"Have you seen my phone?"
He fixed his attention on the girl standing before him. His green eyes—dull and bloodshot from a night of hard drinking—focused on her as he adopted an innocent expression that would be cuteness personified, if it wasn't so damn annoying.
"Phone? What phone?" he off-handedly asked, opening up a nearby magazine.
"My phone!" she stressed the 'my' part.
"What's it look like?"
She put a hand on her hip and stared at the pixie-ish man who was holed up in his usual corner of the tour bus. He was randomly flipping through that stupid magazine, with nothing more on his mind than annoying her half to death.
"You know what it looks like."
"Is it purple with a 'Hello Kitty' theme?"
"Brandon! Have you seen my phone?" she exploded.
"Now Belle, sweetheart—don't get your knickers in a twist."
She stomped her foot and decided that talking to Brandon was completely pointless.
Turning away from her arch nemesis, she screamed, "Andy!"
"What?" the disgruntled drummer barked as he staggered out of the sleeping area of the bus. He was rubbing at his eyes so harshly, she wondered if they'd survive the torture.
Even though she was near positive that he'd be of little to no help either, she asked of him, "Have you seen my phone?"
Completely oblivious to what she'd just gone through with their lead singer he muttered, "What phone?"
She growled in response while Brandon snickered in the corner like the ridiculous little child he was.
"Why are you so chipper?" Andy asked said child. "I feel like hell."
"Look like hell too," came the drawling remark.
"Thanks a lot, you little dwarf."
"Boys, come on!" Belle stomped her foot again, trying to get their attention. "I need my phone!"
"What for?" Brandon fixed his eyes back on the magazine—barb trading with the drummer forgotten for the immediate future.
"Someone make him stop asking such stupid questions!" she wailed in sheer frustration.
"Stop. Yelling." Andy very quietly requested. "Head. Hurts."
"Serves you right for getting so wasted last night," Belle chastised.
She lifted up a few random pillows, hoping that miraculously her phone would be lying there, just waiting for her.
No such luck.
She groaned—very angry with the whole situation. The sinking feeling that Brandon had purposely done something with the phone didn't help that anger any.
Immature little bastard, she thought to herself.
Then there was Andy, who was acting like any noise she made was only to further irritate him. Well, it wasn't her fault that she needed her phone. After all, it wasn't like she was looking for it to annoy the horribly hung over drummer. She needed it to take care of their stupid business affairs. Once again, she asked herself why she'd ever agreed to be the manager of a rock band. And one with such an annoying, whiny, diva of a singer, at that.
It was a decision that she regretted every single day of her life—usually in the morning.
"Do we have anything to eat?" another voice—this time belonging to a certain bass player named Matty—entered the arena.
"Donuts!" Brandon excitedly exclaimed, clapping his hands together for effect. He was just a tad too jubilant for so early in the morning. Matty glared at the singer for even daring to be so hyper whilst he felt like he'd just been flattened by a steamroller.
"Are you on drugs?" the bass player asked as he rubbed at his eyes (much in the same manner as Andy, actually).
"Who else do you think he's talking to, you stupid—" Belle started, only to be cut off by Brandon.
"Now, now, Princess—there's no need for name calling."
"Where are those so-called donuts?" Matty called out to Brandon, making a brave attempt to ignore Belle and Brandon's routine bickering.
"Well, you see the thing is… that I sort of ate most of them, so there's only those nasty glazed ones left."
"You only left glazed? What's wrong with you?" Matty incredulously asked.
"Well how am I to be expected to go for a disgusting glazed donut when there's a blueberry filled one staring at me? Or raspberry? Ooooh—or chocolate custard? That one was the best!"
"There was chocolate custard?"
"Mm-huh," Brandon nodded his head in confirmation. "Two actually. But Belle snatched the second one away from me before I got more than a bite."
"How many donuts did you eat?" Andy piped up. "I thought you were watching your figure?"
Brandon turned around and glared. "You trying to say I need to lose weight?"
Andy shrugged noncommittally. Brandon felt his t-shirt clad stomach, trying to discern if he'd put on a significant amount of weight over the past couple of days. Before he came to a conclusion, Matty's voice interrupted.
"You know that chocolate custard is my favorite, Bran."
"Well, you can't blame me for this," Brandon tried pathetically to defend himself. "I mean, it's not my fault that you decided to sleep until all hours of the afternoon. I was hungry and—" he trailed into one of his usual made up excuses, even though Matty had ceased listening long ago.
After he finished lamely defending himself, Brandon's green eyes wandered over to Belle, who was in the middle of dumping all his make-up over the floor of the bus. He scoffed to himself; yeah, like he'd stick her phone in his make-up case.
"What are you doing?" Matty was the one to ask her.
"Looking for my phone. I don't suppose you've seen it, have you, Matty?"
She groaned under her breath and threw a tube of mascara at Brandon.
