Not What I Appear to Be
*~Tell Me What You See ~*
The date is February 21st, 1964
Paul talked privately with Brian as they reached the lobby of the airport. John was eyeing the band. He saw them with their luggage, including guitar cases. At the moment George and Ringo were introducing themselves to this new weirdo band. John found it weird that the band consisted of two males and two females. Orgy band, he thought to himself.
"So, who's the leader?" George asked giving his nose a scratch.
"Well, it's split between Cedric and Aaron, here." Nash answered pointing behind him. "She's in charge of the songs and who sings what and all that important stuff. While Cedric pushes us more to our limit of practice and performance."
"You try getting Aaron to a gig when she becomes an hour late." Cedric teased with crossed arms.
"Reminds me of someone we know." Ringo chuckled giving a glance to Lennon.
Aaron wasn't paying attention as she was by the window looking outside. She heard distant screams of the Beatles' fans outside. Everything was old fashioned, 1960s feel came through her. She knew her parents grew up in this age, but only as little kids or so. Aaron never could get enough knowledge in this rock era, now was her chance.
"Do you write your own songs?" Harrison asked putting a cig between his lips.
"Uh, well." Nash looked to Aaron for help, no acknowledgement was given.
"We do songs of the classics." Cedric calmly responded.
"Like yours!" The female drummer squeaked. The boys sternly looked at her. "Oops…"
This made the boys grin. "That explains the number of members, to match ours. Ringo nodded smoking his cig slowly.
John's voice came out. "How can you sing with two boys and two girls?"
All eyes went to the serious looking Lennon. Harley piped out with her small voice. "My sister, Aaron can sing any song! She's got a voice just like yours!"
"Will you quit it!"
The boys shushed.
They remember Aaron telling them to not reveal too much, that was a plan willing to fail. She sighed and shook her head turning back to the group. "I can sing like you guys, John more."
He went and bent to her eye level. Her hood now lowered. "Prove it? Sing a little ditty." He challenged.
Feeling confident, Aaron stepped back and went to her cousin. He gave her his acoustic guitar which was strapped to his back. Giving a whisper to her cousin he whispered back, she nodded. He took out his harmonica and stood by her. She strummed it a bit and took a deep breath, then let out a long sigh. The song she had to sing had to be something after they recorded it. So, she chose a very early song. Cedric started getting most of the people's attention, including Brian and Paul's, Nash helped singing back up. Harley took her sticks out from her suit case and beat against cases getting a good sound from the metal material.
"There is a place
Where I can go
When I feel low
When I feel blue
And it's my mind
And there's no time when I'm alone
I think of you
And things you do
Go 'round my head
The things you said
Like "I love only you"
In my mind there's no sorrow
Don't you know that it's so
There'll be no sad tomorrow
Don't you know that it's so
There is a place
Where I can go
When I feel low
When I feel blue
And it's my mind
And there's no time when I'm alone
There's a place..."
Aaron's eyes stay closed, fearful of the looks she'd be given. Biting her lip, she did seeing stunned faces. Brian and Paul's jaws were open, for a second they thought John was signing out of boredom until they saw Aaron with the guitar.
"Jolly good, that!" George said breaking the silence.
"Never heard a bird with a voice like that. I think John's got competition." Ringo joked.
John's brows rose is surprise, just the fact that they played the cords and the lyrics perfectly. –besides Harley not having her drums and no bass- He looked to Aaron who was giving Cedric his guitar back. "Bad enough I hate hearing my voice, now I have to hear a copy of it?"
Aaron looked and grinned. She knew John never liked his voice, despite everyone else loving it, especially in her time. Why, no one ever understood. Not even his friends knew why he hated it, he just never liked earing the playbacks of his singing.
"I think you've got the best voice of the entire world, Lennon." She retorted and put her hood back over her head turning from him.
He scoffed and saw his friend and manager come over. "Well, I managed to get Brian to let her stay at the hotel with us. With their own rooms. He nodded to the young group. "After that performance, I think it pushed him to it."
"How do we get them to the hotel without getting mobbed by the mob?" Ringo asked after talking about drumming with the shy Harley.
Brian held up a hand. "I'll get them a van which will take them and all the instruments together. We don't need the press to think anything else of this."
"I'd rather the press stay the fuck out of it." Aaron stated making John grin. He seemed to find it funny how much she cursed.
