Kristina Reyes hated that she was always second best to Rosalina Tai.
She needed to face facts, of course, that the band had known Rosalina longer and were more loyal to her than Kristina herself. She knew that, and she accepted that the band would generally favor Rosalina's inputs over her own. She had come to deal with that fact.
What really hurt her to see, was the longing glances Nat always gave Rosalina. It was the "I want you back" gaze. It was the gaze of True Love, anyone could see it. The band, Cooper, Alex, even Jesse. They all knew how in love with Rosalina Nat was. They just wished the two would work things out and either go back to being friends or go back to being a couple.
Kristina wanted them to work things out like the rest of the band, she just wanted Nat to want to just be Rosalina's friend, though. She wanted him to look at her the way he looked at Rosalina. She knew it wouldn't happen, she wasn't foolish enough to think it would, she just hoped.
Months passed and band rehearsals got more frantic as they prepared for an upcoming concert gig. Kristina was excited and nervous at the same time. During one of the breaks, she had went outside to stand on the sidewalk. They were doing a dress rehearsal for the show and it was a little intimidating. It was her first live stage performance with the band and Rosalina.
She heard the door open and turned to see Nat walking out and looking for something. He turned his head to see her and smiled. She smiled back weakly. "Hey." She said, softly.
"You nervous?" He asked, stuffing his hands in his jacket pockets. She just nodded. Why did Nat's presence turn her into some brain dead vegetable? She was usually a smart girl. What was this guy doing to her?
"You shouldn't be. You sounded great in there, everyone agrees. Even Rosalina said that was your best performance to date." He continued.
"Really? That was nice of her." She replied and looked away from the brown-eyed boy she was staring at.
"Yeah, so see. Nothing to worry about. You'll be great. Trust me." Nat said and smiled at her. She smiled back and looked into his eyes, searching for a hint of the passion she saw when he'd looking at Rosalina. She thought she saw a flicker of it, but it was gone before she could be sure. Because she was always second best.
The concert went amazingly. The band did two encores before finally just getting to chill backstage. Cooper congratulated them on a job well done. Kristina was buzzing with post-concert jitters, and could tell everyone else was, too. She walked over to Nat and wrapped her arms around him in a hug. He hugged her back for a few seconds before stepping away and looking at her. "What was that for?" He asked, curiously.
She couldn't tell him the truth, that she wanted to hug him just for being there, for being him. So, she came up with a half-truth statement. "The pep-talk earlier. It really helped me focus on my bass playing. So thanks."
He smiled. "No problem." She saw his gaze focus on something behind her, she turned and followed his gaze, right over to Rosalina. She sighed inwardly. She could feel the "not good enough" feeling coming again. She hated it.
"I'll be right back." Nat said and started walking towards Rosalina, Kristina watched, not wanting to but wanting to see what happened. She saw Nat walk up and hug her. It was a different kind of hug than the one he had just had with her, anybody who saw both could tell you that, and they held on to each other longer than she and Nat had. And, after they pulled away, Rosalina kissed his cheek and Nat's whole face lit up in a smile.
Kristina watched sadly. She was second best once again.
Nat and Rosalina did eventually get back together, much to the band's delight. Now that Nat and Rosalina were Nat and Rosalina again, everything could just fall back into place, like the fates had aligned for them. They could be more jokey and less serious all the time. And while Kristina was happy that Nat was happy, she wished she was the one that was making him happy, not Rosalina.
Everyone congratulated them, hugging and celebrating. Kristina tried to participate, but wasn't in a "party" mood. She ended up just sitting on the couch, trying to look like she wasn't moping. She guessed it wasn't working when Nat plopped down next to her with a concerned look on his face. "What's wrong?" He asked.
She looked at him, and her heart broke a little more. Why couldn't she be the number one girl in his life? Why did she have to be number two? "It's just… seeing what you and Rosalina have makes me see how lonely I am and how I want what you two have, but probably won't ever get." She replied. It wasn't a total lie.
Nat put his arm around her and she had to fight to not react to the tingles it shot through her body. "Kris, that's not true. You're going to find love one day, trust me. You're a great girl and some day a guy's going to see that. And, not only do you have a great personality, you're also really pretty." The fifteen-year-old said to her.
Kristina smiled sadly. "Thanks, Nat, that means a lot, coming from you. You're a really great guy." She replied, and leaned her head on his shoulder, fighting the urge to cry.
Nat squeezed her shoulder before releasing her. "I gotta get back to Rosalina, but if you ever need anything, tell me, okay?" She nodded and he was off.
Back to Rosalina. Back to the love of his life, his inspiration, his everything.
Back to the girl Kristina would always be second best to.
I'm kind of iffy on posting this. Mainly because nobody reads NBB stories anymore (or hardly ever, if the do) and then Nat/Kristina is the least favorite couple of the bunch. But… after rereading this (I've had it in my computer forever) I just thought "what the hell?" plus, I can relate to Kristina's feelings in this very well. So… let me know what you guys think!
Disclaimer: I don't own The Naked Brothers Band, if I did, it would still be on the air.