"What was that for?" he whined, wincing as the plastic tube hit his shoulder.
She ran her hands through her hair, trying to refrain from just screaming at them all to shut the hell up and stop bothering her. "What now Matty?"
"Are we playing a show tonight?"
"Do we have to?"
"Yes. Unless you would like a mob scene."
"They'll all gang up on Bran anyway, so what do I care?"
He put his head in his hands, asking Andy if he had any Aspirin.
"That's a good point." The brunette girl stole a quick glance at the man in question, who was giving an irritated look over the pages of his magazine. "The world sure would be a much more peaceful one without Bran polluting it."
"And without Bran, you, my darling, would not have a job," the singer decided to set that point straight.
"Jobs are easy to get."
"Are they?" He raised an eyebrow. "Well, in that case, I feel that it's my duty to inform you that managers are extremely easy to replace."
"Are you firing me?" she posed the question.
It certainly wouldn't be the first time that he'd threatened such an action. Hell, he'd gone so far as to make the driver stop the bus in the middle of the freeway and try and shove her outside. It was only with the combined efforts of Andy and Matty, that he was thwarted. Surprising that it took the both of them, as Brandon was rather small.
She glared at the bane of her existence, daring him to fire her.
"I think I might do just that," he nodded his head, taking the dare.
"No you won't," Matty intervened. "Now sit down and be the good little singer that we all know you can be."
Brandon pouted, but never-the-less sat down, making sure that Belle knew exactly what he thought of her by glaring dangerously. She didn't shrink back—hell, she wasn't even fazed by the look, which only made him pout more.
"Where are we playing tonight?" Andy asked, barely acknowledging the showdown between the manager and the singer.
Belle called out the location over her shoulder, resuming the search for her phone. "We'll be there in a few hours and you guys need to wake up because you've got interviews as soon as we get there."
"You mean, I have interviews," Brandon emphasized. "It's always band interview, but somehow it ends up being Brandon interview."
"Well I don't see what the problem is. All you do is lie through them."
She lifted up various articles of clothing that were strewn over the floor—mainly belonging to Brandon, of course.
"But it's exhausting to lie three hundred times a day," he whined. "Aw, what the hell is this shit?"
Belle looked up to see that he was staring dejectedly at the magazine in front of him. Even at the distance that she was from him, she could still see, in a massive two-page layout, Brandon's angular face staring out from the pages of the trash publication. She took a few steps closer to him, intrigued to find out what the newest rumor about the lithe singer was.
"Brandon Tamblyn involved in—" Belle started to read over his shoulder. "What the fucking hell!" she screamed at the top of her lungs.
"Uh-huh." He shoved the magazine in her face. "Journos suck."
"What'd they write about this time?" Matty asked, usually not interested in such things. "Is Brandon balding again? Dating Madonna? Obsessed with the Teletubbies?"
"This is horrible," Belle muttered to herself, barely believing what she was seeing in front of her face.
"What's horrible?" Matty managed to pull himself up and over towards Belle and Brandon.
"Why would they … I mean … gah!" She finally just threw the magazine across the room, unintentionally hitting Matty in the chest with it.
The tall bass-player reached down to pick up the magazine that had apparently made Belle rather angry and had Brandon looking very put out. Even Andy had taken an interest, wanting to know what had gotten everyone so wound up. His curiosity, however, wasn't peaked enough for him to consider moving. Luckily, for him, Matty read the entire article aloud… much to the chagrin of the two small person's sitting in the corner.
"Brandon Tamblyn involved in whirlwind love affair with female manager," Matty read the headline. Andy practically choked on nothing in particular, too surprised to utter a word. Matty continued, "Brandon Tamblyn, lead singer of the band Nancy Boy, has finally accomplished the impossible; he has fallen in love. After years of his infamous bed-hopping routine, sources close to the compact singer have informed us that he has fallen head over heels in love with Isabelle Chandler—the manager of his band. This will be the second time the two lovebirds are taking a go at a relationship, briefly dating before the band was formed. The two are said to be almost inseparable and sources also say that a marriage might not be too far away. Is this a sign that Brandon has grown up? Or will he end up breaking the heart of the adorable Isabelle? You tell us your opinions. To vote, call—"
Matty trailed off, looking up from the gossip magazine to see that Andy's mouth was hanging wide open and the two lovebirds in question were both wearing matching expressions; that is to say, they were sulking. Brandon had his arms crossed over his chest, while Belle was resting her chin in her hands as she listened to the article that she'd just skimmed through moments earlier.
"The question is, who sold this bogus exclusive to the fucking paper!" Brandon threw a fit truly worthy of a pampered Diva. "Marriage? In love with her!"
He acted as though it would be the end of the world to marry her. Belle was highly insulted, despite the fact that she pretty much loathed Brandon with the fire of a thousand suns. What the hell had he thought about her when they actually had been on good terms? Did he think her so revolting then?
