Last Updated- 7/13/2008
Disclaimer: I sadly do not own any of the characters from the movie Camp Rock. If I did, let's just say that there would have been a kiss at the end like I wanted.
A/N- Okay, this is my first foray into Camp Rock, so please do be gentle. One of my best friends, Enigmaforum, ended up gushing to me about the movie, so I watched it, fell in love with it, and then she proceeded to write Smitchie, thus making me fall even more in love with the couple. I originally wanted to do this and the next chapter (yes, there will be at least another chapter, if not more, if Enigma has her way! -grins-) as prologues, if you could call them that, for what happened before her two stories. We eventually came to the conclusion that that wasn't going to happen, and you'll find out why as you read.
This chapter is dedicated to Enigmaforum, for just being an awesome friend and giving me feedback when I needed it. You rock, hon! Hope everyone enjoys!
"Well, save it for your interview with Pop Informer Magazine. I know I gave you an earful," Shane spat out, his chest heaving slightly. He stood there for a moment and just looked at Mitchie's heartbroken face; half wishing that he could take back his harsh words and the other half not regretting them at all. He exhaled sharply before turning on his heel and heading toward the cabin where his uncle taught lessons, which he knew would be empty for now.
The door slammed shut behind him and after a quick glance around the room, Shane knew that no one would be able to hear him outside of the walls that made up the building. His rage quickly unfurled upon a metal folding chair which sailed through the air, crashing to the floor. For the next few minutes, he continued to hurl and throw items across the room, not caring what they were: instruments, papers, pens, pencils, chairs, you name it. He was beyond angry at this point; he was livid. He had opened up to Mitchie, he had trusted her, and this was how she repaid him, by lying to him! His chest rose and fell with exertion as he glanced about the now messy room, rage still flowing through his body and nothing to take it out on. He ended up spinning towards the nearest wall and lashing out at it, kicking and punching at it until his body screamed for reprieve. He sighed heavily as he rested an arm against the wall and his head against said arm as he caught his breath, hot tears falling unbidden down his cheeks, searing them on their paths down. After a few moments, he turned around and leaned against the solid surface, letting himself sink to the ground as he sighed. His hands ran through his dark locks in frustration as his mind kept replaying what had just happened with Mitchie. The worst part about it was that he couldn't stop thinking about her. Oh, he didn't want to think about her at all, but it was almost as if his brain absolutely refused to let him stop, as though it was stuck on autopilot.
'Yeah, but you've been thinking about her all summer and haven't been able to stop, so why should now be any different?' a little voice in the back of his mind whispered. He shook his head, trying to clear it of the thoughts that were clouding it and only managing to make things worse by doing so. He brought his hands up to his face to swipe the tears away before digging the palms of his hands into his eyes and rubbing, hoping futilely that by doing so, the never-ending sight of seeing Mitchie, his Mitchie, try to not break down would disappear. 'Your Mitchie? When was she ever yours?' the voice scathingly interrupted. Unfortunately, it only brought it back tenfold, the moment playing itself out in his head over and over again, like some fucked up beyond all reason nightmare. Every time he forced himself to not think about her or that god forsaken moment, other moments only managed to come to the forefront of his mind; the first time they met on the docks, him singing and playing for her ears only, the canoe ride that they'd had that day before lunch.
"Stop thinking about her, Gray. It's not gonna do you any good to do that. You can't change the way things are, so just get used to it," he told himself, as if hoping that by some chance that that would actually work, which it didn't. He sighed and looked at the wall on the other side of the cabin, seeing that the only thing that had managed to escape his wrath was the wall clock that read just past 6 p.m. He did some quick calculations in his head; it was just after 6 p.m., which meant that dinner would be almost done or finished at this point. If he waited a little bit longer, the mess hall would be empty of screaming, annoying fangirls and the barrage of questions that he would no doubt receive due to the scene that had occurred earlier. He pursed his lips in thought and sighed before his eyes landed on a guitar that was on a stand in the far corner. He made a face before getting up and walking over to it, stepping over chairs and other various items that were strewn across the floor while wondering how the guitar had managed to escape his anger. The guitar was quickly in his possession and a guitar pick was retrieved from his pants pocket as he headed back to the wall, sitting back down on the floor. He took a calming breath and closed his eyes, his hands and arms automatically going into the proper position and beginning to strum the guitar lightly. Various chords and notes flowed beautifully from the instrument as he began to play song after song, welcoming the distraction and peace that managed to come and thankful for both. He continued to strum and didn't stop, his hands unknowingly beginning to play 'I gotta find you'. His mind was instantly invaded by unwanted images of himself and Mitchie again as he played the song for her for the first time, remembering how her face lit up in joy as she listened, the sway of her hair as she moved with the song, her scent washing over him. He gasped in shock at how it seemed as though he was still in the same moment, as though him yelling at her in front of a good number of people had never happened.