"Yes, well." Brian cleared his throat. "They're probably assume you're just moving their instruments is all."
Cedric nodded. "Much obliged."
Brian nodded and left to get the boys ready to get them out of their safely. Paul looked to Aaron with folded arms behind his back. He wore a long coat like the others, with it being freezing in England. Aaron was the only of her four band mates that wore inappropriate clothing for the weather.
"Lovely vocals you got there, luv. Never thought anyone could a song close like John and I." Paul winked.
Aaron blushed and smile, but it quickly faded. Aaron became immune to his charms after every as many clips of him as she could scrounge up. In real life, it did make her want to smile. But seeing John give a grin made her frown. "I just sing better of a male than a female. That's all."
Harley laughed. "You should've seen her try to sing like Snow White, her voice screeched like a dying parrot!"
Aaron rolled her eyes and chuckled. "Yea, it's true. Damn school should've heeded my warning."
The boys laughed as did her members. She smiled and whispered to Cedric. He shook his head and she groaned.
"That's some gear clothing." Said Ringo checking out the difference between their attires and themselves. "You're from America? Never seen that fashion before."
Nash raised a finger up. "We're from one of the states, and this fashion is normal there."
"Which one?" Ringo asked as he checked the buttons that Harley tried to hid. He didn't need to know the names of bands that didn't exist now.
"Pennsylvania." Harley answered.
"Ah, we didn't go there, indeed." Said Paul. "Next tour we should get Brian to tour us there."
"Alright boys, ready?" Brian asked as he wanted to get out as soon as possible. He turned to the new band. "We have security with a van for you. Once they've gone off. Get the stuff in and you should be behind us to the hotel."
The 8 musicians nodded. "Well, until we meet again." Paul winked at the girls making Harley giggle.
"We'll be waiting at the room." George told and giving a wave with Ringo.
John sighed and looked to Aaron. She looked up at him, she felt like a hobbit compared to his small stature. "Seeing ya later, little Johnny Bird." He teased and left giving a goofy grin. She shook her head and looked away. John rolled his eyes. "Damn, she's stubborn." He thought following after his mates.
At the hotel, they managed to get the van in back as the crowd was slow, SLOWLY dispersing as the day we setting in. The young band helped get both their instruments and the Beatles in. Cedric had his acoustic on his back, his guitar case in one and George's in the other. Nash carried both his guitar case and Paul's bass. He tried not to be too clumsy, he couldn't think of damaging the legendary Paul McCartney Hofner Bass. Harley helped take care of Ringo's drums and her saxophone case. She knew how delicate drums can be, and know how to treat Ringo's beloved drums. Aaron grumbled carrying both her Rickenbacker and John's. But she soon had to put them down to help Nash from falling down the stairs. Harley took the only elevator for the drums. When she picked them up, she got confused whose was whose, as they had identical cases. She cursed and rushed up the stairs ahead of her friend and cousin to the 5th floor. Looking around, she tried to find a hint of what rooms the Beatles had.
Running down the hall came to her as she felt two people side by side to her. It sounded as if they were chasing her down.
"I'm the bum." Paul whispered in one ear.
"I'm the Pope." George whispered in the other.
Aaron sighed and smiled seeing them. "didn't scare me." They acted like kids going 'aww' thinking she was a jumpy girl. They were wrong.
"Where are the others?" Paul asked down the halls. "I can rushing up, so they'll be here soon."
George noticed the cases. "They ours?"
"No, one is mine and the other is John's. But I got them mixed up, now I wish I know which one was mine and which was his."
George gave his famous crooked smile. "I'll show you to our room." She nodded matching his smile.
"I'll stay here in case the others catch up!" Paul called down as he started pacing around. Boy was he hyper tonight.
George opened the door, harmonica playing was loudly heard. Aaron knew John was in there, since he was the only one who played it. "I found a puppy!" Exclaimed George as he shut the door behind them. "Can we keep it?"
He lead them to the living room which was plain cream and brown design. The style reminded Aaron of the hotel they stayed at when in America. She grinned remembering the DVD she watched to bed every night. John was on the couch, now in his collar shirt, black pants, and Beatle boots. His 'mouth organ' in his hands as he tuned through it randomly. Ringo sat in a chair smoking a cig reading a magazine, he looked up.
"The girly you is here." Ringo said putting the magazine down.
