Simmer Down // 5SOS

“Why? What’s going on?” I looked over his shoulder and saw a bunch of girls outside the doors, singing something loudly. “...standing there, in my American Apparel underwear...” Ciara stood up and wiped her hands nervously on her skirt. “Oh my god.” Beck nodded, and grinned. “Don’t get too excited. They’re due to pull up-“ he looked down at his watch, “right about now.” As if on cue, a familiar black car drew up to the front of the Hilton, and Beck moved back to the door. Ciara brushed her hair out of her face and shot me a quick smile. “Just act normal,” she whispered. I frowned. What the hell? Wait on a second. Special guests, Ciara said. Fancy cars on the street. Screaming girls. Of course. I put the pieces together, knowing what was about to happen next but really, really, REALLY not wanting to believe it. Out of all the places in Sydney with vacancies for a summer job, I choose the one accommodating 5 Seconds of Summer. 'You.' 'Us.' Ashton walked up to the counter and grinned.

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12. 'Did my baby brother get himself drunk?'

its been ages since i updated but ive been writing this mainly on wattpad sorry guys ily tho

if you want more updates, read this on wattpad @educashton bc i update more frequently and im already on chapter 15 so yeah ty

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‘And this is a song dedicated to my baby brother, who’s out there watching tonight. Despite being a little shit for half the time, he’s inspired me to chase this dream. Without him and the other boys from 5 Seconds of Summer, I might not have had the support I do today - so thankyou, Calum. I love you lots, okay? No matter how many times I tell you to stop being annoying. You look after him for me, Emma.’

Mali-Koa Hood, Calum’s older sister, laughed as she shaded her eyes and stared up through the bright stage lights at our seating box. She grinned at us all, giving me a little wink, before picking up her guitar and brushing her perfect brown hair over her shoulders.

‘Different places, different faces,

Colours, sparks of new,

It’s a change, a rearrange,

But I’m still missing you’

‘Calum?’ I whispered, reaching across the seat for him in the dark. Suddenly, he was there, holding onto my hand.

‘Emma.’

I sighed, as Mali’s voice burst sweetly into the chorus.

‘Thankyou. For bringing me here tonight. This is the happiest I’ve been in a long time, and I love this.’

I could feel his breath on my cheek, and I was glad it was dark, because I knew I was blushing.

‘No, Emma, thankyou. Not only for coming with me and Michael, and supporting my sister, but for everything. Do you know how happy you make Ashton?’

I gulped.

‘No,’ I whispered.

Calum let go of my hand, but I could still feel him next to me.

‘This summer is Ashton’s chance to enjoy himself, and to enjoy his life. He’s been getting a bit sick, keeping up with everything, being the perfect image, when he really wants to just be a teenager. He misses that freedom, and you’re his perfect getaway. So thankyou, really, for making my bestfriend the happiest he’s been for ages.’

Calum kissed my cheek and leaned back, leaving me alone to my thoughts.

Meanwhile, Mali sang on below us.

‘How can I find my spot,

In a world that keeps on turning,

Where love doesn’t exist,

Yet that fire keeps on burning,

I’m out of touch,

Out of time,

Out of all the things that matter,

I’ve lost your spark,

I’m in the dark,

But somehow,

I know I’ll make it back home to you.’

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‘You think I’d get drunk at my own sister’s concert? Hah! I have self-control, Ashton Irwin! Wait and see! Just wait and see.’

Well, as it turned out, by the end of the night, Calum wasn’t as self-controlled as he had promised Ashton.

‘Emmmmmmm-mmmmma!’ Calum stumbled towards me, waving one hand through the air and almost taking off some guy’s head. I giggled as he reached me.

‘Calum! What’s wrong?’

He pouted.

‘I can’t find Michael.’

‘Don’t worry. He’ll be around somewhere, here, sit down.’

Scooting over, I patted the chair next to me, and let Calum slouch down, a beer in his hand. Suddenly, a shadow passed over us.

‘Did my little baby brother get himself drunk again? Oh Calum, not in front of a girl, you’re going to scare Emma away!’

