Insanity. Look at how long this thing is! Well, I hope it's at least an okay read…my mind seemed to keep wanting to wander to other stories, but I told P.O.A.R.D. that I had an idea for a Naitlyn oneshot so this had to be written!
I hope this helps you feel better P.O.A.R.D. It's dedicated to you.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
One moment, everything was fine. Caitlyn was watching as Connect 3 practiced for their performance. After their surprise performance the year before, it was pretty much expected they perform again that year.
Shane was singing as usual, Nate and Jason rocking out on guitar and singing too, at their parts. All three of them put so much into it, just by watching you'd think they were actually performing for thousands of screaming fans.
But it was just Caitlyn. She was waiting for Nate to be finished so they could go get dinner. Shane and Jason were eating at their cabin, deciding to have a horror movie night. They had invited Caitlyn and Nate to come along, but Nate just gave his brothers a look and Caitlyn laughed and said "no thanks". She wasn't going to admit the real reason she didn't want to go.
The song ended, breaking Caitlyn from her thoughts as she stood and clapped for the boys, smiling at their job well done. After last year, she'd become good friends with al three brothers-maybe closer with Nate then the other two.
The brothers lingered on the small stage, talking over a few flaws in their performance before deciding it was good enough for the time being-they would rehearse again tomorrow.
"Come on, Jase, let's get to those movies!" Shane clapped his hands together, smiling evilly as he jumped off the stage. Jason rolled his eyes, but jumped off the small stage, guitar in hand.
"See you later, Cait," he tossed her a smile before calling out to Shane and the two disappeared from view quickly. There was a peaceful silence-not that she didn't enjoy the boys' song-and she turned to watch Nate.
Nate was picking at his guitar, looking to be counting to himself. She shook her head with a small smile, knowing he was probably reviewing his own mistakes and reprimanding himself.
Walking up to the stage, Caitlyn leaned against it and waited for him to notice her standing there. Nate seemed to be too absorbed in his own thing, though, and continued playing soft notes on his guitar, lips moving but no sound to be heard.
"Nate." Caitlyn spoke up, smiling brightly when he jumped and looked at her with wide eyes, "Close enough, let's go."
"Hold on, Cait, just a second." He replied, eyebrows knitting together as he played softly again, the concentration visible on his brow. Caitlyn didn't mind waiting. She enjoyed watching him, knowing that she'd never mention the fact aloud.
The minutes ticked by and Caitlyn began to feel a sinking feeling. Maybe he would change his mind about hanging out? Maybe he'd decide to spend the free evening practicing?
"Okay, okay, I'm done." Nate's humored voice broke her from her thoughts. He tossed her an amused smile before walking across the stage to where she waited, "You looked worried."
"It's just…" Caitlyn glanced around them before forcing a smile up at Nate standing on the stage above her, "You can skip dinner and practice if you want. I can catch up with Lola if you want to go over the song some more and-"
Nate's grin cut her off.
"What?" she muttered, annoyed with herself for the feeling as if she was blushing. Hopefully, she wasn't-or at least Nate wouldn't notice.
"Let's go, Cait, I'm hungry." He stated simply with a laugh, shaking his head slightly and not answering her question. Caitlyn didn't say anything-she wasn't going to argue with that. The disappointment that was ready to fill her seeped away quickly as she watched him jump off the stage as his brothers had done before him.
Only his jump was different, because Shane and Jason definitely did not wince and groan at the landing, then fall on their hands and knees. Caitlyn felt her stomach to a flip-flop as she ran over to him, getting on her knees next to him,
"Nate, are you okay?" she asked worriedly, a hand on his shoulder and her eyes sweeping over him for any blood.
"It's…I think I sprained my ankle." Nate muttered his expression a mixture of pain, annoyance, and maybe a hint of embarrassment.
"…do you think you can walk?" Caitlyn asked softly, touching his curls a moment and not caring that the concern was audible in her tone. Nor did she care that he might feel stupid for not landing as well as his brothers.
"I haven't tried yet, Cait." Nate snapped, shoving her hand away and wordlessly handing her his guitar. The tone he spoke in to her made Caitlyn frown and bite her tongue but hold his guitar willingly. He wasn't supposed to be like that.
Using the stage as support, he stood slowly, but the moment he applied pressure to his right foot Caitlyn heard him gasp and mutter something under his breath. Without waiting a moment, she set the guitar on the stage and grabbed his hand.
"Do you want me to get Shane and Jason?" she asked softly, not caring that he might snap at her again. Instead, Caitlyn was a little surprised to see him shake his head slowly, fighting back tears. She hated seeing him like that, "We can make it?" Caitlyn guessed what he was thinking.
"You read my mind." Nate muttered, forcing a chuckle and squeezing her fingers, "Leave my guitar."
"Here, let's try this." Caitlyn suggested, having him lean on her for support. Somehow they managed to make it to the boys' cabin, not surprised to find it empty-Jason and Shane were probably at Brown's cabin using the big tv.
"Thanks, Caitlyn." Nate sighed heavily, laying down on his bed and closing his eyes a moment. There was an awkward silence and Caitlyn played with her hands anxiously.
"Sure, Nate," she spoke up softly, "I'll get you some ice." When she returned, Nate was sitting up, leaning against the headboard and untying the Converse on his injured ankle, the other shoe already discarded on the ground.
Without saying a thing, Caitlyn sat down on the bed and set the ice in a bag down next to her, carefully taking his shoe off, bracing herself for any sound of pain from Nate. She'd punch herself if she made it any worse.
"Cait," his words made her jump as she dropped his shoe on the ground. She had been expecting him to say "ow" or gasp and was only thankful he didn't.
"You don't have to stick around." Nate half smiled at her, "I'll live."