"Me mini me?" He jumped to his feet and smiled. He saw the cases. "Good care of me guitar, did ya?"
She sighed and put them on the table. "First, let me see whose is whose. I got them mixed on the way here." John came over.
Snapping them both open, they reveled both Rickenbackers. John's was the classic black and white one, while Aaron's was the wooden finish one. John opened her's, while Aaron opened his. Being able to see his famous Rickenbacker, so many stories this guitar could tell. John tilted his head seeing hers, he knew it was a guitar, a Rickenbacker, but never in this unique design.
"Mind if I?" John asked pointing at the guitar. Original he would go for it without asking, but with instruments, he was careful with anyone else's. As people would be the same with his, or should be. Aaron only nodded, John noticed him staring at his. "You can check mine out, just be careful." He said sounding serious.
They both took a hold of the guitars. George raised his thick brows. "That's one fab guitar." He grinned. "Give it a tune, John."
John looked for a pick and found on sitting in his case. Aaron took her silver metal one from her pocket. She strummed it and played a few notes. John joined in, and they looked to each other. John wiggled his brows making him finally smile and look away. The Lennon wasn't down for the count!
"Finally! Damn stairs!" Came Cedric's voice as Paul helped them in. "Thanks for no help, Aar."
The two turned seeing the boys catch up and putting the cases in another room. When coming back, they found the band leaders holding on another's guitar. Nash felt a bit itchy with John getting friendly with Aaron. Everyone of their time knows John's history and rep; he wasn't going to let Aaron be a part of his history. Aaron saw his stare and put Johns guitar back in the case. She gave it one last long look, then closed it and picked it up.
"Where do you want your guitar, John?"
He turned and put hers away to. "I'll take care of it." They switched cases and he left to his room down the hall.
"Where's Harley?" Ringo asked.
"Right here, Rings." The youngest musician cried as she got the drums safely into the place.
The eldest musician smiled. As she sighed from the heavy lifting, joining the others in the living room. "You're a doll." He said giving her a peck on the cheek. She froze in place, red covering her entire face.
"Look what you did, Rings!" Joked John as he came back, hands in his pockets. "She's as red as an apple."
"I didn't mean it." He defended with arms up in defense.
"She'll recover." Said Cedric snapping his fingers in her face.
Brian showed the new band where their room was. The girls had one room and the boys the other. John shared a room with George, and Paul with Ringo. Paul complained a bit wanting a room with the girls. John scolded him as if he was a kid, then snuck into the room. That was until Harley got scared finding him in the closet. Brian got them in their room, as the new band gathered for a discussion in the girls' room.
Harley and Nash sat on her bed, while Cedric leaned against the locked door, smoking hard on a cig. Aaron sat on the dressed Indian style.
"I can't believe how calm you guys are taking this." Said Harley as she was still pink from Ringo's surprise.
"Calm? I'm freaking out on the side!" Nash exclaimed throwing his arms in the air. "Just the fact that they are right down the other hall, is still making me think I'm insane."
Cedric blew smoke out from his lips, arms crossed and cigarette staying in place. "You're telling me, I still can't believe we just performed a song in front of them. Just like that, it just came to us."
Nash glanced to his crush. "Well, leader? How can we solve this?"
She sighed, and glared at the wall. "We'll just have to lay out some ground rules and see how our situation is." Her eyes darted to her sister. "Is our cell phones and other devices working?"
The brunette nodded. "I checked your laptop, that's working too. But since internet doesn't exist, wireless and wired are down."
"As expected," Aaron muttered and looked to Cedric. "We keep our doors locked, we cannot allow them, or anyone in them."
"What about maids or those cleaning people?" The bassist questioned.
"We'll just keep them hidden. And ask them to lock the door when done. They can't be that stupid." She rounded back.
Cedric glanced behind him at the door.
"We'll also have to be careful what we say. Including our-"
Cedric opened the door and in fell George Paul, Ringo fell on top of them. John stood behind. All three looked to see they were caught listening to the door by Cedric.
"We just were wondering… Why the door was locked." Paul said with an innocent puppy face.
Cedric raised a brow, as Nash and Harley peeked behind him. Ringo and George gave a small wave, making her giggle. Aaron hunched over. "Let them in, it's alright." She called as Cedric moved.
They had hid their stuff, so she was sure they wouldn't snoop too hard. The three stood -John stepped over them- and entered the room.