She blinked back to the present when she realized that Brandon was currently throwing a hissy fit.
He was kicking at cushions, screaming at the top of his rather well developed lungs, and topped it off by going completely psycho on the paper, tearing it up into tiny little shreds. Matty leaned against a table, attempting to out-wait this little tantrum. Andy, likewise, sat off to the side, groaning with every shrill outburst that escaped the small man's mouth. Belle, on the other hand, smiled happily, when she saw that Brandon's fit had unearthed her phone.
She snatched it up, vowing to never let it leave her sight again. Now came the problem of finding a place far enough away so that Brandon's temper tantrum would be in the background and she could take care of what she'd been trying to take care of for close to an hour by that point.
"Where are you going?" Brandon gave her an accusatory look.
"I found my phone," she calmly told him, "so, I'm going to use it now."
"Are you not upset over this … this … crap?" He pointed to the ground where small pieces of paper had filtered over his shoes.
"Of course I'm upset. But it's just a stupid gossip rag," she pointed out, walking past him. "No need for hissy fits, Bran."
And with that last sentence, she retreated to the front of the bus, her favorite hangout when Brandon was being difficult. Needless to say, she saw more of the driver than almost anyone on that damn bus.
She threw back the curtain that separated the driver from the rest of the bus.
Cassi laughed. "Brandon getting on your nerves again." She didn't even bother to phrase it as a question—it was a given; Brandon was being an asshole.
"When isn't he?" She sighed and turned on her phone, happy to see that it wasn't in need of re-charging. At least she was having some kind of luck. "He's in the middle of a temper tantrum over a recent gossip magazine."
"Oh yeah, I hear the two of you are quite the hot item," she chuckled a little.
"You've seen the article?"
"Oh um… yeah," Cassi almost guiltily answered.
Belle raised an eyebrow. "Was the magazine yours?"
"No, one of the roadies brought it. I told him to hide it so the two of ya's wouldn't get a look at it."
"Oh, come on we'd see it sooner or later," she admitted. "It doesn't upset me that much, especially when I think about how much it upsets Bran. Think about like that and I get a kick out of it."
"Gotta love those antagonistic relationships."
"Oh yeah—they're hella fun," Belle sarcastically uttered, flipping through a bunch of papers to find the number that she was looking for.
Meanwhile, the saneband members—that is to say, Matty and Andy—were busy trying to calm the less than sane one. Brandon's morning, which had previously been off to a fairly decent start, had quickly taken a nosedive down to hell. Andy groaned and wondered how much more he could take. Tours were hell and he found himself wishing more and more for the comfort home.
At least back home, it was infinitely easier to avoid Brandon. Well, not really, but you could hide in your house and lock him out at the very least.
"Those interviewers today are going to get a mouthful," Brandon muttered to himself, pacing back and forth in his frustration. "Bloody horrible profession they have. Spreading lies about small, defenseless little singers. What shall I do to them?"
"How about you be a sweet, adorable little singer and not antagonize anyone else for today?"
"Not antagonize?" Brandon quirked an eyebrow at that. "Matty, you do realize who you're talking to, don't you?"
"Okay, I'm sure that I'm wasting my breath, but the journos we'll be talking to today don't have anything to do with what's written in that magazine." Andy pointed to the remains that were still festering on the carpet from their encounter with Brandon.
"Trying to appeal to Bran's common sense side, there, Andrew?" Matty practically had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing at the absurd idea.
"Trying," he mumbled back in response.
"Well, how would you two like it if you constantly had complete shit written about you for all of the world to read? Huh? I don't think you'd appreciate it very much. For fuck's sake, if they absolutely have to write about me and all my wonderfulness—which by the way, I can understand—why can't they at least get the fucking facts straight?"
"Well, Bran, you see," Matty draped an arm around the singer who was wound up so tight, it was a wonder that he hadn't spontaneously combusted, "that's one of the perks of not being the gorgeous heartthrob of the band. You're granted anonymity from the tabloids."
"Could be worse," Andy added off-handedly.
"And how could it possibly be worse?" Brandon lethally glared while he flicked Matty off.
"Just could," the drummer shrugged.
"Are you purposely being evasive, or are you just trying to irk me?" Brandon blurted.
"Oh, just shut up." Andy tried to shoo him away.
"Don't dismiss me!" Brandon pointed a very accusing finger at the drummer, who so seriously was not in the mood to deal with a midget threatening him.
"Shoo bug, shoo," he waved his hand again.
Andy was completely taken off guard by the small man attacking him. One wouldn't necessarily think Brandon would be hard to control, just due to his size (or lack thereof) but he was one fast bastard when he wanted to be. He was able to dodge and maneuver his way out Andy's grasp, which surprisingly gave him the upper hand.