Mali sat down on the other side of me, giggling to herself. It was a few hours after her concert had ended, and Calum, Michael and I had gone with her and her crew to a fancy bar around the corner from the theatre. In the short time we’d been here, I’d seen Calum drink about 6 beers, kiss the bartender on the cheek and grind against a chair in time to his own band’s song.

Calum didn’t seem to hear Mali, and lifted the bottle to his mouth again, sloshing some down the front of his flannel.

‘I think you might have had enough of that now,’ I laughed, and pulled the beer away from him. Mali raised an eyebrow.

‘Are you sure you two aren’t a couple? You’d certainly be great together - Calum drinks, Emma cleans up.’

I laughed, grateful for her sarcasm.

‘Yeah, I’m pretty sure. Unless there’s something I don’t know about.’

I snuck a glance at Calum now, who was leaning against the table, seemingly sleeping. His eyelashes fluttered slightly, and I smiled. He was so wasted.

‘So how’s living in the same place as the boys?’

I turned back to Mali and took a quick drink from my cocktail before answering.

‘It’s... well, it’s pretty hectic,’ I answered honestly, ‘but its lots of fun. I’m just waiting to get fired from my job - I’m almost never around anymore because any free moment I have, I’m pulled away by one of the boys!’

She laughed, and twisted a pretty golden ring on her index finger.

‘Yeah, I know what you mean. At least you didn’t have to live with them - I mean, I had to live with this doofus here-‘ she motioned at the snoring Calum, ‘and then he started having Michael, Luke and Ashton over all the time - as if I didn’t get enough boy trouble with just Calum, seriously.’

Mali sounded annoyed but there was something affectionate in her voice, and I knew that she cared a lot of the boys. I smiled at her.

‘Calum has your talent - it’s amazing, you both could’ve been a double act, with your perfect looks, perfect music skills, perfect voices...’

She grinned at me, taking a drink from her cup.

‘Thanks Em, that’s really sweet of you. Though I think he’s better off where he is, with the boys. I mean, they’re all still teenagers really, and I know that all of them are just like brothers. Luke’s still innocent-‘ I pushed the image of Luke and Cee on the bed out of my mind, ‘and Michael keeps Cal grounded, without being too harsh.’

She paused, looking over at her brother with a happy look on her face.

‘What about Ashton?’ I casually asked.

Mali shot me a wink, and I blushed. Swear to god, if Calum’s told her anything...

‘Calum told me everything,’ she explained, ‘but don’t worry.’ Sliding a manicured finger across her lips, she smiled. ‘My lips are sealed. Anyway, I can help you with him, I know all this kinky shit about Ashton from growing up with him at our house all the time.’

I laughed, and she grinned back before continuing.

‘Anyway, yeah, I know Calum’s going to be safe with Ashton around. Ashton is kind of like... the Dad of the band, I guess. He looks after them all really well you know, he can tell when they’re upset or down and normally can guess why straight away.’

She scoffed, taking another long drink.

‘You don’t know how many times I came home from school to hear Calum crying about some stupid little thing like his bass getting scratched, and Ashton comforting him.’ She shrugged. ‘He never cried for long, and I always thought Ashton was magic - he just knows all the right things to say.’

I leant back, relaxing into my chair. So it was true then, Ashton was normally a softie. But then why was I getting the hard side all the time?

Mali tapped her glass with a fingernail, and I looked back at her, another thought popping into my head.

‘Hey Mali - is Ashton bipolar?’

What?’

She grinned at me, spluttering a bit, cheeks red. But then again, maybe that was from the alcohol.

‘What makes you say that?

It was my turn to go red.

‘He acts like it! He goes into a mood, then apologises, and then goes into another mood, before saying sorry again!’

She slowly ceased giggling, and looked at me sympathetically.

‘If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, then good luck. He needs someone like you.’

He needs someone like ‘me’?

‘Wait - what do you mean?’

She stood up, brushing some lint of her pretty dress and slinging her long hair over her right shoulder.