"What about hiding things from us?" John asked Aaron mimicking her; crossed arms and series look. "We're all musicians, we're all friends; we can share secrets. Even the dirty ones." He wiggled his brows.
Aaron scoffed, jumping down from the dresser, and left to the balcony slamming the sliding door. She leaned against the railing seeing the sights from her view. John threw his arms up. "What is wrong with her?" They looked to him. "Every time she looks at me, I can't get a laugh out of her." He put his hands in his pockets and pouted, leaning against the dresser.
Cedric shook his head. "Aaron is a hard girl to read. One moment she'll be up and ready to go, the next she'll want to be left alone."
John rolled his eyes. Paul gave a laugh. "She reminds me of John." He got a look from his friend. Nash rolled his eyes and sat on the bed. "You fellows don't have to tell us anything." The puppy eyed bassist assured.
"Where are you going from here?" Ringo asked sitting next to Harley, who George joined on the other side.
"Um, we, uhh…"
Eyes shot over to Aaron who had her hood up and arms crossed. "We were going to perform in your home town. But, we got stranded. Tricked, you could say."
"Oh," George leaned on his arms on the bed. "Took your money and dropped ya here?"
Aaron shrugged. "You could say that. Now we're stuck here."
"Well, we'll be in London for a recent film we are working on." Said Paul giving a smile. "We don't know anything on it, but they promised the fans will love it."
"Hard Day's Night." Aaron thought. She smiled at Paul taking her hood off. "I assure the film should be. You're the best that there is," Her eyes went to all four. "All of you."
"Oh, you gush!" Ringo joked.
John eyed her. "Even me?"
Aaron turned to her idol, he was giving a serious face, showing he wasn't joking or being amusing. Aaron reached for her hood, but instead put her hands in her jacket pocket. A soft smile graced her lips, gray/green eyes watered, but the tears obeyed from escaping.
"You're the leader of this whole group, and it's thanks to you that they are where they are today. John Lennon, you're the best of the best, and with these guys. You're the top of the top."
They all didn't expect her to put that all into it for John. He was gave a grin and combed his hair with his fingers. "Is that so?"
She nodded and laughed. "The truth."
Nash gave a hidden worried glance to his crush. He knew how she was for her idol John Lennon. He and Cedric both. The British cousin also gave a full concerned look. He knows how she is with John, he's heard her cry when listening to his voice. When watching movies, she would laugh to keep herself from crying. He never understood, it could be from the fate he was given, or will be in about 10 or 15 years.
"Boys," Brian popped his head in. "Unless you want to starve, I suggest we get to the dining hall for dinner." Then he left.
"After you." Said George and Ringo to Harley as they stood. She giggled and as they looped their arms with her and escorted her out.
Paul chuckled and left talking to Nash about bass playing. Cedric and John looked to Aaron who looked outside at the setting clouds. It was a mix of purple and blue, as the sun was somewhere hidden in the clouds.
"Aaron, we better go. Our first dinner in England." He said with an excited tone.
She put her hood up and left without looking at either of them. John was about to go, but Cedric shut the door. He gave him a look as he cousin leaned against it with one hand. "Maybe I should tell you straight out." He said in a friendly tone, so John found no threat from him.
"Go on." He urged hands in pocket.
"Aaron really looks up to you, and I mean, really looks up to you. It's thanks to your music she got out of a lot of darkness in her life. She's been through rough stuff, between her parents showing neglect, and being beat up in school."
"A girl getting beat up? That's just not right!" John's voice bellowed. He felt a bit of anger, people beating up a girl? Like her? For what?
Cedric raised a hand. "She's not one to take it, she's fought back. A couple times more than she should." John let his anger go away. "Aaron is a tough girl and takes things herself, never letting anyone beyond her walls. She isn't afraid of getting hurt, she's willing to do so for the ones she loves."
John gave a confused look. "Why're you telling me all this? What's this got to do with her not looking or getting a laugh from her?"
"Well," He sighed. "I can't really go into detail, but all I know is this; she laughs to keep from crying." He opened the door and left down the hall. "That might be a key to getting her win."
John stood there puzzled. His songs really saved her and impacted her that much? There wasn't much meaning to most of their songs, from what he knew. Sighed with a shrug, John trudged after lighting a cig he's been dying to have since he got there. He lost his other between getting past the fans and being stuffed into the car.