Hey everyone. I'm really sorry that I haven't posted in a really, really, really, reeeaally long time. I've been busy and lazy, so please expect slower updates now that it's my senior year in high school, and the marching band season is back up again. I've been trying to write this story and others, too, but it's been really hard with everything going on. My class schedule is pretty rigorous as well as the fact that I have to start applying for colleges so I can get out of Hawaii! Umm, so bear with me, I'll try my best to update and write when I can, but please don't expect much. Thanks everyone for all their support :)


"Hey, Alex, I'm really sorry for what I said the other day," Keri said.

Alex sighed, not because he was still upset, but because Keri probably had no idea what had been bothering him in the first place. "Yeah, don't worry about it. I overreacted. Sorry, BB." She smiled, her eyes crinkling at the corners and her shoulders lifting girlishly, her own little way of accepting his acceptance of her apology. "So, BB, how is school?"

Keri didn't really mind college as much as she did high school. There were still the same amount of parties and the same kids hanging out with their friends from high school, too afraid to leave and have to actually put in effort to keep in touch with each other. Keri's curriculum was about the same as it had been her senior year, so it wasn't much of a change. The only thing that was different was that she started at eleven in the morning, instead of eight thirty. She wasn't complaining though; Keri did love her sleep.

The thing she looked forward to most in the day, though, was being able to talk to Alex. He was traveling, but whenever they were done with playing a set and were on the bus, driving to the next site, he would always text her, or catch her on Skype to talk, even if just for a little. Sometimes, when Alex would text her and ask what time it was back home, she would lie in order to salvage just a few more seconds. Alex was quite protective and wouldn't have been amused if he knew she was up at four in the morning sometimes, talking to him on Skype when there was school the next day. He understood how important things like school were to Keri and never ragged on her for staying home and choosing to attend college.

Keri and Bella saw each other outside of school, but because of their difference in schedules, rarely ever saw each other during class. Bella was taking her freshman liberals, while Keri was already drawn deep into her sophomore credits. Their friendship was one that had never really taken that much effort, as both girls balanced each other out well, with Bella's sense of down-to-earthness, and Keri's whopping load of crazy. Keri had made new friends, or rather, just started talking to her old ones again, mainly the people from her high school tennis team that went to college with her.

"How is my brother doing?" Keri asked.

Alex paused. He hadn't really talked to Kevin much since Kevin mentioned Keri dying. Kevin's words had been a bit on the traumatizing side, like a sledgehammer to the heart and Alex needed some recovery time. He had seen Kevin on his crappy plastic Nokia, however, talking for a few moments, or texting here and there. He was never on the phone for too long, though, so the rest of the band just assumed he was catching up with Keri in the few seconds they had to spare. Apparently not.

"Uh, he's good. Haven't you talked to him? I thought he's been calling you."

"Um, no, not me," Keri said, lifting her hands in confusion. "I haven't talked to him at all since you guys left." She shrugged. "Maybe he's calling mom or something."

Alex had a very good feeling that Kevin wasn't on the phone so often talking to Kim, but he didn't say anything about it. He hadn't a clue who Kevin might be talking to anyway. "Yeah, maybe."

"Okay, well I have homework and things to do, it's okay if I dig out early tonight, right? I promise I'll make it up to you and video call you first thing tomorrow."

And that crooked grin was back on Alex's face. Keri was rarely sweet to him, and he lived for those brief moments where she would say something that an actual girlfriend would say to her boyfriend. "Of course. Thanks for apologizing and shit, BB. I love you. Go do that homework of yours."

She laughed, shaking her head and shrugging. "Go kick ass on tour. I love you, too." Keri swept her hand forward and clicked her mouse, her picture disappearing off Alex's laptop screen. He sighed and leaned back in his chair; he had been sitting at his band's booth, talking to Keri as his friends sold shirts and whatnot. Everyone but Kevin was there. Alex only had to guess that the boy was on the bus, or wandering around, sporadically jabbing at his phone to relay a text message to whomever the hell he was talking to.

It was the same routine most days, but Alex never did tire of it. However, sometimes the stress of having a long distance girlfriend was a burden.

But, it wasn't like Alex was interested in any of the girls that marched around each site like they owned it, because he certainly was not attracted to arrogant or hyper-active, swoony female swagger. That wasn't why it was a burden. Rather, it was the fact that he cared about Keri so much that he didn't have it in him to be interested in someone else. It was frustrating, especially when he was with someone as complex and mentally destructive as Keri. She did make jokes sometimes, about Alex cheating on her in the short two months that he wouldn't be at home, but sometimes Alex wondered if she was actually serious, and did think he would cheat on her.

There was a lot they needed to work on; the tour was not timed right for his relationship.

"Your girl person is pretty pretty," said a voice and Alex twisted his body to see Elizabeth from So Cynical standing behind him, smiling as she stared at the screensaver of a picture of Alex and Keri before he had left on tour. "If I were a lesbian, I would totally tap that."

Alex chuckled. With her blunt words, Elizabeth sounded like the female version of himself. "Sorry, I don't think I'd like the idea of sharing."

