Last Updated- 9/7/08
Disclaimer: I do not own the movie Camp Rock or any of the characters that were in the movie. I just use them for a little while and then return them when I'm done. (winks)
A/N- Okay, wow! I'm incredibly sorry that it's taken me so long to update! This chapter went through several changes, which is part of why it took some time. Not to mention, I got hit with a nasty case of writer's block that decided it was going to stick around for awhile. I want to dedicate this chapter to Enigma, Scarlett, and Buckeye Babe! Y'all are AWESOME and thank you so much for all of your input and being a kick ass sound board! Thanks for the honesty! (hugs)
Everyone knows the age old saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Normally, that's a phrase that most people would use during a petty argument over something pointless, and Mitchie herself had used it once or twice herself when she'd been younger. Shane's words, the last words he'd uttered before spinning on his heel and striding away from her, those words cut her to the core. She had been called names before and had been told things that hurt her deeply, but the look on his face and in his eyes combined with his words, not to mention the fact that everyone now knew that she'd been lying, was too much for her to take. She swallowed once, silently bidding the tears welling in her eyes to disappear, but to no avail. Before they could begin to fall, Mitchie felt a presence at her side.
"Not here, you don't," came Caitlyn's soft voice. Caitlyn put an arm around Mitchie, almost as if to shield her from everyone else and began to walk through the crowd, glaring at people who stood in her way. The crowds parted at the look they were getting from her; the look that dared them to stay in her way, the one that said that there would be hell to pay if they didn't move and make aside for them to get where they wanted to go.
When she knew that they were away from everyone else, Mitchie blinked once, finally letting the tears begin to fall with a choked sob, not even bothering to try and brush them away as they seared her cheeks. She was in a slight state of shock, allowing Caitlyn to lead her to wherever it was that they were going; Mitchie couldn't have cared less, so long as they were going somewhere where she could lie down and cry to her heart's content for however long she felt like it.
Caitlyn steered her friend toward the cabin that belonged to Mitchie and Mrs. Torres. She glanced at her friend, noting that even though Mitchie was still crying, she looked to be in a bit of a daze, as though she hadn't quite understood what had just happened. Either that, or maybe Mitchie thought that it was all just a bad dream or something. She shook Mitchie a little to get her to see where they were. She watched as Mitchie realized where they were and nodded before heading up the few wooden stairs and going inside, causing Caitlyn to follow right behind her. Caitlyn took her friend by the shoulders again and maneuvered her to the nearest bed so she could sit down.
Mitchie vaguely felt something comfortable beneath her and not caring what it was, she twisted around so she could lay down on it properly. She felt Caitlyn sit down next to her and neither said a word until Mitchie broke the silence.
"Why did I do it?" she whispered.
"What?" came the reply.
"Why did I do it?" Mitchie repeated. "Why didn't I just tell him the truth while I had the chance?"
Caitlyn's brow furrowed in confusion. She and Mitchie hadn't had much of a chance to talk since work at lunchtime and even then, both had been busy working and Caitlyn knew that the kitchen wasn't a place where you discussed something if you wanted it to remain private. "What do you mean?"
Mitchie took a deep, shuddering breath. "I mean, today. Nope, scratch that, every day. Practically every day of camp, I've seen Shane Gray and could have told him the truth."
"You mean in hip-hop dance class right?"
"No. Well, yes. I saw him in class all the time, but then we were always running into each other around camp. The first time I met him was in the kitchen and he didn't know who I was. I'd put on a chef's hat and some flour all over my face," Mitchie said with a wistful smile as she remembered.
"You put flour on your face? Why?"
Mitchie shrugged. "Because I was nervous and sorta scared, I guess. I didn't want him to know me as the girl who worked in the kitchen. I wanted him to know me as me. And no, I didn't stalk him to find out where he was going to be, and I didn't plan on running into him later down by the docks. I heard him playing his guitar, and we talked a little about what he'd been playing, and I told him that I'd buy what he'd just played, no matter what. From there on, we either ran into each other just randomly or agreed to meet up and just talk. God, Caitlyn, he told me things that were just personal and intense, things I don't even think that he's ever told anyone else. How could I not tell him?"
Caitlyn could practically hear the tears welling up again. "I don't know, Mitchie. That's something that you're gonna have to figure out for yourself. Chances are though, you probably didn't tell him for the same reason you didn't tell everyone else."
"Gee, thanks. That really helped."
"Hey, I'm doing the best I can. So now that you've got a really big mess to clean up, what are you gonna do?"
Mitchie frowned. "You mean I can't just stay in my cabin all day and never come out? Because that sounds really nice right about now."
Caitlyn threw her friend a glare. "Don't even think about it."
"Well, you can take that idea and just kick it in the ass, Mitchie Torres. What about helping your mom in the kitchen so you could come here? Remember that? And what about Final Jam?"
Mitchie's eyes widened in horror as she really did remember. "Caitlyn, I was going to sing with Peggy, Ella, and Tess! Now what am I going to do?"
"You could just sing solo. You've got a great voice, you know."
"Sing solo? In front of tons of people and alone for the first time? I don't think I can."
Caitlyn scowled and crossed her arms over her chest. "Can't or won't? I think you can do it, you're just afraid to and you won't do it. Tess said something to you, didn't she? She somehow goaded you into singing in her group that day that you sang in class, right?"
Mitchie gave a committal half shrug and nod. "Yes and no. At first, I told her I wanted to sing in Final Jam alone, and then she had me thinking that that might not be the best idea."
"Yeah, because that's how Tess works. Mitchie, I wish that you could have seen the look on her face as she listened to you sing in Brown's rhythm class. She was so green, so envious of you and the praise that Brown was giving you, I wish I'd had a camera. She was insanely jealous and felt threatened by you, so she did what she normally does: she fucking managed to make you feel insecure about singing by yourself so you'd settle for singing in the background with her. Trust me, she did pretty much the same thing to me, remember?"