'You know, it can still be sort of be that way. All you have to do is go and see her and let her explain. You forgive her, she forgives you, you tell her how you really feel, hope it works out, and everyone could possibly go home happy,' the voice niggled at him again.
Shane groaned out of frustration, telling himself that he was not going to go and see her anytime soon. He knew he needed to figure out what the hell was going on with him first and how he felt before he even dared to entertain any ideas considering Mitchie Torres. He was surprised to see that it was fairly dark outside, and looked at the clock, seeing that it was half past 8. His eyebrows rose slightly in surprise that he had managed to stay put in the cabin for that long, and that he had neither been found nor had anyone come looking for him. He rose lithely to his feet, walking across the room to set the guitar on its stand. He glanced at the room and winced, making a mental note to try and remember to tell his Uncle Brown that the room needed to be cleaned.
The door creaked open as Shane pushed against it slowly, sticking his head between the space left by the door and doorway, looking around to make sure that no one was around. When he was satisfied that he was alone, he pushed the door open more and walked outside, shutting the door quietly behind him. There weren't any activities scheduled for that night that he had to appear at, so he was free to do as he wanted. He thought of going back to his cabin to rest, but his stomach had other ideas, growling loudly to get his attention. He remembered that he hadn't grabbed much of anything to eat at lunchtime; he had wanted to spend time with Mitchie before the concert. He shook his head again before setting down the path to head toward the mess hall to hopefully get something to eat. As much as he didn't want to, his mind continued to drift to Mitchie and thoughts of her. Passing by a cabin, the sounds of crying caught his ears, making him stop in his tracks and his brow furrow in concentration. He quickly looked around to make sure that there wasn't anyone around before silently creeping toward the cabin and up the wooden stairs, being careful to avoid the parts that would creak if stepped on. He couldn't have been more unprepared for the sight that met his dark eyes.
Mitchie had her head on some girl's shoulder (Caitlyn, he remembered, was her name), as she sobbed openly. He watched as Caitlyn patted her friend on the back, comforting Mitchie. For a moment, Shane was jealous of Caitlyn and wished beyond anything that he could be in her place, that he could be the one soothing the girl that he had these indescribable feelings for that he didn't want. He shook his head once, remembering what had happened and that he shouldn't want to comfort Mitchie. His eyes fell to Mitchie's face, making him inhale slightly. Her face was flushed red, her eyes were bloodshot, and tear tracks were visible on her face, making him wish that he could go in there and wipe them away and making him kick himself for wishing that.
"But the look on his face! He's never going to forgive me, Caitlyn!" came the broken sob, knocking Shane out of his reverie. He knew it was wrong, but he couldn't not listen in to the conversation.
"Hey, you don't know that. I mean, I forgave you, didn't I? Besides, if he's as good of a guy as you told me he was earlier, then he would forgive you. You made a mistake, you're only human. If he can't see that and that he should forgive you, then it's his loss," Caitlyn said softly, making Mitchie only cry more.
Shane bit his lip and turned away from the scene, hoping that his heart would stop constricting painfully in his chest, making it harder to breathe. He knew that it was him that they were talking about. The look on Mitchie's face was forever imprinted in his mind, making him wish that he hadn't been the one to do that to her.
'Why not? It's not as though you have feelings for, so it shouldn't matter at all, right?'
He groaned aloud and let his head drop back to hit the outside wall of the cabin, forgetting where he was. A gasp could be heard from inside the cabin, followed by Caitlyn saying "Stay here. Let me go see who's outside." Shane's eyes widened as he quickly and quietly jumped up and over the railing, hiding himself effectively in the bushes. Footsteps soon followed on the porch along with a "Is there anyone there?" He bit his lip hard and pressed himself against the wood of the cabin, trying not to make any noise and willing her to go away, hoping that she would do so soon. A moment later, the footsteps receded back into the cabin and the door shut behind her, making Shane sigh to himself. He extracted himself from the bushes, glancing around again before continuing on his way to the mess hall, Caitlyn's words replaying in his mind unwillingly.
