Title: Believe In Me

Summary: AU. Camp Rock never happened. No Final Jam, no lies that need to be reversed... just a girl that's in love with her music and a guy that has temporarily forgotten what that can feel like.

Pairing/s: Currently? Just Smitchie. But watch this space, because in the future I might add some others. Any in particular that people would like to see?

Authors Note: So hey! I'm Charli, I'm 16 years old and I live in London, England. This is my first venture into Camp Rock fiction (plus my first posting on this site), but I wanted to get opinions from other people. Obviously it's an AU story, so Mitchie has never met Shane and vice versa. Shane and Mitchie will end up together, because I love them together, but any other pairings are open to discussion so if you want to make any suggestions that'd be awesome. And I'd just like to get people's comments in general. I think Mitchie is slightly out of character in this chapter, but I'm hoping that I can make that different in the next chapter. Um... and I'm going to alternate points of view in each chapter. This one will be Mitchie, the next one will be Shane, and then it'll go back to Mitchie. And I think that's all I had to say! So I hope you like this!

Music: All These Things That I've Done - The Killers

"And my affection, well it comes and goes, I need direction to perfection, no, no, no, no"

"I've got soul but I'm not a soldier," I sung quietly to myself, brushing my hair slowly and staring myself down in the mirror. "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier..."

I stopped, looking at my reflection silently for a few more seconds before placing the brush back on the dressing table and turning away from myself. It wasn't that I was particularly ugly and couldn't stand to look at myself... it was the fact that I wasn't. I was average. Plain Jane. And sometimes that's just not who you want to be. It's not who I want to be anyway. But you can't just change yourself. It's not as easy as it can appear.

But then again, I thought as I got up off my chair and walked over to the full-length mirror that hung on the wall beside my closet, what was? Nothing is ever as easy as it looks.

I deliberately avoided looking at my face when I reached the mirror. Instead, I focussed on the outfit that I'd thrown together. And when I say thrown together, I mean thought about quite a bit and then tried to make it look like I had just pulled anything out of my closet. Black tights, black shorts and a bright orange dress-top that wasn't really long enough to not wear anything underneath it. Bringing my gaze up to my face, I spent a few seconds examining the makeup that I'd just completed, and my hair which was almost perfectly straight. It would do. It wasn't like I had amazing plans anyway. Just a night out with Caitlin.

"Mitchie! Caitlin's here!"

As if on cue, Mom's voice rung out in the house, announcing that my best friend had arrived. I tore my gaze away from the mirror, grabbed my cell phone and my purse and slipped on my orange Converse. I'd tie the laces up when I was downstairs. Then I turned out my bedroom light and closed the door as I raced down to greet Cait.

She was standing at the bottom of the stairs, her curly hair bobbing up and down as she watched me jump down each step. "Well aren't we colorful?"

I rolled my eyes at the sarcastic greeting, taking in her green jeans and neon paint-spattered t-shirt. "Hey to you too Caitlin. I'm fine, thank you for asking. How are you?"

"I'm good," she grinned and then turned to my mom. "We'll be back for midnight, Mrs. T."

Mom smiled at me and nodded. Honestly they weren't too strict with curfews. Mainly because I usually didn't have anywhere to go, so they didn't feel the need to impose a certain time. I was a good girl. Came home before midnight, didn't feel the need to drink to have a good time... seriously, my parents were lucky that they got this 17-year-old girl. I didn't give them too much grief.

"Have fun girls," she commented as Caitlin opened the door and practically pushed me out of it.

"Bye M - " I was cut off by my friend closing the door behind her, creating a wall between me and my mother. Stopping to tie my shoelaces before I fell over them, I wrinkled my nose at my friend. "What is the hurry?"

Caitlin just shrugged and opened up her car door, sliding in the driver's seat and looking back at me with a frustrated expression written across her features. "God Mitchie. Can you tie your shoelaces any slower?"

"Possibly." I looked up at her, halting the process for a few seconds. "Want me to try?"

"No. Come on Mitchie!"

I finished tying both laces and stood up, walking around to the passenger seat and pulling open the door. "What are these amazing plans that you can't bear to miss one second of?"

"I said that I'd show you when we get there."

"And I said that that was a stupid idea."

"And I said that I don't care whether you think it's stupid." She started the car and reversed out of the drive, glaring at me only slightly when I put my feet up on the dashboard.

"And I said that that isn't the attitude to have, is it?"

"And I say that this whole re-living the conversation we had earlier today is stupid."

"I agree," I grinned at her, not taking my feet from their position on the dashboard of the car. She treasured this car with every inch of her being and I knew that she wasn't exactly thrilled by the fact that I currently had my Converse all over it. But she also knew that until she said anything, I wasn't about to sit properly. "But I still want to know where we're going."

Caitlin stopped at a red light and took the opportunity to look at me, an eyebrow raised. "Mitchie. You'll find out when we get there." A few seconds later and the red glow had moved down to green, and she started moving again. "And take your feet from off my car. Thank you."