Mitchie groaned. "I know. I don't want to sing with her at all now, but I want to be in Final Jam."
"So sing by yourself. You're a great singer, and I'm pretty sure that, if you want, I could help you come up with a good tempo to one of your songs."
"Caitlyn, everyone hates me now, or haven't you forgotten? I lied to the entire camp," Mitchie said.
"Look, not everyone is like Tess. They're all going to eventually forgive you or just have completely forgotten about it by the time Final Jam rolls around. You've got to face them all sometime, even him."
Mitchie nodded shakily and sat up, trying to swallow back the tears. "Okay, I'll think about it, I promise. What about until then, though?"
"What do you mean? You can't stay in here all the time, and your stuff is still in Tess' cabin. Don't forget, you've got hip-hop class tomorrow morning. Besides that, dinner's half over by now, so you can go down to the mess hall," she stated, making Mitchie groan.
"I'm not that hungry."
"Mitchie, you need to eat and you're going to, whether you like it or not. Are you going to be okay if I leave for a little bit?" Caitlyn asked as she stood up and brushed herself off.
"Yeah, I'll be okay," she answered with a firm nod, motioning toward the door. "Go on, I'm not going anywhere."
Caitlyn gave Mitchie one last look before turning around and opening the screen door, letting it bang shut behind her.
When the door slammed shut, it was almost as if a dam inside of Mitchie burst, one that she hadn't been aware that she'd been building. The floodgates opened as hot, salty tears poured down her cheeks, falling to hit her legs. She didn't want to cry in front of Caitlyn anymore, who had already done more than enough for her. Mitchie hadn't expected Caitlyn to be so nice to her, especially after Caitlyn had found out first that Mitchie had lied to her, but she'd been surprised. Her new friend had led them here, back to the cabin, so Mitchie could be alone to think.
Her eyes landed on a box of tissues nearby, making her lean over to the nightstand and grab a few. She sighed shakily before bringing them to her eyes, wiping at them and her cheeks, hoping to make the tears go away. She took a deep breath and managed to calm herself down to where she would be okay. What she hadn't counted on was seeing Shane's face in her minds' eye when she least expected it, causing the tears to begin again. What made her cry wasn't that it was him; it was the look on his face that made her cry all over again. A look of betrayal, hurt, regret, and deep pain was etched on his face as he had practically yelled at her in front of everyone, and the worst part was, she knew she deserved it from him. She knew when she'd started the lie that it was wrong; after all, she hated lying anyway and it wasn't something she did on a normal basis. She hadn't expected it to spread like wildfire across the camp and reach his ears, but when she found that it had, she couldn't bring herself to tell him the truth, even though she should have trusted him.
'Don't you just love hindsight, and how it's 20/20?' a voice in her head whispered, making her groan in frustration. Oh, she'd known that she was wrong, and at the time of starting her lie, she had only slightly cared and the fact that Shane Gray might find out never even occurred to her. It surprised her later as to how easily she had managed to pull it off. One lie came after another as she moved in with Tess, Peggy and Ella, forcing her to keep up the charade of lies that she'd built for herself. Once Caitlyn had been assigned to kitchen duty, it had only made matters worse for her, because now, she had Caitlyn to contend with and try to work around. She failed in keeping it a secret from her now friend, and Mitchie had been afraid that once Caitlyn knew that the entire camp was going to know, but she found out that she could trust the girl that wanted nothing more than to be a producer. Caitlyn and Mitchie quickly grew to understand each other, and Mitchie understood what Caitlyn had meant by some of her comments about Tess and singing. The two had grown closer as they spent time together, but Mitchie never told her that she was either running into or meeting up with Shane.
'And why would you? You had one on one time with the one guy here at the camp that most girls would kill to have that kind of time with. You were afraid that if you did tell anyone that you wouldn't have that anymore.' Mitchie shook her head again, trying to clear it but knew that the voice in her head was right. She loved that they spent time together alone, just the two of them. She loved that he saw her for her and that he was open and real with her at the same time. The tears began to fall again as she remembered times that they'd spent together, and knowing that they were only going to fade to distant memories, times like that with him to most likely never happen again. The last thought only made her cry harder, her hands seeking out the pillow and pulling it to her chest as she curled into a ball.
Caitlyn took one last look at the cabin before stepping down the few stairs and heading down the path toward the mess hall. She glanced at her watch and saw that it was 7:15 pm. "Perfect. The mess hall should be empty by now, and knowing Connie, she's gonna have the kitchen cleaned from top to bottom already." Caitlyn continued on her way to the mess hall on autopilot, her thoughts overrunning her mind. She didn't know Shane Gray personally, but from what she'd seen on TV, he could be a bit of an ass. She frowned to herself, huffing slightly. From what Mitchie had told her, it didn't seem like Shane was like that with her, because if he was, Caitlyn knew that Mitchie would have slapped the attitude out of him, figuratively anyway. "Although literally would be pretty damn amusing, too," she said to herself with a bit of a grin which quickly faded to a thin line. If Shane Gray was to show up in front of her at that moment, she knew that she would have had a hell of a hard time trying to decide between royally kicking his ass and making him talk to her best friend, who was probably sobbing over him by now. "He really better hope that I don't run into him anytime tonight, or I'll kick his ass so hard, his great grandchildren will still be feeling it," she growled to no one in particular.
To her shock, she found herself at the mess hall sooner than she'd have normally believed. She walked around to the back entrance, where the staff and cooks entered. She grinned to herself as she saw that everything was neat, clean, and straight as a pin. Dinner might have just finished less than an hour beforehand, but you never entered the kitchen to find it messy after a meal. Caitlyn entered and saw Connie at the fridge, turned away from her as she looked for something.
The older woman turned around and, upon seeing Caitlyn, jumped slightly. "Caitlyn, I wasn't expecting to see you there. You scared me. Is everything okay? I wanted to come find you and Mitchie before I had to come in here and work, but I had no time, and then I didn't see either of you at dinner. I wanted to talk to her about what happened earlier tonight."
