A/N: I'm so sorry! That's really all I can say. I cannot believe how long it's been since I've written, or updated, anything. Over 2 years since I last wrote on this story! I don't know if any one still cares about this story, or even remembers it, but I recently re-read it and figured that if I never finish another of my stories, this is the one that I cannot just leave hanging forever. You guys have been amazing and deserve to have an official ending to this, instead of my usual dropping off the face of the earth after updating. If you guys are still out there... THANK YOU! You guys are what kept this story alive, and motivated me to keep writing. I have two, possibly three, more chapters left for this story, and I will have them finished by today.
"Mitch?" Shane's uncertain voice behind me caused me to whip around in surprise. I hadn't expected anyone to be able to find me - after all, this was a concert venue, with probably one hundred and one different possible places for me to go. Either I had picked a spot that was too obvious, or Shane just had a way of finding me.
"Please, Shane, not now." I shook my head, not wanting to hear him shove any more reasons of why I should even think of singing in my face. Even though I knew his intentions were good, they were too overwhelming for me at the moment. "Just let me calm down for a minute, okay?"
"Okay." Shane looked confused and somewhat distressed, but I knew he was just trying to understand. "We didn't mean to upset you, though, and I'm sorry." Only days ago, I would've been shocked to find out that 'sorry' had even been in his vocabulary, or that he'd known how to use it.
"It's not you, Shane." I sighed, still trying to calm my racing mind down as I finally looked up to meet his concerned eyes. "It's just... it's too smothering for me to even think about! I couldn't even handle being around your own fans, how in the world would I be able to deal with it if I ever had any? And it's not just that - it's everything that comes along with that. I'm not, and never have been, meant for the spotlight. I've always been good with being invisible, and I'd like to keep it that way."
"If it's that overwhelming for you, then forget I ever said anything. It was just a compliment, and then a thought... I won't mention it again if it bothers you that much." His voice was gentle as he reached for my hand, giving an encouraging squeeze. "It's just... we leave to start our tour in only six days, and I don't want to leave you so soon. And I was just thinking... of how amazing it would be if somehow you'd be able to come with us." He looked hopeful, and I frowned back up at him.
"What does me singing have anything to do with you going on tour?"
"Well..." Shane looked hesitant, watching my expression carefully, as if he didn't want to say anything. "We were thinking... maybe you could open for us? Or if nothing else at the very least perform a song with us." I gasped, my eyes widening, as his words sunk in.
"Oh no, no way, never in a million years!" I took a step back, shaking my head fervently. "Look at what happened when I went with you guys to your last concert, just walking in the door with you nearly got me killed. Imagine if I was actually to become a part of that tour? That's hundreds of thousands of your fans who will suddenly really hate me, and, not that I have a problem being hated, but I'd like to make it past 21." I snapped, crossing my arms and staring back determinedly at him. "I understand you probably don't mind dying early, being suffocated by some overzealous fan, but I value my life - my quiet life - and what you're suggesting is simply absurd." It was too much to even think about. I pressed my fingers to my temple, feeling a migraine coming on.
"Mitchie - don't you think you may just be overreacting a bit? It's not as bad as you might think. Our lives are really not that different." At that, I couldn't hold back my laughter.
"Oh no, you're right. Your whole life revolves around parties, concerts, interviews, fashion, and trying to hide from paparazzi and crazed fans. It's completely the same as how I live right now. Did you know, just the other day, I went to get a bagel, and didn't have to wear a disguise or take off running when I got recognized. In fact, no one so much as glanced at me the whole time I was there. Isn't that amazing?"
Shane was laughing now, not even trying to hide his amusement, and I narrowed my eyes angrily. Rolling my eyes at him while he completely blew off all my feelings, I pulled back my hand before punching him in the arm. Still, he laughed, grabbing hold of his arm and jumping backwards, out of my reach.
"Ow! What was that for? I'm pretty sure I could sue you for assault." His words brought me out of my crazy thoughts that were spiraling around.
"Did you just say what I think you did?" I asked in amazement. "Have you learned nothing from the past couple of weeks? Apparently, I should've make you work much harder when you were still my PA."
"Sorry, Mitch... it's easy to slip back into old habits." He stuck his tongue out at me - now I could see what a childish gesture it really was - and I knew he was trying to lighten the mood. I just - I didn't even want to think about what he'd suggested. It was absurd. "You know... what happens when we're apart? I might slip back into my old attitude if you're not around to keep me in check." His smile was graced with sadness, even though I knew he was just joking, and I tried to ignore the rush of denial that reminded me that Shane was leaving in only six days.
"You'll be fine without me, Poop Star." I replied lightly, glancing down as I twisted my hands together, so uncertain of what to do.
"What's wrong?" Shane asked, and I looked up in surprise. He gave a chuckle, reaching down and pulling my hands apart. "Every time you're uncomfortable, you always start playing with your hands." I was shocked that he'd even noticed, after he used to ignore everything but himself. I knew he'd been changing, but sometimes it still took me by surprise.
"It's just... I wish you didn't have to leave. We're finally getting along with each other after everything, and right away it has to come to an end?" I sighed heavily, trying my best to keep my hands separated, since he'd pointed it out.
"But maybe it doesn't." He replied quietly, waiting for my reaction. I could tell he was trying not to push, especially after he knew he'd upset me, but I just didn't see how his idea would work.
"I... I just don't know right now. Can I just have some time to think about it, please? It's too much to sink in all at once. Plus, don't you have a rehearsal to finish? I didn't mean to mess it up."
"Of course. I don't want to push you into anything you don't want to do. And - don't worry about it, usually I was the one messing up all our rehearsals and honestly, it's quite nice to have someone else interrupt it occasionally. I'm sure Nate and Jason were just waiting for me to storm off set about something anyways." I managed a small smile as we both headed back to the stage.
Neither Nate or Jason said a word as Shane climbed back onto the stage, both glancing back and forth between Shane and I but sensing that things, although far from over, were okay now.