AN: Okay, for those of you that are still reading, you are officially my heroes. I am the worst updater in the world. I started this story the summer before my sophomore year of college, I have since graduated and have a full time job. And this story still isn't done. However, there only looks to be about 7 or so chapters left in my plan for the story and I'm going to make it one of my weekly goals to get a chapter at least into the editing stages.
Recap: After Caitlyn's altercation with her now ex-boyfriend, she moved in the C3. Shane and Mitchie have broken up. Ali and Jason are as in love as ever and invited Monique to be Shane's completely platonic plus one for the second half of the tour, when the girls will join the travels.
The Not –so-calm Before the Tour
Caitlyn was on her laptop, working on her latest mix. She was trying to keep herself occupied, Ali had been invited on tour last week and she was bringing Monique. Caitlyn didn't know if she would be able to go on tour also, or if she would have the Connect 3 house to her self for the summer. Nate had been ignoring her increasingly heavy handed hints.
There was a knock at the doorframe of her room. Speak of the devil.
"Hey Caiti," Nate said, not coming into the room, waiting for her to acknowledge him.
"Hi Nate, What's up?" she asked momentarily looking up from her computer.
He shrugged before sitting down next to her, guitar in hand, "I've been working on a new song. Could you give it a listen real quick?"
"Go ahead," she replied, talking off her headphones and minimizing the screen on her laptop.
"Cool," With that he started an up tempo harmony on the guitar and began to sing.
"Hey There Pretty Lady Cause I been thinkin' of you Girl you got me goin' crazy
Tell me how ya doin'
tell me what can I do to help
for a little while now
and this right here is how I feel
Knock me off my feet
Now you got me beggin', baby
Beggin, baby, please.
All I wanna know is
Do you wanna get away?
Get away with me.
Cause girl I don't know what to do
Cause I'm so in love with you"
Cause I been thinkin' of you
Girl you got me goin' crazy
"It's not finished yet, but you get the basic idea." Nate said after he finished.
Great song, I wish he was singing it to me Caitlyn though, and hoped that it didn't show on her face.
"That sounds awesome," she praised.
"Thanks." Nate debated slightly over if he should tell Caitlyn she was the muse.
There was a beat of silence.
"Um… Caiti… I have a favor to ask," Nate started.
"Shoot." She closed the lid of her laptop and he put his guitar down next to him and turned to face her.
"You know how Jasper told us we could each bring somebody on tour. Jason invited Ali, and they are bringing Monique to deal with Shane. Anyway," Nate looked at her nervously, "I was hoping you would like to come with us."
Now that she was actually asked, she needed reassurance, "Really?"
Nate just nodded. She thought about the song he just sang.
"So you're asking if I want to get away with you?" She quoted and sang as she smirked.
"That's pretty much it, and the idea behind the song."
"The answer is yes. But what about the rest of the lyrics?" Caitlyn knew that Nate saw her as a best friend and she was wondering if he had invited her because his other close friends were already going.
"I wrote it for you," Nate gave her an unsure, half smile. Her heart melted.
"Every word," Nate confessed. At some point his 'best friend' feelings had become something more. He hadn't truly realized it until she showed up at his door after the fight with her now ex-boyfriend. If anybody had told him he would ever go to Jason for advice he would have laughed. But when it came to best friends becoming more, he knew that the flighty guitarist was the one to talk to. Jason's advice was simple, he told him to write it out. Caitlyn was currently looking at him with a smile, but a mischievous sparkle in her eyes as well.
"That's great. That will make what I'm going to do next a lot less awkward."
"And what's that going to be?" Nate asked moments before her lips met his in the perfect first kiss.
When they parted she looked up at him, "Play it again?"
Nate smiled and nodded.
The more Caitlyn listened to the lyrics the more she could understand.
A few days passed and the guys were all getting ready for the tour. Ali and the girls were helping out when they could, even though they wouldn't be joining the boys for a few months.
"I can't believe you bought the entire series of 'Scooby-Doo Where Are You?' on DVD," Nate told Jason.
"Why not? I love that show," Ali defended.
"Plus, you always complain that there's nothing to watch on tour," Jason reminded.
"Plus, I threatened them," Caitlyn added coming into the room.
"A marathon including Cheaper by the Dozen, Step Up –"
"Both of which I'm in favor of," Ali interrupted. Nate nodded, agreeing.