‘Em, you’ll figure it out, I mean, Ashton was never one for subtlety, really. Anyway, I’m gonna go talk to Lou about my show tomorrow - sorry for leaving you here with my little bro, Michael can deal with him, so relax for the rest of the night, won’t you?’

I resigned, knowing she wouldn’t straight out tell me what she meant before - she was just like Calum.

‘Okay then. And thanks for inviting me to your concert tonight - it was the greatest night of my life!’

Mali looked back at me strangely.

‘You sure haven’t had many great nights then, Em. Anyway, text me sometime, we can meet up.’

‘I don’t have your number,’ I said pointedly, but she just winked.

‘Calum swapped all of his contacts into your phone before, when you went to the bathroom.’ She exaggeratedly rolled her eyes, smiling. ‘Lord knows why. The things my brother does when he’s drunk never ceases to amaze, and amuse me.’

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‘Michael?’

I crossed the dancefloor, trying to see in all the flashes of the strobelights. It was almost half past 12, and I was ready to go home. Calum had woken up 10 minutes after Mali had left, and begun crying because I wouldn’t give him back his beer. After an awkward half an hour, he finally stopped sniffling and fell asleep again, completely passing out across the table. Now, I was taking the chance to go and find Michael before Cal woke up again and made another fuss.

I turned the corner towards the bathroom and stopped in my tracks.

Michael? Is that you?’ I whispered.

A girl, and a guy with bright blue hair that looked very familiar were sitting together on a little wall lounge, leaning close to one another. They were holding hands, and the girl had her eyes closed as she sat on the guy’s lap. At the sound of my voice, the guy, who was Michael, looked up.

‘Emma - there you are!’

‘What do you mean? I’ve been looking everywhere for you,’ I sighed.

Michael coughed, and stood up, still holding onto the girl’s waist. She was very pretty, with slightly curly, light brown hair that cascaded around her shoulders. Her brown eyes were shiny under the bar lights, and she was wearing a beautiful black dress that showed off her tanned legs. I silently wished that I looked like her.

‘Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realise you were. But Emma - here, meet Lynn.’

I forgot about how tired I was and tried to focus on the pretty girl as she held out a slim hand, offering me a small smile.

‘Hi Lynn, I’m Emma.’

‘Nice to meet you! Michael’s told me so much about you,’ she gushed.

I grinned back at her.

‘He has, has he? Hopefully good stuff, right?’

She laughed, and I felt so happy for Michael - he was looking at her as if she was the only person on Earth.

‘Of course! He told me all about Asht-‘

‘Oh-kay, Lynn, baby, that’s enough now.’ Michael clapped a hand around her mouth, and she laughed into his hand, as I glared at him. He looked away innocently.

‘You ready to go back to the hotel now? Where’s Calum anyway?’

I rolled my eyes.

‘Wasted, drunk and passed out on a table out there, where do you think?’

Michael giggled.

‘Oops, I forgot he did that. Sorry, Em, I’ll help you get him back. Uh, Lynn? Are you going home too, or do you need me to take you back to your house?’

Lynn smiled at him, and kissed his cheek.

‘Don’t worry, Mikey, I’ve got my own ride home. Text me, okay?’

I awkwardly looked away as he leant down to kiss her firmly on the lips, whispering his goodbyes.

‘It was really nice to meet you Lynn!’

I waved goodbye and she waved back, as Michael and I walked back to the table where Calum sat motionless on the chair still. By the time we got out the door of the bar and into a cab heading home, my head was absolutely spinning, and I was trying very hard not to fall asleep.

‘Michael?’ I whispered.

‘Mmm?’

‘I like Lynn. She seems nice.’ I closed my eyes and leant back, relaxing into the seat.

‘Really?’ Michael’s voice was fading off, as if he was getting far away, but I could still hear the grin in his voice.

‘Really......’ I whispered.

The next thing I knew, I was fast asleep, in the back of a taxi with one drunk boy, one lovestruck boy and some girl named Emma who just couldn’t figure out her own feelings.

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