Caitlyn bit her lip in worry. Here was the hard part, trying to decide what to tell your best friend's mom when said best friend is curled up in their cabin, crying her eyes out over a guy that, chances were, Connie probably may or may not run into during the rest of camp. Not to mention the fact that Connie didn't know that Shane had reamed her daughter out in front of everyone. "She's not feeling too well because of what happened earlier with Tess, so I took her back to the cabin," Caitlyn half lied. "I hope that that's okay?"
"Oh sure, honey. It's no problem at all. Actually, the cabin's been kinda quiet without you two around, what with me having to work in here and you two having classes all the time and the open mike nights and random competitions. How is she doing?"
Caitlyn sighed. "She's upset because of what happened, which is understandable. She doesn't have to tell me, but I know that she feels horrible about lying to everyone, Connie."
"Maybe I should talk to her."
"You could, but judging from how she's acting, she'll come to you eventually and want to talk to you about it. And if she doesn't, just tell me and I'll knock some sense into her for you," the young girl replied with a wink.
Connie chuckled and was grateful that her daughter had made such a good friend. "All right, even though I don't want to wait. What can I do for you, sweetie?"
"I was actually hoping that Mitchie and I could eat in the cabin for dinner? I know that you've already finished in here, so—"
"Don't even worry about it. I'm glad to do it, you know that. What do you say to spaghetti? I just put it in the fridge, and it shouldn't take me but a few minutes to heat up," Connie suggested, making Caitlyn nod happily.
"That would be great, actually. Do you need me to help with anything?" she offered, receiving a shaking head from the head caterer.
"Nope, but thanks for offering. Just sit down and relax for a few minutes while I put it together, okay?" she said as she left the kitchen.
Caitlyn smiled in return. "All right, if you say so." She grabbed a stool and pulled it over to the counter and hopped up onto it, her hands resting on the countertop. She began to beat on top of the smooth surface lightly, not even realizing she was doing it or that anyone else had come into the kitchen behind her.
"That sounds great, I like it," came a slightly deep but soft spoken voice, making Caitlyn 'eep' and jump slightly. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you," he said as he came into her line of sight.
"No, no, it's okay. I'm cool," she replied as she tried to calm her rapidly beating heart.
"I like it, too. You think we could get her to help us with our new sound?" came another voice, making both of them turn around.
"Jason! That's kinda rude, don't you think?"
"Not really. It's not like I asked her to build me a birdhouse or anything, because that's just something that you don't ask a stranger to do," Jason said pointedly. "I wonder if Shane's finished mine, yet."
Nate's chin fell to meet his chest as he gave up. He sighed before raising his head to look at the girl sitting on the stool. "I'm really sorry; you'll have to forgive my friend here. He—"
Before Nate could finish, Connie re-entered the kitchen through the main door, brushing her hands on her apron. "Looks like I have two more guests. How can I help you gentlemen?"
Nate squirmed uncomfortably. "Yeah, thanks. Um, we're kinda hoping you can, seeing as how it's after dinner, we're kinda….um, hungry, and we….sorta wanted to avoid….you know," he said as he motioned to the set of large swinging doors, making Caitlyn giggle.
"What? You're afraid of a bunch of fangirls? That's rich," she teased, making him look at her with a slight glare. She grinned to herself, noting how cute he looked and then smacking herself internally. 'Stop it, Caitlyn! Now is so not the time!'
"You try dealing with them AND the press all the time. Besides, some of them are just….." he broke off with a shudder, making her laugh.
"It's okay, I'm just messing with you. My name's Caitlyn and this is Connie Torres, the awesome cook/caterer here at Camp Rock this year."
He offered her a smile and his hand. "I'm Nate, and this is Jason, as I'm sure you already know," he replied as she shook hands with Jason first then Nate, reluctant to let go of his hand.
Connie smiled and clapped her hands once. "Okay, so it's gonna be the three of you then. Is spaghetti okay with you two?" she asked Jason and Nate, who nodded in acquiescence.
"That sounds great, Mrs. Torres," Nate replied politely.
"Oh please, call me Connie, it's fine. Give me a few minutes and I'll have your food ready," she told the trio with a wink before heading off.
The three teens sat in awkward silence before Caitlyn decided to break it. "So, I loved the song that you guys played at the Beach Jam today. It was great."
"Thanks. Shane actually came up with the words and music for it, and once we were able to practice it, it just clicked really well. We're hoping that the record label loves it, too," Nate said with a smile.
"I just love it all: the words, the tempo, the rhythm, the….okay, I'm gonna shut up now. Sorry, it's just the producer in me that's rambling. Don't mind me," she told them with a blush.
Nate cocked his head to the side, noting that she was blushing and internally liked it. 'Wait, what? I don't even know this girl.' He shook his head to clear the thought away. "No, don't worry about it. So you're a producer?"
Now it was Caitlyn's turn to squirm in her seat. "Well, I really want to be. That's what I've wanted to be pretty much my entire life growing up. I've been surrounded by music, but I've never been one to have the guts to get up on stage and sing, and working behind the scenes fits for me," she replied.
"See? I told you she should totally help us with changing our sound!" Jason exclaimed, making Nate groan and Caitlyn laugh.
"No, you technically asked if she could help us with changing it. And as a producer, that wouldn't really be her job, but more ours. And besides, she never even said she wanted to help us," Nate retorted.
"Yeah, but she might! You didn't ask her, did you?"
"That's beside the point! She never even offered!" Nate told him in annoyance.
Caitlyn had had enough. "Hey, you two! Said girl in question is still standing right here."
Both boys stopped arguing and looked sheepish. "Sorry."
"It's fine. As far as your conversation goes, if you can call it that, I'd have to see about the whole producing thing. I've still gotta finish camp first, and even then, there's everything else that we'd have to deal with, mainly your third band mate giving his two cents, too," Caitlyn told them.