"Followed by Spice World and every Disney Original Movie ever aired."
"And that's when I bought Scooby-Doo," Jason interjected.
"So what do you say?"
"Rooby dooby doo," Nate howled in a spot on Scooby impersonation. Caitlyn and Ali were impressed.
"He's a closet Scooby fan," Shane commented having heard it down the hall.
Ali giggled and snuggled closer to Jason. She and Caitlyn were sitting with him on the couch watching the recently purchased DVDs. She took a moment to think about the tour. She kind of hated when they went away on tour, she knew that they had a blast and it was so important to connect with the fans, but she always missed them; not just Jason. This was her family, the people that lived in the house. At least this time she knew that she would be with them for part of the tour. The more she thought about it, the more excited she got. Also, she had a feeling that this time she wouldn't be the only one in the house that would miss their boyfriend when they left.
"Tell me how you doin' tell me what can I do to help," Caitlyn sang quietly from her place on Ali's other side. She knew Ali didn't mind, and she figured that Jason was too focused on Scooby to notice much else.
"That sounds kind of like what happened when you came to live with us," Jason noted offhandedly.
"Sorry, it's just stuck in my head."
"And you want to keep it there." Ali asked knowingly.
"Yeah," she responded guiltily. It was the first real song anyone had written for her.
"I know the feeling," Ali smiled, she had a playlist of songs that had been written at least partially for or about her. She loved it.
Caitlyn smiled, but thought about what Jason had said. I've been living here for a couple of weeks. I wonder how long he's been working on this. She closed her laptop and got up from the couch, "Do you guys know where Nate went?"
"I think he's out back." Jason told her, not take her eyes off the screen.
"Thanks," as she walked away she could her Jason proclaim his surprise that the end of the episode.
"What? It was the neighbor? But we never even saw him before!"
Caitlyn smirked, but didn't miss a step, she was on a mission. She reached the back patio and sure enough Nate was there sitting by the pool with his guitar. She went and sat beside him, dangling her feet in the water.
"Hi," he said happily and kissed her cheek.
"Hey yourself," she smiled, "I have a question for you."
"And what's that."
"How long have you loved me?" She studied his face as she said it.
His eyes widened, he hadn't been expecting that. But his face soon fell to one of concentration.
"When I first realized it, or when looking back I can see it?"
"Whichever," she shrugged, "That second one would be nice."
"Well I can't trace it all the way back, but in hindsight I want to say it was sometime before you showed up here dripping wet. I've never been as worried as when I saw the bruise on your face." He touched where the last signs had faded the week before. "Or as angry as I was when you said it was your boyfriend that did it."
"You didn't look that upset."
"Well, I tried to calm down when you were in the shower, and hearing that you felt safe here really helped. It was like if you felt safe everything would be fine. That's all I needed right then, for you to be alright." He smiled slightly, "I remember thinking how cute you looked when you came into the kitchen."
Caitlyn scoffed, "I looked like an elephant, or a drowned rat. Your sweats were way too big for me. I didn't have any make up on or anything…"
"You still looked beautiful to me. I nearly lost it when you told me what the fight was about. I remember wondering what on earth could have caused it. What could make someone that was supposed to love you, cause you physical pain."
He tensed up, and Caitlyn could see it. She took the guitar from his hands, set it beside them and pulled him gently out of his chair to sit with her at the edge of the pool. He complied and put his arm around her. It seemed to defuse the situation a little.
"What about you?" he asked quietly.
"What about me?"
"Well I'm kind of assuming you love me, but a start time would be great for that."
"You mean other than just now when you spilled your guts in a horribly romantic way that I'll treasure forever?" she smirked, joking. He grinned too.
"Yeah, before that." He kissed the crown of her head as she rested her head on his shoulder. She was silent for a moment, thinking. They both stared out at the pool and landscaping.
"I guess it's kind of like what you said. I can't really pin point it. I kind of had a crush on you for a long time, but I think it became serious for me when I moved in with Steven and every time he did something I didn't like I would think 'Nate wouldn't have done that'. You became the bar he was held to, and he just couldn't measure up. The first time I remember thinking 'I love you' was when you gave me your sweats and went to wait in the kitchen."
"What was so specific about that?" Nate hadn't thought there was another option.
"I wouldn't have blamed you if you had kicked me back out into the storm. I had been awful to you and you still let me in. On top of that you let me stay."