"Oh, bummer. Would have been fun," said Elizabeth, shrugging and sounding sincerely bummed, causing Alex to just shake his head and laugh. She glanced around the tent as though finding herself in an extremely large, impressive house, seeming a bit awkward as she stood there in silence.

"So, what brings you here, Miss Elizabeth Lancaster?" Alex asked, turning his body to face her.

"I don't know, I guess I just have a magnetic pull towards hot slices of bacon like yourselves," she said, shrugging and gesturing at the backs of Alex's band mates and then to Alex himself, which made him laugh as she added, "And also because Casey ditched me again; I never know where the fuck he scampers off to."

"You and Case are together?" Alex asked, raising an eyebrow with a suggestive wiggle.

"Oh, no way," she said, shaking her head and holding her hands up and putting on her best disgusted face. "We've been friends for forever and seventeen days."

"Ah, you do know what they say about best friends."

"What's that?"

Alex smiled. "They always wind up together in the end."

"Oh, so, I guess that means that you and Nicholas are meant to be," Elizabeth teased, slapping a hand on Alex's shoulder. "Your heart must be breaking since you're with your pretty pretty BB right now and not having crazy sex with Nicholas. It's okay, Alex, I'm right here if you ever need a shoulder to cry your gay heart out."

A skeptical laugh erupted from Alex's throat. This girl was definitely Alex with a vagina.

"What was that about gay hearts?" Nick asked, turning his head upside-down to see Alex and Elizabeth.

"Alex is in love with you," Elizabeth sighed. "He needs your help to break the news to his BB."

Nick looked horrified. "Nooooo! Keri is going to kill me for stealing her boyfriend!" The three of them shared a laugh. "How are things with you and Ker, man? Get any better since yesterday? Or was it the day before? I don't even remember how long ago that was."

Alex smiled. It seemed like he wasn't the only one that tended to lose track of time every now and then due to the repetitiveness of the days. "It's a little better. I don't know. I'd rather talk to her about this stuff in person. I feel tacky discussing problems over the webcam."

Elizabeth blinked once. And then again. Alex and his girlfriend were having problems? It all seemed a little too surreal. Alex's song for his girlfriend was the best in their arsenal; Elizabeth would have thought them to be the perfect couple with no problems and just love, love, love all around. But obviously, it wasn't. For some reason, Elizabeth felt her ears growing out of her head in an attempt to listen and learn. Sure, she was having casual sex with Casey Starter now and then, but it never, ever meant that she wasn't allowed to look at anyone else, find a distraction. And she had to admit that Alexander Vidal was definitely on the menu.

"Well, good fuckin' luck with that one, Alex," Nick said, rolling his eyes. "You're not gonna see her for another like, six weeks. If you don't talk to her now, by the time you see her, shit will be so fucked up that you won't want to even bother anymore. And you don't want that, do you?"

Alex sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "No, I guess not." He sounded like a five-year-old getting scolded. "I'll try talking to her tomorrow or something then."

Elizabeth's eyes widened a nanometer at the speed at which Alex changed his mind about when he would talk to Keri. Alex seemed to have thought about his decision prior to telling Nick, but from three sentences from his best friend, Alex was going to talk to Keri tomorrow instead of in six weeks. No, that was not going to do. Elizabeth needed to slide into this window.

"I vote that at the next stop, we do something fun," Elizabeth said, lifting her shoulders happily. "You know, a newbie bonding thing, my band and your band. Ya'dig?"

Alex smiled slightly, seeming to be a little grateful that Elizabeth changed the subject. "Sounds like a plan."

"I'll hold you to it," Elizabeth said, and seized his pinky in an attempt to form a pinky promise. Alex and Elizabeth just laughed, their pinkies not doing the right movements.

"That's where you went." Elizabeth looked up to see Casey standing over her, an eyebrow raised.

"You're the one always leaving me," Elizabeth said, rolling her eyes as she stood up. "I never ever know where the hell you go."

"Maybe you should hold on to me when we're walking so you don't get left behind," Casey said. Alex and Nick laughed, but Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. Casey didn't laugh and he wasn't joking; he was, at this point, suddenly annoyed, and Elizabeth noticed the way his eyebrows were creased and his tone of voice became slightly lower. He was trying not to show his irritation in front of Little Less Obvious, which basically meant that Elizabeth had to leave now.

"Guess I'll catch you later; my knight in foil armour is here to rescue me," Elizabeth said, winking at Alex and Nick before Casey put his arm around her shoulders and lead her away from the tent. She paused for a moment and then looked up at Casey, who had his eyes fixed straight in front of him. She didn't even bother shoving his arm off her like she normally did. "What is your problem?"

"What's yours?" Casey shot back, knowing that Elizabeth hated when she asked a question and was answered by another question. "You're the one always running off towards Little Less Obvious like you actually stand a fighting chance with Alex V."

Elizabeth scoffed. "You're the one that's always leaving me," she hissed. "You don't even pay attention to where I am in relationship to where you are and you just fuckin' prance off by yourself. And I'm fuckin' lost because our tent is on the other side of the park and Little Less Obvious is just right there so I might as well just make friends, right?"