"I mean, I forgave you, didn't I? Besides, if he's as good of a guy as you told me he was earlier, then he would forgive you. You made a mistake, you're only human. If he can't see that and that he should forgive you, then it's his loss."
His brow was now furrowed in thought as he wondered about what that meant. What did Caitlyn mean, 'a mistake'? Was it true? Could Mitchie lying to him have been some sort of mistake? And apparently, it seemed as though Mitchie had told Caitlyn all about him, making him wonder just how much Caitlyn really knew. And damn his mind, for it was now torn again; he wanted to hear Mitchie's explanation, but the wounds were still too fresh and his pride was hurt.
He noticed that he had almost passed by the mess hall, he was so lost in thought. He headed around to the back entrance, where the cooks and kitchen staff entered, making him scoff and shake his head. The kitchen was pristine, not a mess anywhere, and it was completely devoid of people. There had to be someone there; the lights were still on.
"Hello? Is there anyone in here?" Shane called out.
A few beats passed before a door to his left opened, and a middle aged woman appeared. She wore an apron that was dirty from the day's work, her hair pulled back loosely and her clothes and shoes comfortable for work in the kitchen. Atop her head was a chef's hat, noting that she worked there. "Hi, can I help you?"
"Um, yeah, I hope so. I'm kinda hoping that I could maybe get something to eat. I know it's late and all, and that you've already cleaned up, so if you don't want to, I'll understand," Shane replied.
The woman smiled. "No, it's no problem at all. Tell you what; why don't I make you a burger and fries while you take a seat?"
He nodded gratefully before pulling a wooden stool over and sitting down at the counter. "Thanks for doing this. I appreciate it."
"Like I said, it's not a problem. I love working here, and my daughter gets to go here as well. I'm Connie Torres," the woman introduced herself as she held out a hand.
"I'm Shane," he smiled as he shook her hand.
"Ahh, so you must be Brown's nephew then. He talks about you all the time," Connie told him as she began pulling out what she needed to make a burger.
"I didn't know that," Shane admitted sheepishly, a slight blush adorning his cheeks.
"Mm-hmm. He's great, and he's the one that hired me to come and work here over the summer. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and he agreed to let my daughter, Mitchie, come here as well. Maybe you know her or you've seen her around camp?"
Shane swallowed hard, thankful that Connie was busy with making the food and hadn't seen him. 'I've done more than just see her around camp, I know her personally. She's the reason I feel like this right now, and I hate it with a passion.' He knew that he couldn't very well tell the woman before him that was Mitchie's mother that, or what had happened. He'd be a dead man.
"Yeah, she's actually in one of my classes that I teach," he answered off-handedly.
Connie put a burger patty on the silver grill, some fries in the fryer and turned to him with a smile. "I think it's great that you came here to help teach. Do you like being here okay?"
Shane let out a sharp breath that he didn't realize he'd been holding. Unwanted images crossed his mind again, making him sigh to himself and forgetting that Connie was there.
"You all right?" she asked, snapping him out of his thoughts and looking at him with concern.
He half shrugged, not sure of how to answer. "Yes. No. I don't know," he said with evident frustration, pinching the bridge of his nose lightly and shutting his eyes to try and block out the thoughts of Mitchie.
"Want to talk about it? I'm a good listener, I've had plenty of practice, and as you can see, I'm not too busy," she offered with a comforting smile.
He shrugged again, and the only sound in the room was the grease as it popped continuously. Finally working up the nerve, Shane started to speak before he lost it.
"There's this girl that I met, here at the camp. I was down by the docks one day, all by myself, and she'd been listening to me play the guitar. She made me sort of mad at first, but she surprised me in a good way. Then we continued to run into each other and we agreed to meet each other every day at a certain time and place. I know it sounds crazy, but I started liking her, a lot. And I didn't know much about her but that didn't matter to me, and I just confided in her about a lot," he said before pausing to take a breath.
Connie patiently nodded and continued to work at putting together his burger, having had plenty of experience with Mitchie and knew that the poor boy would continue when he was ready.