"Well I couldn't have told you this then because it would have made things worse. But there was no way I was letting you go back to his place."
"You wouldn't let me?" She eyed him.
"Exactly, I know you hate it when people give you orders, so I had to find another way to keep you safe, without you hating me."
"What if I'd said that I still loved Steven and went back?" She proposed.
"I probably would have gotten on the phone with the security team and had them drag you out of the house kicking and screaming if necessary." He joked, but inside he knew it was the truth.
"The press would have loved that. Could you imagine the fuss that would have caused?"
"You're worth it." He said simply. She leaned up and kissed him.
It was getting down to the crunch time before tour. Caitlyn offered to run errands, since Nate was always in and out of last minute meetings, and Ali still had work and school.
Shane was the first person to make it to the door after the bell rang. He opened it to find Monique on the other side.
"Good morning." Shane smiled and moved to the side so she could come in.
"Hi," she walked in and toed her shoes off next to the pile that was by the door. "Ali told me that you guys could still use some help getting ready for the tour and suggested I stop by sometime this week. Though, she might have just been trying to kick me out of the apartment so she and Jason could spend some time together."
"And I'm sure it has nothing to do with her trying to get us to spend time together before the tour," Shane noted sarcastically.
"You know her well." She followed Shane to the kitchen.
"Not as well as the other guys, but well enough. She explained to me that we are polar opposites when it comes to packing and I think she's hoping that you'll be able to contain my luggage so there is enough room for the other guys on the bus, and maybe even their luggage too."
Coco giggled and accepted the water he offered her. "That sounds like a pretty good idea to me. I'm guessing the other guys wouldn't dare try to help you pack?"
"No way, they gave that up ages ago."
"For good reason," Nate noted as he came in with an empty cereal bowl, "Good luck, Coco. I have a meeting with Jasper about possibly moving some tour dates, but I'll be back later to make sure you both survived." He winked and put his bowl in the dishwasher.
"Haha, very funny." Shane said to Nate's back as he left.
"You love it. And don't kill her, you don't want to get Ali mad."
Shane just rolled his eyes. "Shall we get started?"
Hours later they had managed to make minor progress.
"Shane, the suitcase you are using for hair products is the size I would use for my clothes for the tour. You don't need that much stuff."
"But I need –"
"You don't need three hairdryers just because they are different colors."
"But they're my favorites."
"And it will be here waiting for you when you get home. Besides, can't you just use Jason's flat iron?"
There was no answer. She glanced over at the bed where Shane was sitting and tried not to laugh. Shane's eyes had gone as wide as they could and if she didn't know better she would have thought he was on his way to passing out, or having a heart attack. She got her giggles under control.
"Ok, so maybe you guys shouldn't share."
"Thank you." Shane's eyes returned to normal size, "That's much more reasonable."
"But you don't need to bring three of them either."
"But – "
Shane folded his arms, "Fine."
They were both distracted from his pouting when they heard Nate yelling in the other room. They assumed he was on the phone given they could only hear his side of the conversation.
"I just got back, I'm not going to try and rearrange the dates again. You know she'll understand. Stop being dumb about this…. NO, I didn't mean…. She's going to agree with me you know… Go ahead. I'll talk to you later."
Shane and Coco just looked at each other for a moment. Coco checked her watch.
"It looks like I have enough time to do a little more, but then I have to get home."
"Thanks for your help with this by the way." Shane said and he put some of the rejected items back in the drawers.
"No problem, I figure it's partially for my own good if we are all going to be living together in a few months."
"Ehh, it won't be so bad."
Coco laughed slightly, "I never said it would be."
They worked for a while, mostly in silence, used to each other already, although there were little disputes now and then of the necessity of some of Shane's luggage. They managed to get through two additional bags before Shane declared that he could do no more. Monique took a seat next to him on the bed.
"Fair enough, but mark my words, I'll be back for the rest." She joked.
"Good luck, you've only got two weeks, then I leave with all of this, there's no way you'll get through it all."
"Watch me." She looked at him, Shane looked back. Staring contest challenge accepted.
Shane was the first to blink. "Fine you win." And they both laughed.
"I'm actually really excited about it. I've never done anything like a tour." Monique said, once they had calmed down.
"Well, you need to love to travel, and be able to do it quickly and efficiently."
