The Best Nightmare

"Sometimes the best way to deal with insomnia is to pretend you're invisible."

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7. Aindrie

"I like it." Luke smiles, as Ashton and Calum continue to say it, in an attempt to get used to it.

"Don't use it in public." I frown, making Ashton furrow his eyebrows.

"Why not?"

"It's embarrassing!" I huff, and Michael flashes a devilish grin.

"As embarrassing as my questions in Target?"

I instantly sit up, and lift his eyes to mine with my finger under his chin. I lean forward, close to his face, and whisper,

"Shut the fuck up."

I feel his pulse quicken, and I can't tell if it's from fear or excitement. And the latter option disturbs me, a lot.

I lay back down. And the bus starts moving. Guess we have to go to sound check and another performance. Maybe I can get used to this.

 

 

***

They return to the bus, sweaty and tired. I try to pay Calum on the head for playing so well, and my hand comes away wet. He gives me a sheepish grin, as I take a facecloth from my suitcase (which is at the very back of the bus at the moment). I pour some water fro his water bottle onto it, and scrub his scalp with it. I even make him take his shirt off and wipe down his back and chest, just so I don't have to smell guy sweat. I do it for the others too.

By the time I'm done, my cloth is greasy and smells (to be completely honest) awful.

"You guys are horrible for body odor." I throw the cloth into the garbage, and take a package of disinfectant wipes off of the counter, making them groan. "There's no way I'm smelling all of your guy odors, now wipe yourselves off."

And so, they do. The bus smells like alcohol and cleaner, but to me, it's a hell of a lot better than stale sweat, especially when we don't have a shower.

"Well I must say." Ashton giggles after a while, "I think this is the best our bus has ever smelled after a show." He pats me on the back, and I smile.

"You're welcome." I stretch, and grab a pair of sweats and a tank top form my bag to change into. When I come out of my hiding spot, the guys are filming an Instagram video.

"Hey guys, we're in LA right now, and we're having so much fun. I wanted to say thank you and I love you for eying us where we are." Ashton smiles at the camera, then posts it.

He flips the camera to face me, and presses play.

"A wild female enters the holy land of the tour bus." He says in his best safari voice, and I scream and run back to hide again.

"ASHTON WHAT THE FUCK?!" I yell, and he laughs. "What if your fans get angry?"

"We'll tell them you're a friend, obviously." He shrugs, and I stalk his Twitter. He posts the Instagram video link in a tweet.

I view the comments.

Disturbing sex requests, 'I love you more than my life'.....ah, there we go.

'WHO IS THIS'

'ASHTON WHO IS YHAT'

'WAT'

I watch, until Ashton tweets,

"Shes a friend guys, haha xx"

The fans are still suspicious, but less so after he tweets.

We decide to all go to bed, still tired from last night, and today didn't help with the energy level.

 

***

I lay down on the couch, Michael's blanket wrapped around me. I hear noises, like footsteps and wheezing. Eyes wide and shaking, I can't move. A dark figure appears by the doorway, and slowly walks towards me.

"Help." I whisper.

"Help!" I manage to say louder. My limbs seem to be frozen in place, but my mouth fights to talk.

Suddenly, I feel strong, warm hands on my shoulders. The noises and figure fade, to reveal Calum standing above me, moonlight shining on his face.

He doesn't ask what happened, he just picks me up, bridal-style, blanket and all, and carries me to his bunk, which is right below Ashton's.

I feel his body heat surround me, as he wraps his arms around me, keeping me safe and whispering into my ear.

"It's okay, I'm here."

I try to find the energy to point out that going back to sleep after having a sleep paralysis experience will probably result in another, but I find that I can't. Calum's chest against mine makes me feel safe, like nothing could ever hurt me. Whatever was causing my insomnia seems to be revisiting me less and less, because I find myself able to sleep. These guys aren't help for much, but they've been somehow able to slowly erase my insomnia.

***

I wake up alone, in an empty bunk, even though the sheets are still warm. Calum must have left so it would look like i kicked him out of his bed. Bless him, saving us from endless questions.

I drag myself to the couch area, Michael's blanket wrapped around me like a cape. I pour myself a cup of coffee, with lots of cream and sugar, so I don't have to taste the actual coffee.

I down the whole cup in one try, and wipe my mouth with my arm, then flop onto a random couch, curled up into a a ball and half asleep.

I hear the guys talking around me, but right now I just.......want........to sleep...

"Hey there, bed pirate." Calum winks at me, and several different meanings of the phrase go through my head.

"Bed pirate?" I stare at him, blankly.

"He says you stole his bed so he had to take the couch." Ashton explains, and shrugs.

"Oh. Yeah, sorry." I sit up, suddenly not tired anymore.

"What's on the schedule today?" I ask, checking my phone to see that it's 5am.

"Today is break day. We get to chill around LA today." Michael rubs his eye.

"Why are we up so early then?" I yawn, and stretch.

"My thoughts exactly." He grouchily glares at Ashton, and Luke grins.

"Morning people suck."

I watch Michael try to fix his hair (messing it up with his hand), and notice that they are all wearing stubble, except baby-face Calum.