Slowly, I put my feet back to where most people have them while sitting in a car, and looked out of the window. It was a typical Saturday night in Cohasset, Massachusetts. School was over for the week, teenagers were out partying and having a good time... though most of them knew what they were doing. I, however, was still in the dark about my Saturday night plans.

I pressed the button to put down the window, letting in some of the cool, fall air. I loved the fall. The leaves, the sudden change from hot summers to cold winters, the slightly confusing transition period between summer barbecues and Christmas parties. It was all so much like me. Which is weird to think, but if I were a season, I'd definitely be fall. Summer is too vibrant. And okay, I can be vibrant sometimes, but not all the time. Not like summers are. And winters... they're too cold. They don't care what anyone else thinks and are just themselves; cold and almost lifeless. Spring is refreshing. People who are like spring are... they're confident and bursting with new ideas and life. I'm autumn. Quiet. Thoughtful. Blending into the background. But at the same time... I feel like I always have more to say than people think.

"Can you believe it? I can't! This is like, the most exciting thing to happen in Cohasset since like... ever! Connect 3!" I overheard a snatch of conversation between two girls about my age from outside and my head snapped to look at Caitlin.

"You haven't..."

She glanced at me, her nose wrinkled. "I haven't what?"

"Connect 3? In Cohasset? You with your oh-so-secretive plans for the one Saturday night that they're here? Coincidence? I think not," I said, folding my arms across my chest. Truthfully, despite being adamant that I hated Connect 3 and their excuse for rock music all these years, I held a slight soft spot for them. They were still on my iPod (and I did still listen to them, even though I told Cait that they were only on there because I couldn't be bothered to take them off). And I had had a huge poster of them in my room up until I decided that I had to redecorate. But that did not mean that I wanted to go and see them!

She sighed and looked over at me again, before flicking her eyes back to the road. "Mitchie..."

"Ugh." I replied simply, putting my feet back up on her dashboard and rolling my eyes. The reason I hated Connect 3 so much? The fact that they had no idea that they were living out the dream. A dream that so many young people would kill to live out. That Shane Grey and his temper tantrums on video sets and photoshoots... didn't he realise that there were people out there - people like me - who would do absolutely anything to be doing what he did? And he didn't even care.

"Come on Mitch. It was too good to pass up. Front row seats! Front row! My dad got them through work. And I knew that you wouldn't come if I told you straight out, so..."

I didn't answer her. Front row? Really? That close? How amazing would that be?

No. Not amazing. Not amazing at all. Hate.

"And I know that you have a slight soft spot for them, because otherwise why would you have them on your iPod? Sure, you can claim that you can't be bothered to remove them, but just imagine. Those songs. Live. And Shane Grey jumping around the stage."

If he didn't cancel the concert before they could even sing, I resisted the urge to add.

"Please? Please come inside with me? And we can jump around and squeal like crazy preteens again, and then come tomorrow we can forget that we ever went and pretend that we spent Saturday night in, watching The O.C reruns and eating chips." Caitlin's voice was edging on begging now, and I knew that it wouldn't be long before I caved.

We were getting closer to where the concert was going to be held, I could tell. Just the presence of more people suddenly milling around us, most of them wearing t-shirts and holding banners that were decorated with 'will you marry me?' in varying handwriting.

"Mitchie?" She'd come so far, I knew she wasn't going to let me stop her from going to the concert. And she wouldn't go without me, which meant one thing. I was going with her. It was as simple as that really.

I rolled my eyes and groaned, bringing my feet down off the dashboard with a crash as she pulled into a miraculously empty parking space (although maybe not, seeing as the majority of people here were probably not old enough to drive yet...). "Fine!" I undid my seatbelt and flung open the car door, trying to escape the vehicle before she gave me that victorious laugh that I knew so well. I didn't manage it. Closing the door behind me, I leant up against the car and folded my arms again, trying to look like this was the last place on Earth that I wanted to be.

"Thank you Mitchie!" she cried as she got out of the car and shut the door behind her. Caitlin bounded around to stand next to me and then pouted. "Come on, you can smile. I know you're a little more excited than you're letting on."

I hate it when she's right. Really, I do. Because it was kind of cool that Caitlin's dad had gotten us front row seats to a show that would probably never be played in Cohasset again. Connect 3 never came to small towns like ours. And we had tickets the one time that they did? Slightly awesome.

Rolling my eyes, I pushed my hair out of my eyes and then put on a small smile. Which was really hard to do, seeing as I wanted to grin at her. "Okay. Fine. Want me to be a screaming fangirl?"

She looked at me, her eyebrows raised as though waiting for me to answer her question for her.

I sighed, stepping away from the car and a little bit closer to a group of people who were standing at the side of the street. Some of them were in Connect 3 t-shirts, and there were these two guys in dark glasses who seemed to be engrossed in conversation. My movement seemed to catch the eye of one of them though.