"I want to help you." She murmured, feeling uncharacteristically shy at her own words. There was something about the look in his eyes that said he noticed her blushing, too.
"Besides," Caitlyn regained her composure quickly, "You can't do anything because you can't walk."
"Well, I'm sorry I ruined our evening." He sighed and she only shrugged, internally liking the way he had said "our" as she threw his sock on the ground and set the pack of ice on his already swollen ankle, "Guess I'm really not as smooth as my brothers."
"You just need to practice landing-that ground isn't the most even." Caitlyn smiled at him, resting a hand on his knee but not really knowing why. It wasn't normal for her to be so close, especially to touch him.
"Can I get you anything?" she asked to veer his attention elsewhere then at her hand resting against his jeans. Nate glanced down at her hand before looking at her again, a curious look on his face.
"I'm-I'm fine." He coughed. Another awkward silence fell.
"Well, this is a little different than I expected how the evening would go." Caitlyn sighed, not minding the change in the least-other than Nate being in pain. She felt him watching her, so met his eyes.
"Sorry about that." he spoke, sounding genuinely disappointed. Caitlyn unconsciously scooted closer to the head of the bed, not turning her eyes elsewhere. Nate somehow had trapped her in his gaze and she wasn't so sure she minded, "How am I supposed to perform tomorrow?"
The soft words shattered the little bit of hope Caitlyn had been trying to keep down. Was that all he ever thought about was music? Didn't she matter at all? She felt plain but Nate didn't seem to even notice she had feelings for him-apparently she was a good actress.
"I don't know-sit in a chair?" she muttered impatiently, briskly flicking her gaze away from his face so he wouldn't see the disappointment in her eyes.
"I guess…" Nate murmured thoughtfully. In frustration, Caitlyn stood quickly but felt the shock run through her at his hand suddenly gripping her arm, hindering her from going anywhere. She wouldn't meet his eyes, though-she couldn't-she was too embarrassed with herself.
"Where're you going, Cait?" Nate whispered, sounding hurt at her sudden attempt to distance herself from him. There was something in his tone that Caitlyn couldn't identify and she hoped it wasn't just her imagination.
"Nowhere…" Caitlyn sighed in defeat, sitting next to him again. She was painfully aware of his hand still on her arm and couldn't help but fidget under his grip. Did he not know how uncomfortable he was making her?
"I thought we were gonna hang out this evening-you ditching me?" Nate teased her, but Caitlyn thought she heard a bit of sincere hurt in his tone, so found herself looking up to meet his eyes before she could stop herself.
"I should go get your guitar." She thought of the excuse suddenly, internally patting herself on the back for such fast last minute thinking.
"Leave it." He frowned.
"Look, do you want to go?" Nate demanded with a sigh, "Because you can if you really want to. I won't make you stay." He sounded irritated now and Caitlyn just wanted to slap herself. She was making things worse.
"I just figured-your precious guitar out there, you must want it." Caitlyn stated bitterly, "It's one of you favorites," She wondered how she knew that, "and all you think about is music, so-"
"Hold on," Nate's brow furrowed, "All I think about? That's not true!"
"Well, that's what it seems like sometimes, okay?" she tossed at him. This isn't how the evening was supposed to go. It was supposed to be fun and easy-she didn't want them to be arguing.
"Jealous of my music, Caity?" Nate scoffed, giving her an uncertain look that made her angrier.
"No!" she insisted, "I like producing. It's just-"
"No, I meant…jealous? That I spend so much time in music?" Nate's tone took a complete turn, sounding suddenly serious and curious at the same time. Caitlyn blinked, looking in his eyes and wondering what to say-other than yes, which was the truth.
"So that's what this is about." Nate sighed, running a hand through his hair, "I was afraid you were tired of me."
"Of course not, Nate." Caitlyn frowned, reaching up to touch his cheek, freezing when she realized her own actions. She never felt more like an idiot. How could she have gotten so carried away by her emotions?
Neither of them spoke, and Caitlyn began to wonder if she had only made things yet worse. The evening was officially ruined and she felt officially mortified with herself, yet couldn't pull her hand away from caressing his cheek-it felt too perfect, his skin against hers.
"I'm going to kiss you, so don't run away because I can't chase you." He breathed, not giving her time to process his words before sweeping down and capturing her lips with his own.
And it was definitely not what she had expected of that evening, but she welcomed the change in plans. Very much so. Caitlyn hadn't dreamed-well, she had dreamed-but had never expected something like that to happen.
Her fingers were running through his soft curls and Caitlyn could feel his arms wrapped around her as she leaned against his chest. Things were perfect-other than his injury, but that would heal.
"You look so cute when you're worried about me, just thought I'd let you know." Nate murmured against her lips, making her lightheaded all over again with his nearness. She felt herself smile despite her pink cheeks, though.
"You look cute when you're trying not to react to pain." She shot back, making Nate take his own turn in getting a darker tint to his cheeks.
"Sorry about the change of plans-honestly, I didn't plan this." Nate said with a straight face.
"That's good!" Caitlyn laughed, "Since if you had, I would be mad at you. No need to sprain your ankle to keep me around."
"I'm glad you'll take care of me until I'm better." Nate's said with a cheeky smile at his voiced expectations.
"Of course I will, Nate," she whispered, kissing his jaw.
Meh. Didn't like the ending so much. Oh, well, that's how it goes…
I was invited to a black and white dress party in a week…gotta figure out what to wear if I'm going (I probably will…). I'd much rather wear jeans, but oh well…
So! Reviews are awesomeness. P.O.A.R.D. is awesomeness. Music is awesomeness. Randomness is awesomeness. But I'm getting of the subject, here. Review, please!