"And by the time I realized I was falling for her, it was too late and I couldn't do anything to stop it. I found out today that she'd been lying to me, and to the whole camp about something major. I realized that she only wanted to be friends with Shane Gray, the pop star, and not me," he told her quietly.
"What makes you say that?"
"Because she lied to me, too. If she really wanted to be friends with me, she would have told me the truth and not lied. When I found out, I was beyond ticked off, so I did the first thing that came to mind and practically screamed at her. I haven't seen her since this afternoon when I did that," he finished with a wince.
Connie nodded, before turning around and pouring the French fries onto a glass plate, salting them lightly. She turned back to the young man in front of her, putting the plate and a soda in front of him. "Here you go. Enjoy."
Shane smiled at her gratefully. "Thanks, Mrs. Torres."
"Call me Connie, Shane. Quick question for you."
"Can I give you some advice, me being a mom and all?" she asked tentatively, watching him inhale slightly and nod.
"It sounds to me like you really care about this girl, right?"
"I do, but I shouldn't, not after what happened."
"Sounds to me like you don't really want to just not care anymore," she remarked softly.
"I don't want to just forget about her, but I'm not sure if I can forgive what she did. I know it sounds crazy, but she seemed to get me, like she understood what I was going through with just everything. She treated me like I was any other guy, and that was okay that she did that. She just……..she saw right through me in a sense, you know?"
"Oh, I do. The same thing happened to me and my husband. We met in high school, and he was the basketball star, so he put on this face with everyone else. I ended up seeing right through it, we began to date, fell in love, got married, and had Mitchie. So yes, I do know what you mean," she replied understandingly.
"At least your story had a happy ending though," he replied with a scoff.
"Oh, there were bumps along the way, and it hasn't always been perfect. No relationship is exactly perfect. My advice to you though, if you still want it, is to go to this girl and talk to her. Maybe give her a chance to explain what happened and why she did what she did. Who knows, you might find out that it was just some big mix-up."
He exhaled and shrugged. "I don't know. I hope so. Thanks again, Connie, for the food and just listening to me go on and on."
"Anytime, hon. You have a good night, and just make sure to bring that plate to the mess hall in the morning," she asked him politely.
He grinned and nodded before taking the plate and soda, exiting the kitchen and heading back to his cabin. If it was at all possible, now he was even more confused than when he had gone in the kitchen. He wanted to talk to Mitchie and find out what the story was, but his pride was getting in his way. His body was on autopilot as he found his cabin and managed to get his cabin door open without dropping anything. His eyes widened slightly at the sight of two people that he knew very well sitting in the room, one on the bed and the other in the large armchair.
"What are you guys doing here? I thought that you were headed out of here on the first flight back to L.A.," Shane said with confusion in his voice.
"No, you assumed we were headed out of here today. We decided to stick around for a bit, get some fresh air, maybe a tan," Nate replied ironically with a grin.
"Oh, and we can work at finishing my birdhouse! You did get started on my birdhouse, right?" Jason asked.
Shane groaned frustratedly and sat down on the bed next to Nate, placing his soda on a coaster. He began to eat his burger, thoughts of Mitchie and considering still talking her about had happened an option.
Nate was the first to notice that something was wrong and seriously off with the way his fellow band mate and friend was acting. "Okay, what's wrong? You look like crap."
Shane glared at him. "Gee, thanks, Nate. That really made me feel a lot better."
"Seriously though, what's wrong? You look like your dog just died," Jason said.
Shane swallowed his food, trying to decide between telling them and not telling them. "Guess it can't hurt to have a second and a third opinion. Remember the girl that I told you about that I met on the docks, Mitchie?"
Both boys nodded. "She and I got to know each other pretty well, and I told her some stuff, and it turns out she was lying to me all summer. She had told everyone here that her mom was the president of Hot Tunes China, and instead, her mom's just a cook…..here at the camp."
"So that's why the food tasted better this year! I told you something was up," Jason said to Nate triumphantly.
"No, you didn't. All you said was that the food tasted different than how it did when we went to camp here," Nate retorted.
"Guys!" Shane interrupted.
"Sorry," both boys apologized, looking sheepish.
Nate was the one who spoke first. "Okay, so her mom's a cook here and not president of Hot Tunes in China, and that's a problem how? Because Mitchie lied about it?"
