynn asked as he untangled his own controller
"Sometimes." Thanks to Aaron, I was at proficient in many different video games, especially first person shooters.
"Bring it on," he taunted with a cute boyish grin and right away he sniped my character in the head.
"Not fair!" I complained, but I got my revenge with a machine gun. The four of us went back and forth like this for about half an hour when we heard someone at the door.
"That must be the pizza," I said at the same time that the door burst open and someone stumbled in. Parker zigzagged his way to the living room and then fell down onto the couch. His immense height meant that he ended up sprawled across both Wynn and my laps. After overcoming my initial shock, I looked to Wynn in panic. I didn't need any of my frazzled brain cells to process what was about to happen. He was going to blow.
"I'll take care of him," I blurted in a burst before anyone could get another word it. It was clear that the best thing to do was take him out of there. Whatever crap Wynn was going to give him could wait until later when he wasn't borderline comatose.
"Do you need help?" Eli asked.
"No, I think I have it," I grunted. With my butt I pushed open the door that Wynn pointed to and dragged him in. It wasn't the smoothest way to bring him back to his room, especially since his slumped head bumped into the doorframe. The snort from Wynn told me that he wasn't complaining and aside from a slight grunt Parker didn't do much talking either.
"Help me a little," I groaned as I tried to pull him by the arms up onto the bed. I grabbed under his biceps and braced one leg against the edge of his bed. Using my leg strength, I stood up and pulled the top half of his body with me. I managed to get him partway on and with another strong pull three quarters of him was lying sprawled out over his navy blue covers.
"Good enough," I sighed. Besides, he would have bigger problems than a sore back in the morning. Pulling the covers over him to give him at least a little protection from the cold, I went to shut the door.
I paused and turned around. I had thought that he was just calling out in his sleep, but his head was up and looking straight at me. Instantly, my body stiffened.
"Vesper, I thought you—"
"Shh." I used my hand to shut his eyes so he could go back to sleep. "Just rest."
"Why aren't you nice like this to me anymore?" he grumbled before the alcohol took over again and his body relaxed. I sat by him for a while longer, turning him on his side and checking his breathing every now and then. Once I was sure that his case wasn't too bad and some rest was all he needed I went back to the living room.
"He's an irresponsible little twerp." The others had stopped playing the game and were now all sitting around on the carpet. Wynn's elbow was propped against the edge of the couch and he was rubbing at his eyes with his hand. Jude said something about making some coffee and disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Eli and me behind to take care of the two brothers.
"He's just lucky that tomorrow is a day off," Wynn growled with a glare at the closed door to his brother's room. "What could've gotten into him?"
"You shouldn't be so hard on him," I interjected. I looked to Eli who nodded his consent. Wynn would have understood the reasons if I'd cared to tell him, but even from knowing Parker for only a few weeks, I knew that would make things even worse.
"Are you defending him, now?" Wynn yelled, jumping up and grabbing me by the shirt collar. My heart leapt to my throat as I made sure that everything was still hidden where it was supposed to be. When everything passed inspection, I gestured that I was okay to Eli who was ready to pry Wynn off of me.
"Wynn," I said through gritted teeth. "I know you're just worried about him, but has nothing to do with me. Let go." I placed my hand on top of his and firmly pried his fingers away. He didn't put up much resistance and just went back to the couch, sinking down with the heels of his hands pressed down into his eyes.
"Sorry, Andy," he finally said after a few moments of silence.
"It's all right," I responded stiffly, though my heart still pounded. I had come that close to being found out. It still surprised me how easily he'd managed to push me around.
We all sat that way in silence until Jude came back. If he heard what had happened all the way from the kitchen he didn't show it. He just silently brought over four matching mugs and set them down. The clink of the fourth one hitting the glass coffee table seemed to jolt Wynn awake. He stood up and gestured vaguely to the rest of his apartment.
"You guys are free to use anything. I think I'll go to bed," he mumbled in a tired daze. With a quiet but definitive click, he went into his room and locked the door. I looked to Jude and Eli who just sighed and shook their heads.