"Shane? Nah, he'll be fine. He's the one who wanted to change our sound. Besides, if he doesn't like it, he can get over it. He'd manage," Nate replied with a grin.
Before Caitlyn could reply, Connie strode over, carrying a large tray and setting it down. "Okay, here you go. Spaghetti and sodas for four, nice and hot."
"Four? Who else is eating?" Jason asked confusedly.
"My friend, Mitchie. She's back in our cabin and she's not feeling so good," Caitlyn informed him as she took two of the plates and sodas before setting them onto a spare tray.
"Tell her we hope she feels better," Nate said politely, making her smile warmly at him, causing his stomach to clench slightly out of nervousness.
"I will. Thanks so much again, Connie," Caitlyn called out as she began to head out of the kitchen with the food.
"It's no problem, hon. I should be back at the cabin by about 9 or 10, okay?"
"Okay, see you then!" Caitlyn said, the door shutting behind her, giggling when she heard an exclamation of "This tastes great!" coming from Jason.
She walked much more carefully, balancing the tray with the sodas and spaghetti atop of it. Her thoughts wandered to Nate as she continued to make her way back to the cabin. She hadn't initially liked his attitude, but once he'd realized she was just teasing, they quickly got along. And it also helped that he was cute, she mused silently. She hadn't expected either of them to be like that, so easy and carefree with each other or around someone that they didn't even know. She was glad that they had been that way with her and not afraid that she was a fangirl of theirs, making her grin at the thought. "Those poor guys are probably tired of all the screaming they get from girls, no wonder they didn't want to eat during the actual dinnertime," she remarked with a grin. She couldn't blame them either. If she was in their position, the screaming would probably be driving her nuts also. She continued to think about Nate, her attraction to him and how she liked him just a little, almost walking by the cabin entirely, she was so engrossed in her thoughts.
She carefully climbed up the stairs, balanced the tray on one arm as though she'd been doing it her entire life, and opened the door, propping it open with her foot and body before carefully edging into the room. The sounds of crying met her ears, making her sigh. She quickly set the tray down on a nearby table before crossing to the bed and getting up on it, nudging Mitchie slightly. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"It's nothing, I'm fine. See?" Mitchie told her in a falsely cheery voice as she sat up and wiped at her eyes and cheeks forcefully.
Caitlyn scoffed. "Uh huh. I think you're forgetting that this is me you're talking to, not Tess. What is it, Mitchie? Is it him again?"
Mitchie bit her lip and nodded, causing Caitlyn to pull her friend into a comforting hug. The pair sat that way for several minutes before they pulled apart, both chuckling slightly.
"Thanks," Mitchie offered.
"For just being here, for being my friend when no one else would be. You don't have to stay here, you know."
"Yeah, I do. You'd do the same for me if you were in my position, so don't even try to think about making me go away," Caitlyn told her firmly.
"No buts. I'm here because you're my friend and you need me. Besides, it's not like anyone else is gonna kick Shane Gray's ass for you," she said with a snicker, grinning at the horrified look on Mitchie's face.
"Caitlyn, please don't!" she begged.
"Why the hell not? The guy was a total jerk toward you! He didn't even give you a chance to try and defend yourself. I at least gave you that much," Caitlyn growled.
"One, he's usually a jerk anyway. Two, because he was right. I lied to him, and I deserved him yelling at me," Mitchie replied, making Caitlyn's jaw drop in shock.
"No, you didn't! I mean, I know you lied, but you only really lied to Tess, Peggy and Ella, not to him. The lie just ended up reaching his ears, so he had no right," she argued.
"Maybe I didn't tell it to him first, but I had tons of chances to tell him the truth and I didn't, so yeah, I deserved it."
Caitlyn made a face. "Okay, so aren't you mad that he yelled at you in front of practically everyone?"
"Well, I'm not mad so much as I wish that it hadn't happened in front of everyone."
"So can I beat him up for that then? If anything, let me beat him up for making you upset," Caitlyn suggested, making Mitchie look at her in shock.
"You really have this thing about hurting him, don't you?"
"Hey, the jerk is making my best friend cry her eyes out over him, so yes, he deserves to be hurt. Please?"
Mitchie shook her head. "No. Doing that won't help anything."
"Yeah, it will. It'll keep me from killing him with my bare hands if I see him at all. But seriously though, if he so much as goes near you, I might not be responsible for what I do after that."
"Then try to control yourself, please. If nothing else, then for me," Mitchie pleaded.
Caitlyn rolled her eyes and groaned. "All right, fine. I'll try to not kick his butt anytime soon, fair enough?"
"Thank you, that's better," Mitchie replied with a small smile.
Caitlyn smiled at her and stood up, crossing to the table and returning with the tray. She handed Mitchie a plate of spaghetti, some utensils and placed a soda on the table next to her. "There you go."
"I said I wasn't that hungry, Caitlyn. Thanks, though."
A scowl quickly replaced the smile on her face. "Okay, you've got two choices. Either you can quit moping and eat the spaghetti, or I can force feed it to you. It doesn't matter to me, but I'd really prefer it if you'd feed yourself, but you are going to eat. So what's it gonna be?" she asked with her arms crossed over her chest.
Now it was Mitchie's turn to roll her eyes. "All right, fine. I'll eat a little bit, if that'll make you stop."
Caitlyn grinned triumphantly before taking her seat on the bed again, grabbing her own plate. The pair sat in silence for several moments, both eating and the only sounds in the cabin those of silverware clinking as it touched the plates. Caitlyn grinned inwardly as she looked at Mitchie's plate, noting that her friend was hungrier than she's admitted; there was only a little bit of food left.
"Okay, I don't want to eat anymore," Mitchie groaned as she put her plate on the tray and groaned a few minutes later.
"Me either, I'm stuffed. Do you feel a little bit better now?" Caitlyn queried, making Mitchie nod.
"A little bit, yeah. Thanks for making me eat."