"Yes, it's a problem! I thought that I could trust her, so I was honest with her, and it turns out she was lying to me!" Shane said in an exasperated tone.
"So you met her, got to know her, found out she lied to you, and now you don't like her anymore?" Jason supplied.
"I wish that that was the case, because it'd be a hell of a lot easier than dealing with this. I just…..I don't know what to do. I know what I want to do, but my pride's keeping me from doing it, not to mention the fact that it still hurts like shit," Shane replied crossly.
"Well, no one ever said that love was easy or fun. If it was, everybody would do it," Nate told him.
"No, really?" Shane retorted sarcastically.
"I'm serious, Shane. It's not easy and it sucks at times," Nate said.
"And what makes you say that I'm in love with her? I never said anything about that," Shane told him.
"Please, you were staring at her, like the entire we performed today! And you don't usually act like this over a girl. Look, if you like her, maybe you should just talk to her. Ask her why she lied to you or whatever happened and just hope that you can fix it. If you really care, you should at least talk to her about it first," Jason piped up quietly in a rare moment of wisdom.
Shane was silent as he let the words sink in. He would at least consider what they'd both said, and give it some thought before making a decision. "I'll think about it. Right now, all I just want do is crash. Where are you guys staying?"
"Here. Your Uncle Brown brought in two extra beds so we're staying here. Is that cool?" Nate asked.
"Yeah, sure," Shane replied as he began to get ready for bed.
"Just make sure that you don't snore. It's way too loud," Jason complained.
"I don't snore. If anyone does anything in their sleep, you're the one that talks in his sleep!" Nate retorted.
"No, I don't! And what makes you so sure anyway? You don't have any proof!"
"Sorry," they both replied.
Shane shifted in his bed again, trying to fall asleep for the millionth time that night. Jason and Nate had both fallen asleep before he had, and thankfully, neither of them talked or snored in their sleep. That wasn't the reason for him waking up from a half sleep; he'd woken back up because of her. He moaned quietly in frustration, because no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get her out of his head! The one time when he should have been able to put her out of sight and out of mind, he kept dreaming about her and it was starting to drive him out of his mind.
He rolled over onto his back and stared up at the ceiling, the internal battles in his mind raging on with no stop anytime soon. He knew he still liked her and had feelings for her, there was no doubt about that. It was just the fact that she had lied to him that kept him from saying anything to her about it all. He scoffed as he remembered that after he had performed with Nate and Jason that he had planned on telling her in private how he felt. He had been nervous as anything, and he didn't get nervous very often. Then Tess had practically made Mitchie tell them all the truth, and everything had gone to hell in a hand basket.
"Why can't I stop thinking about her? I shouldn't be thinking about her like this, I should hate her for lying to me," he whispered to himself.
'The only problem with that idea is you couldn't hate her if you wanted to. You tried to do it earlier and failed miserably. You're in love with her, and you're not stopping anytime soon.'
"She lied to me. I can't just forgive that."
'Really? The problem isn't that you can't forgive her; the problem is that you can, and you want to, but you won't. You'd rather be a stubborn idiot than hear her out and tell her how you feel.'
"Who's to say that she even feels the same way about me? I'd be risking everything all over again," Shane retorted to himself.
'True, you would be, but you know she's worth it and you know that you want her as more than just a friend. It's a chance you have to take,' the voice told him, making him say and shake his head, actually wondering if he was losing it.
He let out a heavy sigh in frustration. "Why did she have to do it? Why didn't she just tell me the truth?" he asked aloud to no one in particular, not caring if he was too loud.
Nate groaned and sat up sleepily to look at him. "Shane, you seriously need to shut the hell up and go to sleep. You've been like this for the last half hour."
"I think that's easier said than done, Nate, or I would be asleep by now," Shane grumbled back.
"Just keep it down, okay? You're starting to drive me up the wall."
"Yeah, I'll try. Go back to sleep, I'll see you in the morning."
Nate nodded and laid back down, scoffing at Jason, who was peacefully asleep in his own bed. Shane swallowed and put his hands behind his head, thinking about everything that had happened, as much as he didn't want to. 'The worst part about this whole thing is that I'm actually thinking about forgiving her,' he thought to himself. He huffed before punching his pillow and rolling over to his stomach in a futile attempt to get some sleep and banish any thoughts of her from his mind, not knowing what would happen the next day.