For a little while, anyway.
Andy eventually managed to get him under control, but not without a lot of—what he perceived to be—very unnecessary abuse. He had a scratch the size of the Grand Canyon on his forearm, where Brandon had taken his nails to him. Crafty little asshole, Andy thought to himself.
"Jesus Fucking Christ!" he yelled, as a sharp pain went into his other, un-wounded arm. He flung Brandon off—hurling him clear across the other side of the room. As Belle had chosen that inopportune moment to re-enter the room, she was graced with the pleasure of breaking Brandon's fall.
He crashed into her with a force that sent her down to the floor in a heap, with the singer landing on top of her. She coughed and wheezed, as all the wind was knocked out of her. Anyone else would have been able to easily catch the skeletal Brandon and set him neatly on his feet again, but as she happened to be the one person in the world who was actually smaller than he was, she took the fall considerably bad.
"You little shit!" Andy roared. "You fucking bit me!"
"You shooed me away!" Brandon screeched, trying to pull himself up off Belle, who was kicking at him with everything she had within her breathless body.
Matty chose that time to intervene and pulled Brandon off the crushed brunette, making her practically sigh in relief. Only, she couldn't sigh, because she couldn't breathe. She held her stomach and rolled over on her side, wanting to cry when her phone ended up crushed under Brandon's boots. She heard it break in half and cursed whatever god there might be, while simultaneously trying to think of a way to kill Brandon that wouldn't get her thrown in jail as a result.
"And so you bite me?" Andy was busy still yelling at Brandon.
"You had me in a fucking head-lock!" the smaller man yelled back.
"That doesn't mean—"
"Benefits of having pointy teeth." He bared his almost unnaturally long incisors, apparently trying to be intimidating to the drummer, who was about twice his size.
"You're a regular Dracula," Belle said, her voice still not completely back to normal. She coughed again and managed to pull herself up to her feet, with help from Matty, of course.
"Are you okay?" he asked her.
"At least someone cares," she snorted, trying to smooth her clothes a little.
She wanted to scream in complete frustration when Brandon flung himself at the drummer again with a murderous rage in his eyes. Matty got between the two men, who were acting like anything but men at that moment. Brandon was acting more like a girl what with all that scratching and biting that he was inflicting upon Andy.
Of course, Matty thought with a grin, Brandon always was kind of feminine.
Staring at the back of Brandon's tousled locks, Belle had the uncontrollable urge to whack him with something hard and knock him unconscious for a couple of hours, so she could get some fucking peace! Looking around for something that would do the trick proved to be a futile effort and she almost gave up that plan, when she suddenly stepped on a part of her broken cellular phone. Picking up the part that had once been the ear peace, she aimed for the middle of his head and threw the dismembered phone with all her might.
Clutching his neck, where the phone ended up hitting, Brandon turned around in muted shock. In turn—his inability to utter a single syllable caused everyone else to stare in equal amounts of muted shock. Belle, on the other hand, just planted her hand very firmly on her hip and reamed into the two men who had been fighting like school children.
"If you could kindly remember that you are twenty-five years old, Brandon, I have something important to discuss with you."
"Why you—" he started, only to be shot a warning look by Matty, who silently told him that if he didn't calm down, there would be hell to pay. As Matty was quite a bit taller than he was, Brandon actually decided to back down for once in his life. Andy, meanwhile, nursed his arms, which were both bleeding lightly and sat back down in his previous position.
"Come on, Bran—just calm down," Matty pleaded his friend.
"Fine." He crossed his arms over his narrow chest, still miffed over the situation. Out of pure spite, he ground the heel of his boot into what was left of Belle's phone, and plopped down in his previous spot in the corner.
Belle scowled at Brandon's childish action and then launched into the latest career choices the band had to make. She was miffed when Brandon started picking away at his nail varnish, which was half-chipped off anyway. The least he could do was pay attention when she was talking.
It took him awhile, but eventually he did start paying attention to Belle's monologue and soon after, he started asking questions and getting involved in the decision making. By the time the latest decision had been worked out, Brandon was in fantastic spirits.
He jumped up and hugged Andy, apologizing for being the annoying little Diva Pixie that he knew he was. The drummer just laughed, always amused by Brandon's apologies. They never failed to include a hug and a comment about being a bad Pixie. What really caught his attention though, was when the singer bounced over to Belle and hugged her also, apologizing sweetly and sincerely for having crash-landed on her earlier.
Belle looked at him with a stunned expression, before realization dawned on her that she should take advantage of the situation while it lasted.
She pointed to the floor. "Bran, you broke my phone."
"Oh, right. Sorry about that. You need to borrow mine?" He swiftly produced his own cell, decorated very prettily with Marvin the Martian. He handed the phone out to her.
"Thanks Bran!" She snatched it from him and scuttled out of the room before he had a chance to retract the offering.