"What are friends for?" she grinned as she took Mitchie's plate and put it on the tray before crossing the room to put it on the table, making a mental note to grab it on their way to the kitchen to work the next morning. She turned around to see that her friend had grabbed a pillow and was hugging it tightly to her chest, her chin on top of it.
"You know what? You're gonna stop hearing it, eventually, and what he said to you won't hurt nearly as badly," Caitlyn said, trying to comfort Mitchie, giving her another hug.
"But the look on his face! He's never going to forgive me, Caitlyn!" Mitchie said, her head on her friend's shoulder. She could feel the tears cascading down her cheeks again and knew that if it wasn't already, Caitlyn's shirt would be drenched in tears soon.
"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. Caitlyn's heart went out to Mitchie, making her silently wish that Shane Gray, asshole extraordinaire, as she'd taken to calling him in her head, could see this. 'If he could see this and listen to it, maybe then he might pull his head out of his egotistical ass and talk to her,' Caitlyn growled in her head, vowing that if nothing else, she would make sure that things between her best friend and Shane were set right. 'And if I have to lock them in the smallest space imaginable to make them fucking talk to each other, then damn it, I will.'
A dull 'thump' sounded outside, making both of the girls' gasp out and break apart from each other. "Stay here. Let me go and see who's outside," Caitlyn ordered as she got up, Mitchie nodding in agreement.
Caitlyn deftly crossed the cabin to the front door, opening it quickly and stepping outside. "Is there anyone there?" she asked, only to be met by the sounds of crickets chirping peacefully. She frowned before shrugging her shoulders, letting the door slam shut behind her. A sigh escaped her lips and she glanced at her wristwatch, seeing that it was nearly 9 pm. Granted, for someone who hadn't had an enormous secret revealed to everyone at camp and then had been emotionally upset after, hitting the sack before 10 would be early, but Caitlyn knew Mitchie was exhausted and in no mood to retrieve clothes for herself. She crossed the room and put her hand on Mitchie's arm gently, nudging her.
"Tell you what. Why don't you grab a shower and I'll go get some clothes for us both to sleep in? I'm gonna stay the night here with you. Is that okay with you, or is your mom going to mind?"
Mitchie shook her head. "No, I don't think she will, especially if she knew what happened tonight with Shane."
"I know I have to tell her soon, but just not tonight. I need some serious sleep and a shower sounds really good right about now," she smiled gratefully as she got off of the bed and headed toward the bathroom. "See you in a little bit?"
Caitlyn nodded and watched as Mitchie went into the bathroom and closed the door behind her, the shower turning on a few moments later. Satisfied that Mitchie was occupied, she headed out of the cabin for first one place then the other. Her cabin was close to Mitchie's, and she was able to slip in and out with few questions from her own cabin mates. She stopped by Mitchie's cabin to drop off her own things before heaving a sigh, as now she had to stop by the cabin where the witch from hell was staying along with Peggy and Ella. She moved at a brisk stride, wanting to get back before Mitchie finished showering so she'd have something to wear. She quickly reached the cabin and went up the steps, only to be met by Peggy at the door, who was wearing a scowl on her face.
"What do you want?"
"I just came to get Mitchie's clothes. Can I come in?"
"No, actually, you can't, and you might want to be thankful that Tess isn't here right now, or she'd be bitching you out."
Caitlyn scoffed, her arms crossed over her chest. "Do you honestly think I even give a shit what Tess thinks or cares about me? Believe me, if I could have, I would have kicked her ass right there in front of everyone for what she did to Mitchie, and if you don't get out of my way or get me Mitchie's clothes, then your ass is the one I'm gonna be kicking," she snarled.
Peggy's jaw tightened as she nodded tersely. "Before I let you in, I have one question for you."
"Why are you doing this? Why are you helping Mitchie after what she did, how she lied to everybody? Wait…" Peggy's brow furrowed as she came to a conclusion. "How long did you know the truth?"
Caitlyn sighed, knowing she wasn't going to get in if she didn't answer. "I've known for a little while now. I'm doing this because Mitchie's my friend. Even if she made a stupid decision by lying to everyone, it was her decision to make."
"Why didn't you tell everyone when you found out?" Peggy asked.
"Why didn't I? It wasn't my secret to tell. She didn't even tell me, I just managed to find
out when I went in on my first day for kitchen duty. I think she would have been relieved if I had told everyone, but you know what? I'm not a spiteful bitch like Tess is, because I actually care about my friends and I don't use them."
Peggy's eyes flared angrily. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I think you know exactly what it means, Peggy. It means that Tess is using you for whatever the hell she wants, and you being blindsided by the fact that she's practically famous because of her mom, you're doing whatever she makes you do, whether it's singing back up or letting Tess take all of the spotlight or cleaning up her messes. Let me give you a bit of advice: if you want the judges to even consider choosing you as the winner of Final Jam, then you might want to tell Tess to go fuck herself. Can I come in now?" Caitlyn asked impatiently, tapping her foot as she watched the dark-haired girl stand there in shock.
Peggy moved to the side to let Caitlyn get past her, still in numb shock and knowing that somehow, Caitlyn was right. She slowly turned and managed to catch the door before it slammed shut, still trying to understand what Caitlyn had told her.
"Hey! What are you doing? What is she doing in here?" Ella asked.
Peggy shook her head. "Don't worry about it, just leave her alone."
Caitlyn decided to tell her the truth. "I just came here to get some of Mitchie's clothes, all right? I'll be out of here soon enough because trust me, I don't even want to be in here, considering who your third cabin mate is."
"Wait, huh? Is she talking about Mitchie or Tess?" Ella questioned confusedly.
"I'm talking about the bitch from hell, the blond, back-stabbing one. You might know her, her name starts with a 'T' and ends with 'ess'. Am I ringing any bells here?" Caitlyn said sarcastically as she slammed Mitchie's clothes into a bag she'd brought with her.
"That's not nice of you to say," Ella replied.