"So when exactly do you guys plan on shaving?" I scratch the back of my neck.

"You don't shave your legs everyday so we don't have to shave either." Michael smiles, and I roll my eyes.

"I have more to shave than you."

"If you don't have to be smooth than neither do we." Ashton joins in, and I throw my hands in the air in defeat.

"Fine. Let's go do some stuff then. After we shower." I add, making them give me confused looks.

"Where the hell are we going to shower?!" They ask, making me laugh.

"We raid the shower in the room management rented for you in the hotel."

"Wait we always have a hotel room to sleep in?"

"Probably." I shrug, and they try to fix their hair before facing the public. I don't bother to try to make my hair look good. I just wipe off my makeup, and flatten out the parts that stick up too much. Luke puts on a snap back, and Calum pulls a beanie over his mess of hair.

And with that, we walk out into the almost unbearable heat of Los Angeles.

You see, my orphanage was somewhere in the northern states (I can't remember where, I was so little), and my foster mother lived in Helena, Montana. I lived there with her for most of my life, and was quite used to the cold, until I turned 17 and got shipped off to her poor little old mom. So I actually only lived somewhere warm (San Diego) for like...364 days.

The guys seem unbothered by it, being Australian and all. They're probably even cold.

***

We finish taking turns in the shower, and change our clothes. Luke stands in front of the mirror, with a container of hair gel and fluffing his hair into a tall quiff. I sit on the bed, and breathe in the scent of hairspray as Michael does his usual crazy hairstyle. Except this time it is different, and I can't but my finger on how, but, I'd never thought I'd admit this to myself, it looks good. I, Aindrie Guinevere Rivers, think Michael Clifford actually looks good. Fuck. Someone record this moment because it's never happening again. I hope. Dear god.

Calum sits beside me on the bed, and hands me $25.

"I know it's not as much as what Michael gave you but it should all add up to about seventy, and maybe you can get yourself something with it. I really want you to have fun." He smiles, and pats my thigh.

"Ready to go lads....and lady?" Ashton walks out of the bathroom, tying a bandana around his forehead.

"Yeah I think so." Luke looks around, and nods, satisfied with our post-shower appearances. I steal one of Ashton's razor heads to shave my unwanted hair, so he and Luke both shave their beards. I find that to my dismay, I am secretly happy Michael didn't shave, because the black stubble makes him look like he jumped out of a Bonnie and Clyde type movie. And I love it.

FUCK. It happened again.

 

We walk along the sidewalk, pointing at stores to check out. Calum and Michael smile at each other, and push me into a purse store, while Luke and Ashton decide to get Starbucks and shop somewhere else together.

I sit, disappointedly in a chair at the edge of the store, while the two smiley village idiots browse the purses. They finally come back to me, holding a black leather bag, with spiky studs covering the strap and dotting the outside. White leather is interwoven across the seams, and I have to admit that they did well. Only when I see the price tag do I push it out of the possibilities completely.

"Are you kidding me?! It's two hundred dollars!" I don't harm them, but I might as well be shaking them by the collars of their shirts.

"Don't worry." Michael smiles. "Because we're paying for it."

"ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!" I can't believe it. Michael already forced me to let him pay for my house, and now they are paying for this? I know they're in a band and are practically having money thrown at them, but fucking god!

"Yep." Calum smirks, and they put the purse on the counter. The cashier grins at me, and then at the Australians in front of her.

"Spoiling a girl who hates being spoiled. I'll tell you this," the girl behind the counter leans in, "she secretly loves it."

Michael picks up the purse again, and throws it at me.

"Merry middle of November." He chuckles, and we walk out of the store. Even worse, Calum hands me a wallet that matches it.

"I can't believe you guys. I'm going to sell my house for money so that you can't buy anything for me ever again."

"Where would you put your stuff?" Michael pokes my side, and I -sigh- know he's right.

"Fine. But still, I'm finding a way to make money." I say, and when they don't reply, I spin around. "Wha-"

Michael grabs my hand, and starts sprinting, Calum running behind us.

"WHAt THE FUCK?" I scream, but then I hear it- fangirls, and lots of them. Chasing us.

We run as fast as we can, towards our hotel.

"ARE YOU GUYS MARATHON RUNNERS?!" I yell at mob behind us, and my legs are going so fast that they become numb.

We make it into the safety of the hotel, and leave the security to deal with them. Luke and Ashton wait for us by the elevator, and I stumble into Luke twice, trying not to fall onto my face.

"How was your first mob?" Ashton asks, and I glare at him.

"It was like zombie marathon runners on steroids took the form of teenage girls and started chasing us."

The elevator is silent, except for my heavy panting, and the whirr of machinery. The door opens, and it takes all of my energy to put one foot in front of the other.

Suddenly, dizziness sneaks upon me, and I crumple to the floor. Michael is the first one there, carefully picking me up and touching my feet to the floor. He hangs my arm around his neck, and helps me to the room, the rest of the guys surrounding us, preparing to have to hold me up.

As soon as we make it to the hotel room, I throw myself into a bed, and my brain goes blank.

Bed Pirate? Damn straight.

 

 

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