"Don't let the coffee go to waste," I ordered, pouring a cup for everyone. I tried to be cheerful, but they just took theirs and didn't say a word. Together, we sat in the silent living room.
"I guess there are some things I don't know about," I finally brought up. They both looked everywhere but my face and made vague shrugging gestures.
"Look, I don't want to pry—"
"Then don't." Jude stated firmly, encouraging me to end the whole thing. What kind of problems did super stars have, anyway? A bad hair day? I threw my cup onto the table, splashing little droplets of coffee on the glass.
"I'm not being nosy. Gossip isn't what I'm after," I clarified. "I just think I need to know these things. It makes it easier to avoid any potential problematic situations in the future."
Eli looked over his slumped shoulder at Jude who was leaning against the couch. He shrugged and then nodded.
"What can we do? He has a point." He followed my lead in pushing his cup onto the table and then sat back down. He tossed some of his hair out of the way and then faced me. I leaned in to show that I was paying attention, and that I took this seriously. I could tell these guys were careful. Any sign that I was just playing around with them, and I could forget staying.
"I'll tell you, but first tell me anything you might know."
It was only a fair exchange of information. However, if they didn't already know about Vesper this could all turn out badly. I'd have to explain how I found out and everything would be over anyway. Who believes that someone eavesdrops accidentally? Even I didn't truly believe it was accidental. I was curious and overstayed my welcome, hearing something I hadn't wanted to hear. On the other hand, if Vesper is what they're talking about, then this could be my chance to get the whole story.
I swallowed. "I think it has something to do with girls."
Jude's eyebrows went up, but he smiled. "Why do you say that?"
"Most things do." I shrugged. It was a reasonable enough truth. Jude nodded.
"Yeah, a girl is basically the root of the problem. You've met her."
"Vesper?" I prodded. It was a little too forceful because Eli started and nudged Jude.
"Should we be saying all this?"
"We can't leave him unprepared," Jude reasoned before nodding with a grim set of his tense jaw. "Yeah. It's Vesper. I don't know what's happened this time, but it must've been pretty bad to drive him to this."
I looked to Parker's door and agreed. I actually knew what she did, and hadn't learned anything I didn't already know.
"So Wynn is pissed because of that?" I asked for clarification of the one detail that didn't fit.
"He is frustrated with him, with her. The whole situation," Eli filled in.
"The situation?" I asked, hoping they would elaborate a little further.
"It's just a very—volatile situation," Eli finally decided. I arched my eyebrow.
"SAT vocabulary. Very impressive." I decided that they weren't going to tell me much more tonight so I tried to use humor to defuse the situation.
"Just because I do this doesn't mean I don't study. I was a normal kid, too, for a while there." He reached over and tossed me a controller.
"Come on, I'll kick your ass again."
"Not if I do it first," Jude joined in. Together we spent the next five hours taking out our frustrations on wave after wave of zombie invaders, fueled by the pizza that finally arrived around one in the morning. When the rosy haze of the sun started shining through the window, we finally gave it up and sat together in a heap on the floor. Outside, we heard the low rumble of the first early workers and the sounds of many breakfast vendors setting up shop. We were delirious from our lack of sleep, and our night of bonding had made us comrades. It was weird, but I finally got the concept of a bromance. I'd have to report my findings to Leslie later.
"Hey," I broke our comfortable, sleepy silence. "While we're on the topic of girls, tell me about Katherine."
"Oh, so you know about her, huh?" Jude asked, but this time the topic was much lighter. He nudged Eli. "Show her that picture you carry around."
"No," Eli tried to squirm away but sleep bogged down his movements. We managed to overpower him in seconds and I pulled out a very worn picture. It didn't look particularly old, but he must've taken it out to look at it a lot. In it was a girl with brown curly hair looking at the camera with a shy half-smile. Her dark eyes gave the camera a cute sidelong glance, and her eyes clearly gave the impression that she cared deeply for whoever was behind the camera lens.
"Did you take this picture? It's nice," I commented calmly before handing the picture back. My true self wanted to squeal it.