She raised an eyebrow at him and glanced at the mountain of unorganized luggage.
"Ok, or have super efficient people around you."
"That sounds like something I can do. There's what, a few days in each stop?"
Shane shrugged, "That depends. I think that's what Nate was talking about today. It depends on the stop, how many shows we are doing there, sometimes even ticket sales."
Caitlyn poked her head in the doorway, "I'm ordering pizza for dinner, what do you guys want?"
Shane looked to Coco.
"I can't, sorry. I really need to be getting home. But next time? Aren't we doing a dinner or something before you guys leave?"
"A couple, we're having a get together next week, and a kick off the night before we leave."
Shane walked her to the door. "By the way, you don't need to ring the bell, just come in next time."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely, the rest of the family does," he shrugged, "And after today I've decided that you are officially one of us."
Monique smiled and nodded, "I'll remember that."
"Good. So I'll see you on Thursday? And then you're coming to the kick off right?"
Monique nodded, "I'll be there."
Ali and Jason had the house to themselves for the day. Ali had been doing homework while Jason figured out how much of what he usually left at the apartment would be needed for the tour. After she was ready to go cross eyed from all the reading she decided to call it a day and that they needed food, take out it was. She came back with their late lunch and overheard Jason and Nate arguing over the phone. From what she could gather, he was talking to Nate about canceling some of the tour dates to spend more time in the cities they went to. She waited for him to get off the phone before she confronted him. When she realized that it was about spending more time with her, and not just the cities things got a little out of hand.
"No Jason," Ali stormed out of the room and was followed by her very frustrated boyfriend.
"Why not?" Jason demanded.
"This is ridiculous. I'm not going to fight with you about this," Ali shouted and slammed her bedroom door.
"So this isn't a fight?" Jason responded angrily, fuming outside her door. He sounded mad, but there was that insecurity in his voice that got to Ali, despite her frustration. She sighed.
"Why are things always so backwards with us?" Ali asked quietly.
"Because we're awesome." Jason joked, someone had to break the tension. Ali smiled slightly.
"But I don't think there's anything backwards about me wanting to be with my girlfriend." His voice was completely serious this time, "Come on Ali. How is me wanting to spend time with you a bad thing?"
The smile vanished from Ali's face.
She poked her head out of the door, as soon as he saw her face he realized it was the wrong thing to say.
"Are you serious?!" She went back into her room, slamming the door loudly.
"What do you think?" Jason shouted and leaned against the wall next to her door.
"Jason. Think about what you are saying and then come back and talk to me." Ali stated sternly through the door. Aren't I supposed to be the one that wants him to give up the crazy tour schedule? She thought angrily. She leaned against the wall just next to her door and slid down until she was sitting on the floor, seething. Jason did the same, though some of the fight was gone from his posture. They sat like that for nearly twenty minutes, in silence, a mirror image of each other, with a wall between them. Ali refused to give in, and was trying to think of a better way to convince Jason that what he wanted was a bad idea. She was staring blankly at the floor when something came into her line of vision. Jason had pushed a note under her door.
Can we talk? I promise I'll listen, it read. Ali grinned slightly, he was such a child sometimes, but she loved him for it. She pulled herself up off the floor and slowly opened the bedroom door. She looked around at eye level before looking down and seeing Jason sitting against the wall. She sighed and joined him, sitting cross legged facing him.
"Sorry I blew up at you G-man. You know I need the band to come first. It's your job and you love it." Jason came first in Ali's heart, but she was determined to keep the band stable. They functioned fine before she started dating Jason, which meant it was up to her to keep the balance when Jason threw things off because of her. She refused to be seen as the Yoko of Connect 3's career.
"And that's what Nate told me you would say and I do love the band, but I love you, too," Jason tried to explain.
"I know that, and I love you too, so much. But I'm coming on tour with you, remember? You will see so much of me you'll be thrilled to get on stage just to get rid of the sight of me," she smiled gently. "And even then, I'll probably be in the audience."
They talked through the issues, still sitting on the floor in the hallway.
"So are we ok now?" Jason asked softly. Ali looked at him lovingly and ran a hand through his curls.
"I hate fighting with you," she told him honestly, now twirling his hair around her finger. Her affection showed him that they were just fine in her book.
"Then we shouldn't do it," Jason stated seriously, though it looked like he was having a hard time focusing.