"Seriously, I will act as though I belong here if you want me to," I said to her.

"That would be awesome," Cait grinned, knowing what I was about to do, because she knew me too well.

Shaking my hair out of my eyes, I put on a totally excited expression and jumped up and down a few times before squealing. "OH MY GOSH CAITLIN I CANNOT BELIEVE YOUR DAD GOT US FRONT ROW TICKETS TO CONNECT 3! DO YOU KNOW HOW HOT I THINK SHANE GREY IS? AND THEY'RE HERE, IN COHASSET! I THINK I'M HYPERVENTILATING. AHHHHHHH!" Stopping deadpan, I looked back at Caitlin who was pretty much in hysterics, and had been ever since the squealing commenced. "Was that excited enough?"

"Oh, Mitchie. I love you, but you're totally insane." Caitlin laughed at me, leaving the car and taking my arm. "We're going. And we're having fun. And you're going to leave this concert totally glad that you went."

I shook my head. "No I won't."

"Hey. Never say never. You might leave thinking Shane Grey is the hottest thing to walk the Earth," my best friend giggled, as though this were the stupidest thing she'd ever heard.

And honestly? As she pulled me into the crowd of fans that were already hyperventilating (and seriously, not just pretending like I was) and then into the hall and then all the way down to our front row seats, I think it was. The stupidest thing ever.

--

The final chord blasted out of the speakers, each of the three boys (or men, seeing as I have no idea how old they are anymore) headbanging in time with the music. Then Shane ran up to the mic that he'd left standing in the middle and sent out a thank you. "Thank you guys! You've been awesome."

Ugh. I half want to ask him where he's just performed. I bet he'd have no idea. Jerk.

Which seems a bit harsh, seeing as I've never met him. And he just spent the last hour performing (because the word 'rocking' wouldn't really fit, in my own personal opinion) to fans that obviously worship the ground he walks on. But he just doesn't appreciate it.

Or if he does, he sure doesn't show it.

He scanned the audience, as though looking for someone, and for a few seconds I could swear that his gaze locked with mine. Not that I was looking at him or anything. And the only reason I noticed was obviously because I was watching to see if he proved himself to be any more of a jerk than I already thought he was.

"Thank you Cohasset! It's been amazing!" Nate announced to the screaming fans and then they were gone.

The lights went up after a few minutes of nothing but eardrum shattering screaming, and when it became clear that nothing else was going to happen, people began filing out. Both Caitlin and I had been to enough concerts to know that you were probably better waiting until the crowds had cleared, and so we sat back down in our seats, waiting for everyone to leave.

"Mitchie!" Caitlin cried as the screaming subsided and the noise level went down to excited chattering. "Did you see them?"

I looked sideways at her. "See who? Connect 3? What, they were here? I must have missed them. Darn it."

"No!" She pushed me, rolling her eyes at me. "Shane Grey totally looked at you at the end. Do you know him? Have you met them and not told me?"

I didn't even bother dignifying this with a response. She was obviously still high on concert vibes and had caught the Connect 3 bug that had been all around the hall. Had I met Connect 3? No. Would I have told her if I had? Yes.

"Okay. Sorry. Stupid question. But he totally checked you out Mitchie!"

I turned to look behind us to see how empty the hall was. "No he didn't."

"Oh, he so did."

Deciding that it was empty enough to have missed the initial craze outside, I stood up and looked around for my purse. "He didn't. Ugh!" My purse was lying open, all of its contents scattered around the place I'd been sitting. Or standing, for most of the concert. "Damn it. Nobody better have stood on my cell phone Cait."

"He checked you out!"

I ignored her, picking up as many of the random bits of paper that I could find (all of which contained little scraps of songs that I'd gotten the inspiration for at random moments where I hadn't had my trusty songbook) and then grabbing my keys, my phone and some coins that had fallen out too. Satisfied that I'd gotten everything, I stood back up to find Caitlin looking at me, her hand on her hip and a 'I'm-so-right' look on her face.

"Mitchie."

"Caitlin." I replied, edging out of the row past her and beginning to walk up the aisle to get to the door.

"You know I'm right about this."

I rolled my eyes for what felt like the fiftieth time that night and then turned to my best friend, allowing the secret Connect 3 fan inside of me to break out for a second in a grin. "He didn't check me out Caitlin. But they were pretty good live..."

She laughed as she followed me up through the hall and out of the door that we'd entered. "Michaela Marie Torres, you have officially been converted into a crazed Connect 3 fan!"

"LIKE, OHMIGOD!" I screamed, cutting into the otherwise silent hall, seeing as everyone else had left while I was collecting my things. "I LOVE YOU SHANE GREY!"

Caitlin laughed and hooked arms with me as we pushed open the door to officially leave the stage area. "I'm just going to forget you ever said that."

"That would be much appreciated," I laughed along with her.

The door swung shut behind us.