"I wasn't really trying to be, because I don't care about being nice to her," Caitlyn retorted.
Before Ella could reply again, Peggy interrupted. "Caitlyn, how did you know all of that? What you said to me out on the porch?"
The girl in question sighed heavily and straightened, hands on her hips. "You really wanna know?"
"No, I'm just asking for fun," Peggy said with an eye roll. "Yes, I do."
"It had better not leave this room, understand?" she said threateningly, making both girls nod. "I used to be friends with Tess, and I used to be exactly where you guys are right now."
"Wait, you mean you were—"
"Uh huh. I used to be in league with Tess Tyler. I used to suck up to her and kiss her ass just like you two do now, I'm sure. And you know what? I finally decided that I wasn't going to put her bullshit anymore and told her to go and screw herself, even though I waited until after she had fucked me over royally. Look, I don't know either of you that well, but I'm guessing that neither of you are a stone, cold bitch or a hoity-toity wannabe singer, so that's why I'm hoping you'll take my advice and perform either alone or with someone else or other people rather than Tess. Okay?"
Both girls nodded, Ella still trying to process everything she'd been told while Peggy had heard it all, loud and clear. "Thanks for the advice."
"No problem. Thanks for letting me get some of Mitchie's stuff. I'll try and come by some time tomorrow to get the rest of it. Is there a time when Tess isn't here?" Caitlyn asked with a slight grin, making Peggy shake her head and smile.
"She usually walks around in the morning and again in the afternoon right after the hip-hop class with Shane. Does that work?"
Caitlyn ran through her schedule mentally, unable to think of anything that would stop her from being there. "I can't think of anything that would keep me from coming, so yeah, I'll be here. See you guys then," she replied before grabbing the bag of Mitchie's clothes that she'd packed and opening the door, letting it slam shut behind her before Ella could ask her anything about what she'd said.
She felt a bit better now that she'd told them that. She picked up her brisk pace again, knowing that Mitchie most likely was already out of the shower and wondering where Caitlyn was. Caitlyn's thoughts began to stray to Nate, but she shook herself silently. "No, you can think about him later, not now when you've got to get back to the cabin without crashing into anything," Caitlyn muttered to herself. She walked quickly down the star-lit and occasional overhead lamp-lit path, finally reaching Connie's cabin again. She entered the wooden building and smiled upon seeing that the main resident was there already.
"Hi, Caitlyn. I see that you and Mitchie both enjoyed your dinners," the mother noted as she gestured to the tray.
Caitlyn smiled and nodded, hearing the shower turn off and glancing at her watch, seeing that she herself had been gone for close to a half hour. "Yes, we did. Thank you, and you didn't have to do that."
"No, I told you in the kitchen that it was fine. I'm glad you enjoyed them."
"What about Nate and Jason? Were they there for a long time after I was?" Caitlyn asked, trying to sound off-handed.
Connie grinned inwardly, knowing that Caitlyn was interested in the curly-haired member of Connect 3 but that she didn't want anyone to know. "They were only there for a little while, but I think they both liked it. They kept arguing about the food when they'd been here as campers, and they were absolutely wonderful. A little while after they left, Shane Gray came by the kitchen as well."
Caitlyn did her best to sound as uninterested as possible. "Did he really? What happened?"
"Well, I guess he ended up just missing dinner time altogether, so he came in and was really tentative about asking me to get something for him. He was very polite though, and not at all what I'd expected from the news. He was a little upset, unfortunately."
Connie squirmed slightly. "I'm not so sure I should tell you. He told me in confidence."
"Don't worry about it. I promise I won't tell anyone, and besides, he's my hip-hop class teacher. So what happened?" Caitlyn asked, trying to sound slightly bored and yet interested at the same time.
"He told me this story about this girl that he'd met here at the camp and how they'd talked to each other. He told me that he fell in love with her and that she'd lied to him and he wasn't sure if he should forgive her for doing that. I gave him some advice and told him that if he cares about her that he should talk to her," Connie replied simply.
Caitlyn sat on the bed in a bit of a daze, having heard the best news that she could have possibly heard: Shane was in love with Mitchie, and while he was still mad at her……. Caitlyn grinned in her head. 'I can seriously work this.' Ideas were already springing to life in her mind as to how she was going to get Shane and Mitchie alone and in the same room together. The sound of Connie's voice snapped Caitlyn from her thoughts.
"Is Mitchie okay?" Connie queried.
Caitlyn nodded. "Yeah, she'll be okay. She was just really upset because of everything that happened." Caitlyn grabbed the bag and walked over to the bathroom door and knocked on it before receiving a "Just a minute!" from within.
The door opened a moment later and Mitchie was there, dressed in only a towel, her long, dark hair still fairly wet. "Hey, mom! I didn't hear you come in."
"I just got here a few minutes ago, finally done with everything."
"Here's your stuff, Mitchie," Caitlyn said as she handed the bag to Mitchie, grinning when a smile broke out on Mitchie's face.
"Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I seriously owe you so badly!" Mitchie cried out happily, making Caitlyn smile.
Caitlyn grinned mischievously. "Tell you what: you sing at Final Jam, and we're even."
The aforementioned smile on Mitchie's face was quickly replaced by a scowl. "Caitlyn…"
"Just get dressed and we'll talk about it later, okay? You're not getting out of this, so it's no use avoiding it," Caitlyn said with a shrug, making her friend groan.
"You're evil," came the whispered reply.
"No, I just refuse to let you hide out in this cabin till the end of camp," was the satisfied retort. The door shut with a snap, making Caitlyn grin as she turned around with a smirk on her face. She was met with a questioning look from Connie, an eyebrow raised.
"All right, what's going on?"
"Nothing, really, Connie. Mitchie's fine, she's just nervous about performing in the Final Jam coming up. She was going to perform with Tess Tyler, but changed her mind and she's gonna do it by herself now," Caitlyn lied easily, knowing that she and Mitchie hadn't really discussed the details of Mitchie performing solo.