Ali giggled at his lack of concentration. "All couples fight honey. If everyone had the same opinion on everything life would get boring. I do need to work on my temper though. I'm a bit of a drama queen."
Jason was still mildly lost in the feeling of her fingers in his hair.
"I don't want a stupid fight to break us up," Ali confessed, taking her hand from his hair. She didn't want that to happen and she hoped that they were stronger than that. It was slightly irrational, but the fear was still there.
Jason was suddenly very tuned in to the conversation. "That's not going to happen, Songbird. I won't let it," he played with the strands of hair that had fallen out of her braid, "I live with Shane remember, drama queens are not an issue. Plus, I think we handled this pretty well."
Ali laughed and kissed him. It was that way that Monique found them, by nearly tripping over them, sitting in the hall.
"Really guys? Of the whole apartment, you are sitting in the hallway?"
They just giggled a little and stood.
"Sorry Coco," Jason apologized.
"Hey, where were you?" Ali hadn't seen her roommate since the morning before.
"I spent the night at a friend's and ended up spending the day at your house," she nodded at Jason.
"Trying to prepare yourself for the madness?" Ali joked.
"Maybe. It's not like it was your idea or anything," she rolled her eyes. "Plus it's a fun place to hang out."
"I certainly think so." Ali said. Her fingers were intertwined with Jason's. He smiled at Monique.
"I agree, I see that you didn't get crushed under Shane's mountain of stuff."
"We avoided any avalanches, but there were some close calls. I promised I'd be back to go through the rest before you guys leave."
"Promised?" Jason asked.
"Ok, more like threatened."
Ali laughed. "The fact that you survived today means that we'll be just fine on tour."
"I think Shane agrees. He said I was officially a part of the group. I'm supposed to get the security code to the front door from you."
Jason smiled, "Welcome to the family."
"Thanks. Now, Caitlyn was ordering pizza when I left and that actually sounds really good. I think there's a frozen veggie pizza in the freezer with my name on in."
"And I think that means that I should get back to the house," Jason said. Ali nodded and they walked to the door. "I wonder if they got Hawaiian pizza."
"If not, I'll make sure to put my vote in for next time." She gave him a hug. "And don't get mad at Nate about the tour dates, he's just trying to do what's best."
Jason nodded, "We are ok, though, right?"
Ali smiled and kissed him. "Of course we are G-man. I'll see you on Thursday for dinner, if not sooner."
It was Thursday before they new it. Ali ended up showing up late because she had to finish up a midterm and the professor has shown up late with the exam. Coco had gotten there early to go through the last of Shane's bags, but had to leave early.
The following week was the Kickoff. Everybody managed to show up on time and stay late. Grace and Chrissy had even come up to say goodbye and spend some time. After hours of food and conversation, and of course impromptu jam sessions, the group had sectioned off. Chrissy and Grace had homework that they had to finish so they were hiding out in Jason's room where the volume was easier to control. Coco and Shane still had a couple of bags to go through of Shane's luggage. Caitlyn and Nate were curled up together by the pool. Ali and Jason were cleaning up in the kitchen.
"Do you think this is weird?" Ali asked as she moved past Jason to put away a glass in the cabinet.
"What?" He was loading the dishwasher while Ali put away the items that had been washed by hand earlier.
"We move like an old married couple or something. Boy bands aren't as synchronized as we are in the kitchen. Nate and Caitlyn are relaxing together. Shane and Mitchie used to cuddle on the couch. We spend our time cleaning up."
"Not true, we cuddle twice as much. But you are way easier to clean with than the guys. We trip all over each other." Jason explained and closed the dishwasher. She was looking at him expectantly when he turned around. He smiled and gave her a kiss before placing his hands on her waist and helping her hop up onto the counter. He looked into her eyes.
"Ok, sure, we do house stuff together. But is that so bad? I figure any time around you is good enough for me. I don't really care what we're doing. And this whole working together thing is going to be perfect on the road. Close quarters and all that."
"True, I guess the rest of the group will fumble over each other enough, at least we have our sea legs." She rested her hands on his shoulders.
Jason nodded. "In a few months we'll be making fun of them for once."
Ali groaned, and rested her forehead against Jason's. "I was hoping to ignore that part." She had managed to ignore the fact that this whole thing was a farewell event and that the boys would be leaving in the morning.
