Slow Burn

"Oh say, do you know?
I'm a fool in a one man show
I'm a broken stereo, out of time
So how, does it feel?
All alone, is it so surreal?
'Cause the ghost of survivor's guilt can be so unkind"

Eloise Cecilia Hemmings (Lucy) is the twin sister of the one and only Luke Hemmings.
The Catch: the fans have no idea she exists.

Lucas Robert Hemmings is the twin brother of Lucy Hemmings.
The Catch: he's not all that great at being without her.

What happens when Lucy is forced out of "hiding"? How will the fans react when she starts dating Ashton Irwin? Will Luke be able to protect his little sister, or will the real world break them, and the band, apart?

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7. Chapter 7

We travel from town to town, hey days becoming routine. We move towns, the boys perform two evening shows while filling their days with interviews and album promotions, then we hop on the bus and travel again. Slowly, Luke stops shifting at night. Gradually, he’s able to sleep without me. I still find it odd that he couldn’t sleep without me, but I’m glad he’s back to normal. Luke and I still haven't talked about that night at the club three days ago, though.

We continue to travel across the continent of the United States of America, visiting towns and cities. The boys are so tired and wiped that they don’t get out much; the five of us spend every waking minute waiting to sleep. It’s gotten to the point that I take a minimum of three power naps a day. When I finally get to crawl into my bunk at night, I fall asleep instantly. It used to be that Luke’s tossing and turning above me would wake me up, but he stopped turning. He started sleeping on his own. Smiling brighter. Laughing louder. Joking more. I continuously doubt that I’m the reason he’s changed, but the looks his bandmates give me confirm that I am, at least in part, the reason.

We’re in Denver, Colorado right now and it’s been raining all day. Moving from interview to interview, we’ve accepted the fact that we’re going to be drenched all day. Instead, we play in the rain, splashing in the puddles, catching raindrops on our tongues, and pulling hoods down to expose once dry hair.

I’m exhausted by the time we get to the arena, eager to get dry. The boys, however, know they’re just going to have to play in the rain again. They curse about how this is one of the only open arenas and they can’t even enjoy it because it’s cold and wet. I just roll my eyes at them.

I hug my brother and his friends good luck before they go on stage, informing Luke that I’m going back to the bus for yet another nap. I’ve never been good with the cold, and my medical issues are acting up. But since I haven’t told Luke about them yet, I don’t want to worry him. I know I can deal with it on my own, and while he’s on stage is the perfect time.

One of the security guards leads me to the bus, using his jacket as a makeshift umbrella for me, ensuring that I stay dry. I thank him and climb the steps, eager to climb into my bunk and sleep the rest of the night away. I change into my warmest pajamas, take my medication, making a silent note to stay calm as I notice the severely diminished number of pills. They’re not going to last the rest of the week. Seven days means fourteen pills. I have six. “Breathe, Lucy. Breathe,” I quietly tell myself. It’s not deadly if I run out. But it is dangerous. And it means my life is going to get a hell of a lot harder in two days. I swallow two of the pills, further limiting my supply, chug a gatorade I managed to swipe, and crawl into bed, wrapping as many blankets as I can around my shaking body. Luckily, it’s not long before I fall asleep.

*    *    *    *    *

I toss and turn in my bunk, unable to sleep. Ugh… I should not have come back and slept. It felt good at the time, but now I can’t sleep… I sit up and pull out my phone to look at the time: 2:30 am. Great… I hear a clap of thunder and for some reason I turn my head towards my curtain as if looking outside. I shake my head, rolling my eyes. I’m in the bunks; I’ll never see what’s outside unless I move. And right now, I’m quite comfortable thank you very much.

I hear another roll of thunder and someone swear lightly under his breath. I frown, recognizing Calum’s voice. I leave the situation be, figuring he’s just looking at something on his phone. When the thunder sounds again, Calum’s voice of annoyance and...fear?...sounds again. I once again frown and remove myself from my compartment, lightly knocking on the edge of his bunk. “Calum?”

His curtain moves out of the way, revealing his face. “Lucy? What are you doing up?”

“Couldn’t sleep. Stupid time zones and naps and stuff.” I shrug, brushing it off. “Question is, what are you doing up? It’s 2 in the morning and you’ve just played a show. You’re the one who should be sleeping.”

I see him shrug in the darkness. “Just couldn’t sleep I guess.” He smiles reassuringly at me. “You should go try and-”

The thunder claps again and he flinches slightly, hissing at the sound. “Cal?” He doesn’t respond. “Calum, are you afraid of thunder?” He still remains silent. “Calum, you know you can talk to me. What’s going on?”

Thunder claps again, louder this time, and he practically jumps, whimpering slightly, hands fisting in the blankets. “I’m not afraid of thunder, I just don’t like it. Especially when I’m traveling.”

I nod, understanding. It’s a valid fear. “This can’t be the first time you’ve had a thunderstorm during a tour. You’ve been out for years.”

He shrugs again. “It’s not.”

“Ok, well, what do you usually do when it happens?”

“Uh…” Thunder rolls again. “Son of a bitch,” he mutters under his breath. “Usually one of the other guys are up and I hang out with them. Sit with them on the couch.”

I raise an eyebrow. I know these boys. I know he doesn’t just “sit” with them. “By sit you mean cuddle?”

He chuckles slightly and nods. “Yeah, I guess.”

“Well, none of the guys are up right now-”

“I know,” he says, cutting me off.

But,” I say, continuing, “I am. I can cuddle with you if it will make you feel better.”

He pauses and it looks like he’s frowning. “Really?” he asks, cocking his head to the side in confusion.

“Of course,” I respond, climbing up into his bunk. He helps me, chuckling slightly when I struggle.

“I’m short and these bunks are high up. Shut up,” I pout.

He just chuckles again, then wraps his arms around me when the thunder sounds yet another time tonight. His grip is a little tight, but I don’t say anything. Instead, I lie down, his arms still wrapped around my waist from behind. “Try and get some sleep,” I tell him, wrapping my arms around his. I feel him nod as he shifts around to a more comfortable position, one of his arms moving to pillow my head.

His grip tightens every time he hears the thunder, then gradually loosens, then tightens and loosens. This pattern continues for about another hour before I hear his breathing even out. I smile slightly, knowing he’s asleep. I pull the blanket over us, careful not to wake him.

It’s another few hours before I fall asleep as well, drifting into a world of darkness and dreams.

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