The middle-aged woman sighed and shook her head. "All right, I won't pry any further. I'm glad that she's going to perform though. The music that Mitchie comes up with is amazing. There's such meaning to it, it reaches out to you."
Caitlyn nodded. "I know! And the worst part is that Mitchie doesn't think it's any good when she's great at it and singing. She sang the other day in Brown's rhythm class and it was just awesome. Everyone loved hearing her sing."
"Well, I'm glad to know that it's not just me that thinks that she's great," Connie said with a smile, her head lifting when the bathroom door opened and a pajama pant and tank top clad Mitchie stepped out.
"Who's great?" she asked with confusion.
"We're talking about you and how amazing of a singer you are," Caitlyn informed her, a blush instantly appearing in Mitchie's cheeks. "And don't even say that you're not that good. I've been coming here for years, and Brown doesn't give compliments out to everyone like he did to you."
A grin spread across Connie's face. "See? He thinks you're good, too."
"Uh huh, whatever you guys say. So what took you so long to get done, Mom?" Mitchie asked, desperate to change the subject.
"Well, I had just cleaned up from dinner when Caitlyn came in and wanted dinner for you two. Then just as I came back into the kitchen from the main hall, there were two other young gentlemen there. I think their names were Nate and Jason? Anyhow, they wanted some dinner too. I threw together some of the spaghetti from dinner, and Caitlyn left with a tray for you two, but the boys stayed at the kitchen and were entertaining. Once they left, I was almost done cleaning up when Shane Grey came in."
"Really? What did he w-want?" Mitchie asked nervously.
"He had missed dinner, so he politely asked, which shocked me, considering everything that you hear on the news about him, if I could get him something to eat. He looked bothered about something, so I asked him to tell me what was wrong as I made him a burger instead of spaghetti again. He seemed a bit better after he told me what had happened," Connie said with a smile as she moved about the cabin, getting her things together for a shower.
"What did he say happened?" Caitlyn asked, already knowing the answer.
"That he met this girl while he was playing his guitar and without meaning to, he fell in love with her. Then he found out that she'd lied to him and he said that he got pretty upset with her today in front of the camp. He wouldn't say who, though."
'He'd have been dead before he could have taken one step if he had told you, Connie,' Caitlyn thought to herself.
"He seemed really confused though," Connie continued. "He said he loved her, and that he didn't know what to do, so I gave him some advice."
"Really?" Mitchie asked, curious to know what her mother had said.
The older female nodded. "I told him to go to this girl and to give her a chance to explain herself, that maybe it was all some sort of mistake. He seemed like he genuinely cared about her…..and he looked almost torn, somewhat heartbroken."
Caitlyn's eyes widened at Connie's words and the young girl risked a glance at her friend, seeing that tears were welling up in Mitchie's eyes and were going to quickly spill over any second.
"Caitlyn, is it all right with you if I get a shower?" Connie asked, tearing Caitlyn from her thoughts.
"S-sure, go ahead. I usually shower in the morning anyway," Caitlyn replied, silently praying to whatever god was listening that Connie would hurry. She didn't have long to wait before Connie grabbed her things off the bed and stepped into the bathroom, shutting the door behind her, the water coming on a second later.
The moment the sounds of water running were heard, at the same moment, Caitlyn's eyes flashed to Mitchie's own, seeing that tears were still present, but that her friend was doing a good job of biting them back. "You okay?"
"I'll be fine. And I told you he hates me," she said in a clipped tone.
"Hey! Don't say that! Your mom never said that he hates you. He's just really confused right now and doesn't know what to do. Did you happen to miss the part about him being in love with you?" Caitlyn asked as she leaned back with a quirked eyebrow.
"No, I didn't miss that," Mitchie said with a sigh.
"All right, then. Listen, I know it hurts, okay? And I'm not saying that it shouldn't or that all of this won't, because it's going to. What you need to do though, is dry your eyes before your mom comes back out here and starts asking questions. Unless you've changed your mind about telling her what happened with Shane? Because I'm sure she's just gonna love him when she hears about that," Caitlyn said sarcastically with a bit of an evil grin, thinking about Connie finding out the truth and what would happen to Shane when she did.
Mitchie took a deep, shuddering breath, trying to reign in her crazy emotions and calm down before her mother came back out and demanded an answer as to why her daughter was nearly crying. No, she definitely didn't want or need for that to happen, that was for sure. Not before she was ready to tell her mom what exactly had happened after she'd left. She grabbed a tissue and began to wipe at her eyes again before looking at Caitlyn for inspection. "Better?"
"Much. And you're welcome. So what are you gonna do about this whole thing with Shane?" Caitlyn asked tentatively, praying that it wouldn't set Mitchie off again.
She took a breath before answering. "Just give it some time and give him some space. Just see what happens and go from there, you know? Even though this hurts like crazy."
Caitlyn nodded in understanding. "I know what you mean. You're gonna be okay, though. Um, before your mom gets back, shouldn't we figure out where I'm gonna sleep?"
"You'll have to ask my mom, but I'm pretty sure that she won't mind sleeping in the other room. There's a bed in there that I'm pretty sure she never touched and she was just using the room for our bags and stuff," Mitchie replied simply.
"Okay," she said. Before she could say anything else, the female in question exited the bathroom, already dressed in pajamas with her hair wrapped in a towel and piled atop her head. "Hey, Connie?"
"If it's not too much of a problem, can I sleep in here, in this bed next to Mitchie's? If she starts to get sick or if I think she needs you for anything, I'll come and wake you up," Caitlyn promised.
Connie stopped what she was doing to consider it, but when she saw the look on her daughter's face, one of silent pleading and looking as though she'd been crying, she relented. "All right, you can sleep in here. You two need to get some sleep; we've got an early morning in the kitchen tomorrow, and we're making waffles for over 300 people."