"What? Thinking about the tour? I thought you were excited." Jason said, tucking Ali's hair behind her ears.
"I am excited about that. But to get there I have to go through the months without you." She noticed Jason's expression fall. "Hey, none of that. We were just fine last time and this will be just like that. Coco and I will be meeting you in London before you know it."
Jason still wouldn't meet her eyes. She cradled his face in her hands. "Jason, I love you. I will miss you, but we are going to be absolutely fine. I promise. Alright?"
"Good." Ali leaned in and kissed him softly, burying her fingers in his curls.
Out in the back yard Caitlyn and Nate were sitting quietly by the pool.
"We can totally do this right?" She asked him. Nate shifted his gaze from the pool to her worried face.
"What are you talking about?"
"I've just been thinking. We've never had to go through anything like this." She looked towards the house.
He glanced toward the Kitchen window where Jason and Ali were cleaning, moving around each other like a dance.
"You mean you're worried about us falling apart like their first tour?"
Cailtlyn didn't answer.
Nate held her a little tighter, "Don't even think about it. I don't know about you, but I think we're pretty solid."
"I know, but Jason and Ali – "
"Are Jason and Ali, and we aren't. We are Nate and Caitlyn and we don't even have to worry about it."
"You're not the one watching girls cry because they love your boyfriend so much."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I didn't write a song for any of them," he point out linking their fingers together.
"I guess that's true." She leaned back against him. She knew he was right, but once in a while she had to remember that her boyfriend did not lead a normal life, and that the challenges that faced a normal couple were even harder for them.
"Besides, I'm sure if you have any worries Ali would be more than willing to talk to you. At least you're both in the same boat now."
"You are entirely to calm about this. Are you even going to miss me?" She smiled to show she was mostly joking.
"I don't know, I have all of those fans to keep me company," he teased. The look he got in return made him wonder if Caitlyn might push him in the pool. "You know I'm joking, and I hope you know that I'm going to miss you so much." He gave her a quick kiss.
"Hey, come back here," Caitlyn pulled him back to her by the collar of his shirt and kissed him again.
They had only been on the road for a few weeks when Nate came and plopped onto the couch next to Jason.
"How do you do this?" he asked, "How have you and Ali managed three tours apart?"
Jason didn't look up from his guitar, "Well, our first one didn't go so well." He paused and looked at Nate's face and saw the panic there.
"Whoa, wait. Don't worry about it. You and Cait are solid. Besides, this is like half a tour. The girls will be with us before you know it."
"Are you seriously complaining about your girlfriends?" Shane asked, sitting across at the table. His phone buzzed and he was tapping out a reply at rapid speed.
"I was complaining. Jason was trying to help. It's not like we were bothering you. You're too absorbed in your phone for it to matter anyway."
"Who are you talking?" Jason asked.
"Monique." When there was no response he looked up to find his bandmates staring at him.
"What? We figured that we should get to know each other being you all are going to be coupled off."
Nate and Jason glanced at each other.
"No way, don't start with that look. We are just friends."
"So were me and Ali."
"And Caitie and I have been friends for ages."
"Well the difference is, we are staying friends. I'm allowed to have chick friends, you know."
"We never said you couldn't," Nate told him, leaning back in his seat. "It's just…"
"It's just you never seem to stay single too long. Just be careful ok? We are going to be in close quarters and you were with Mitchie for a long time."
"Guys, I'm not going to run off into a relationship with Coco, relax. I just know that we are going to be thrown together a lot because you guys want to spend time with your girlfriends. I know that and it's fine." His phone buzzed again and he smiled as he read the message and walked away.
"So do you think they'll get together before or after the girls actually meet up with us?" Jason asked.
"I'm hoping that it's not until the second half of the tour, just in case."
Jason shrugged and started picking at his guitar again. Nate watched his friend for a moment.
"So you're really not worried at all about Ali, and you think I'm being ridiculous about Caitlyn." Nate said.
"Yep," Jason replied, not looking up from his guitar. "I think Cait is probably having this same conversation with Ali, and that you should call her."
Nate waited a moment before pulling out his phone. Jason smiled and kept playing, not losing sight of the green friendship bracelet Ali had hidden in his bag, the one that he had found that morning, the same one he had brought on tour with him since the day they met.
A/N2: Well that's that. As always, I really appreciate feedback, good or bad.