"I know you, Elizabeth Lancaster. You were not trying to make friends there," Casey spoke a matter of factly.

"What does it matter to you what I'm doing and who I'm doing it with? We are nothing, remember? You're not my boyfriend, I'm not your girlfriend, we're not sex buddies, we're not having a fling; we are nothing."

Casey ignored the sudden pang in his chest. "We're best friends. That should be enough."

"Enough to what? Say that I can't make friends with the only other band that's new here on tour? You aren't my keeper, you aren't my mom, I can do whatever I want, when I want to."

Casey sighed exasperatedly. The thing about Elizabeth was that she always needed to win fights, and she could fight forever, even if she wasn't even angry. "Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Liz, I didn't fucking say that you couldn't make friends with Alex them. You know that I never tell you what to do and I appreciate that you don't tell me what to do either," and then Casey lost his train of thought, stumbling for words as it tumbled off its tracks and down into a fiery abyss. "You know what, fuck, just admit that you want to hook up with Alex and that I was right and you weren't trying to make friends."

"I'm not going to admit shit because that isn't true," Elizabeth shot back as they got to their tent. "All of those boys are funny and good looking, is it wrong for me to want to make friends with them? They're sweet kids, so don't even judge. I'm sure if there were a band of all-girls here you would be right up on those vaginas, so don't even fucking start with me. Don't bother fighting with me because you know you are going to lose."

And that was the end of the argument because Elizabeth slipped away from Casey's arm, smiling as she approached Tom, Declan and Rovi, who were just chilling out at the tent, all their shirts for the day sold.

"Where have you guys been?" Tom asked, sitting up.

"Probably went off to fuck," Rovi teased, and high-fived Declan. "You know, Liz, you are the singer, not the groupie. If you want to be the groupie, then Casey has to share you." He took both his hands and pointed them at his pelvis as though implying that Elizabeth should climb on board now.

Elizabeth rolled her eyes and laughed. She never took offense at those kinds of things from the boys. It actually made the secret a little easier to hide, because the boys already secretly thought Casey and Elizabeth were having sex and she always had to deny it. Even if she had come out and told them the truth, they would just laugh and think it was a joke.

"Oh, by the way, at the next stop, we are hanging out with Little Less Obvious," Elizabeth announced loud enough for Casey to hear. He had sulked to the back of the tent and had sat on one of the camping chairs, fuming, but looked up at Elizabeth's announcement. "I made them promise to do something fun with us, you know, since we're both the newbie bands here."

Declan grinned. "Sounds fun." The other boys nodded in agreement.

Elizabeth shot Casey a look of victory, her eyebrows raised triumphantly. "See? They don't have a problem with Little Less Obvious."

Tom raised an eyebrow in inquiry. "You don't like LLO?"

"I never fucking said that," Casey said, furious now. He stood up, marched to the bus, got in and slammed the door so loud that it would have echoed in an open park.

"What is his problem?" Rovi asked, running a hand through his hair. Everyone was a bit shocked; Casey was never angry. Or, if he was, he wasn't so open in showing it and normally just played it off as something funny until he wasn't angry anymore. Casey always said that being angry is tiring and a waste of time.

Elizabeth shrugged. "No idea."


"Ugh, I had a terrible day, sort of," Elizabeth said as she laid in bed that night as the boys played video games. Casey had gotten over his angry splurge – sort of – and was watching his friends play, leaving Elizabeth in the bunk room by herself. "What about you?"

"My day was pretty great, sort of," Kevin said, chuckling. "Why'd you have a bad day?"

"Just drama with this kid I know, he's such a queen sometimes," Elizabeth sighed. "He acts like he's my boyfriend and it drives me nuts."

Kevin laughed. "You don't like the guy?"

"I love him," Elizabeth admitted, not sure how Kevin was going to take the phrase. "Every aspect of him. I've known him my whole life. But I don't know, he's older than me and I guess he can get over protective because I'm like a little sister, in a way. I just think I should be living my life the way I want to live it."

"Yeah, but maybe you don't see it the way he does. Or, some aspects of your life may seem safe and whatnot for you, but they may be dangerous in his eyes. I'm sure he doesn't mean to seem like he's controlling. He just loves you, too. He cares about your well being and he'll protect you from anything he thinks is going to harm you." Kevin said.

"I never thought of it like that," Elizabeth said, rolling over. "I wish he would just tell me he loved me and that's how he felt about some things. It'd make my life a lot easier."

Elizabeth could almost see Kevin's smile as he said, "Life isn't easy."

Elizabeth laughed. "You are one cool guy, Kev-o. I think when I get back home, we should look each other up, you know, meet IRL so that this doesn't feel as awkward."

"IRL?" Kevin asked.

"Oh, you need to get on that gamer lingo, my friend. 'In Real Life'."

Kevin chuckled. "In real life, huh? I guess that'd make this whole conversing thing a little less awkward." And for the first time in a while, Kevin actually smiled. "That does sound like a good idea."