Both girls' noses instantly wrinkled at the thought of having to work in the kitchen the next morning. "Great," Caitlyn said sarcastically.
"Oh, stop. We'll be fine. See you in the morning, mom," Mitchie said as she got off of the bed to kiss and hug Connie before returning to her bed.
"Good night, girls. Love you both." The older woman flipped off the lights once Caitlyn was in bed before she disappeared back into the bathroom. Several moments later, she re-emerged and shut the light off before opening a door that led to another room and shut it behind her quietly. While it didn't take long for Caitlyn to fall asleep, Mitchie was still wide awake, despite still being full from dinner and emotionally drained from having cried so much. She sighed to herself as her thoughts began to wander toward the boy that she had lied to and had just found out less than an hour before was in love. And with her, of all people to be in love with. She knew that there was nothing special about herself. Most, if not all, of the kids at camp were better at singing than she was, and they'd been coming to Camp Rock and practicing for years. They'd gotten to practice with Brown, while the only practice she'd gotten had been in choir and the safety of her own bedroom, two places where she knew no one would hear her.
The hours seemed to fade away as thoughts swarmed Mitchie's head. The idea of singing at Final Jam with Tess, Peggy, and Ella hadn't seemed too bad, once Mitchie had gotten used to it. Now that she knew for sure that she would have to sing alone, she knew she'd rather die than have to sing solo in front of everyone. And the worst part about it was that Shane would be there, watching and judging her performance. She groaned and smacked herself mentally. Somehow, her thoughts always managed to come back to the Pop Star that had practically yelled at her in front of the entire camp. 'And I deserved it, too,' she thought silently, fresh tears pouring down her cheeks again. The mind was a cruel torture device, she decided, as hers began to replay the entire scene over and over again: him singing with Nate and Jason, Tess forcing her to reveal that her mom didn't work for Hot Tunes China, but instead as the camp cook; seeing the look on her mother's face, and the one on Shane's as the realization sunk in. A sigh escaped her lips along with more tears that she wiped away furiously, knowing that neither would get her anywhere but Caitlyn consoling her. She smacked herself internally when she remembered that she'd been louder than she'd meant to be and before she could stop her, she felt Caitlyn's hand at her back.
"You okay?" Caitlyn asked in a heavy, sleep-laden voice as she flipped on a lamp.
"Yes. No. Not really," Mitchie answered. "You didn't have to get up, you know."
"Yes, I did. I told your mom that unless you really needed her, that I'd be here to take care of you. So I'm here, trying to help you feel better."
Mitchie nodded and glanced at the clock on the nightstand, seeing that it was nearing three. "Maybe you can answer a question for me, Caitlyn."
"Why does what he said matter so much? I mean, it was humiliating, rude, and painful to hear, and normally, I'd just push it away and not let something like that drive me crazy. So why does it bother me?" Mitchie asked as she sat up, crossing her legs.
"I don't know. Why does it bother you?" Caitlyn responded with a yawn.
"You can't answer my question with a question. That's not fair."
"I can, and I did. It's completely fair. So, why does it bother you? I mean, you guys are only friends, right? Well, except for the fact of him being in love with you, but that shouldn't make a difference."
"It doesn't. Well, not really. I mean, we're just friends, kinda. We would just hang out together, and he would sing new songs that he'd written to me. I could tell that he'd poured everything he had into them, though, you know? He seemed so passionate when he was writing them, like music was something he couldn't live without, like he needed it like he needed his next breath of air. It just reminded me of myself. I mean, I don't think I'm anywhere near as good as some of the other people here, and don't glare at me," she accused.
"It's a little too late for that, but go on. You never once saw him as more than a friend?" Caitlyn probed, knowing differently.
"Well…..maybe, and that's a big maybe. Yesterday, which it technically is, he was out by the canoes and singing Play My Music, and I showed up and surprised him. We decided to take a canoe ride out on the lake to see if he sounded any better out there. We weren't doing it right and just kept going around and around in circles. We sort of flirted while we were out there, and then we had to come back. But then there was……" Mitchie trailed off.
"Yes?" Caitlyn prodded, managing to successfully stifle a yawn.
"Remember the day you found out that I'd been lying?"
"Well, that same day, I ran into Shane on my way to the kitchen and he asked me to listen to a new song that he'd written. We went down to the docks and he pulled out his guitar and began to play and……oh, no," Mitchie whispered, the realization hitting her as though she'd run into a wall.
"What? What's wrong?" Caitlyn asked, though a part of her knew and just wanted to hear it.
"I can't be…….I mean…how…..I think I'm in love with him, Caitlyn," came the shocked and scared reply.
'Finally, she admits it.' "So what are you gonna do about it?"
"What do you mean?"
"Because you can't expect him to know how you feel if you decide to just hide out in here, which isn't happening, but that's beside the point. You need to tell him how you feel," Caitlyn said softly.
"How am I supposed to do that when he won't even talk to me?" Mitchie retorted in a whisper.
"You don't know that, Mitchie. Look, for now, just try and get some sleep. This will all somehow look better in the morning, I know it will," Caitlyn told her, determined to talk to the idiot that her friend was in love with.
"Just get some sleep. At this point, we're both going to be beyond exhausted in a few hours when your mom wakes us up. We can talk later today, okay? I promise."
The promise that they would get to talk more later on in the day sated Mitchie for the moment. "All right. And Caitlyn?" she said as her friend began moving back to the other bed.
"Thanks. You're an awesome friend, and I don't know what I would have done without you," Mitchie sniffled.
Caitlyn smiled to herself before reaching over and giving her friend a hug. After a moment, the two broke apart and Caitlyn shut off the lamp before climbing back in the other bed. Mitchie unfolded her near numb legs and laid back down, squirming and moving around until she was comfortable. She heaved a sigh before shutting her eyes and trying to go to sleep, even though she knew her sleep would be plagued with dreams of a dark-haired Pop Star that had her heart.
Wow! This chapter is much longer than the first one, I think! Lol. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed it!