"Yeah, I did. Thanks." Eli tucked it back into his jeans pocket again and pushed his hat low over his eyes to lock us out. Too bad for him, Jude and I weren't the most sensitive of people, at least we pretended not to be when we pulled him up and assured him that after Parker, we'd help reunite him with Katherine. He got annoyed and told us to leave him alone, but I could see the small smile on his face.
"At least she doesn't have a boyfriend, right?" I asked positively.
"Not according to Facebook, at least." Eli blushed at his admission that he still Facebook stalked his ex-girlfriend.
"If the social bible doesn't say it, then it doesn't exist." I clapped him on the back and then threw myself on the couch.
"I'm going to pass out in about five minutes," I slurred, rolling to my side on the couch.
"Don't hog it!" complained Eli who tried to push my legs away and carve himself some room on the couch as well. We compromised when I let him on, but claimed the pillows for myself and made a nice soft footrest.
"I'm used to staying up all night," Jude revealed suggestively with a wink, "So I think I'll start on breakfast."
"Jude, we love you," Eli and I said in a chorus before the blackness swallowed any other thoughts I had.
When I woke up, my first instinct was that no time had passed at all. The sky was still the light salmon pink and there were the sounds of vendors setting up. I lay on the couch playing with my newly sheared hair when I realized that I was alone. Where was Eli? Jude? My eyes fell to the coffee table where I saw a plate of waffles and bacon.
Enough time had passed at least for Jude to cook breakfast. I stuffed some delicious slices of pig into my mouth and then explored the apartment. There were dirty dishes in the kitchen sink that intermittently dripped water drops. I solved that problem with a forceful turn of the tap. Now, everything was silent. I made my way back to the couch quite sure that I was alone. Along the way, I passed by an analog clock. The hands read eight o'clock.
Please tell me that it's eight AM. I rushed to the window and saw that instead of setting up some of the venders were starting to close up and pack away for tomorrow. Falling back onto the couch, I twisted and turned, looking to see if anything had been left for me. Lifting up the plate, I found a crumpled sheet of paper. There was a coffee mug stain in one corner.
Couldn't wake you up. Eli and Jude went home. I'll be back around nine.
There was no way to see when he had written this. It could've been ten minutes ago or hours ago. I rolled my neck and worked out a few of the kinks in my back muscles. It was a good rest, at least. Happily, I started chewing on my waffles and turned on the television. A quarter of the way into an episode of Spongebob, I heard the sound of whooshing water. My head flicked up in panic. I'd thought I was alone.
The bathroom door opened with a loud bang and a tall figure walked out. Well, Parker stumbled ore than walked out. He managed to make his way over to the couch where he hit my legs to make me move over. I don't know if he even recognized me or if he simply thought I was Wynn distorted by the hangover. He pulled the bacon off of my plate and stuffed it into his mouth.
"Hey! Those were mine." I pounded on his back, but it was too late. So many strips of bacon lost.
"Jerk," I growled. I finished off the waffles before he could filch those too and dumped the plates in the sink. I decided that since I freeloaded off of Wynn for a night, the least I could do was wash the dishes for him. By the time I finished and returned to the living room, it looked like Parker had regained some cognitive skills.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
"We had a band bonding session last night."
"A what? Without me?" he asked indignantly.
"Kind of hard to when you're passed out and drunk," I replied matter-of-factly as I brought the coffee mugs from last night to be washed, too. When I came back this time, Parker had his coat on and was reaching for the keys on the hook.
"Where are you going?"
His tone made my anger prickle. "Whatever. Just don't get drunk again."
"Screw you," he replied before throwing the door closed behind him. I sat down on the couch with my arms entwined and my legs crossed.
He can do whatever he wants. My foot jiggled up and down as I thought this, fuming. Unfortunately, just then a car screeched by the window, and I realized all the types of trouble he could get into in his current condition. At the very least, he might get lost in the city's winding streets.
"Dramatic prick," I muttered when I reached for my own coat and ran out after him.