A day before they play at some music festival in England, a magazine wants to take their pictures. Frey, unsure of his image, now that he's in a real band, spends a long time staring at himself in the bathroom mirror, tweaking his hair and twisting his head, trying to see which angle is best to look at. Doug, on his way out after taking a piss, remarks "you're such a girl" and leaves the bathroom, hand clawing at his pockets for the pack of cigarettes that is always there.
Frey emerges only when one of the photographer's assistants comes to get him. She enters the bathroom without any regard for the fact that it's the men's room, and the silhouette on the door doesn't have a skirt, and grabs him by the arm. She tows him out of there and into a dressing room, where he is sat down next to the rest of Chernobyl, who act nonchalant, completely used to this by now. But he isn't. He doesn't know how to behave with fame. It's never been a part of his life before.
The makeup artist doesn't speak as he tweaks Frey's hair and applies a minimal amount of cosmetics, then pushing him out the door after the rest of his bandmates. His limp wrists and effeminate features make Frey uneasy, reminding him painfully of his sexual dilemna.
They take turns being photographed in front of a white wall, the simplicity of it all surprising Frey. Kyle grabs him around the shoulders during one of the individual shots and refuses to release him until the photographer agrees to snap a picture of the two together. Frey is afraid his smile seems too forced, but Kyle's makes up for it.
(Later he wonders how someone that cheerful and outgoing could ever have killed himself, compared to his own lackluster smile. He manages to get a copy of the photograph, and for weeks after Kyle dies stares at it late at night, when it's too dark to see)
The whole band crowds into the shot a few times. Everytime, Frey stands off to the side like an unnecessary piece of furniture. He attempts to play it cool, hands jammed in his pockets, shoulders slumped, like Doug. When that doesn't work, he mimics Lucas, who crosses his arms and stares straight ahead. But that isn't really him, so he studies Kyle, as Kyle brings up a fist underneath his chin and stares quizzically at the camera. He decides not to do anything, and in the picture, he stands straight, hands at his sides, staring ahead with a blank expression. Jesse is the only one in the band smiling, and no one remarks on the awkward twenty-something standing at the edge of the shot, looking as though he'd rather be anywhere else.
The individual shots eventually dwindle down to just him. The photographer laments that he hasn't been able to get any good pictures of him so far. Everytime he tries, Kyle makes some movement from behind him that distracts Frey, making his head move, making his expression waver, and he doesn't laugh or smile at all, which is probably Kyle's intention, but he can't help it if he isn't in the laughing mood.
Then Kyle stops, and Frey stares at him over the photographer's hunched shoulders, and Kyle stares back for a moment before turning away, going to speak with Jesse about something, and the camera ticks and the light flashes, and the camera man is standing, smiling satisfactorily. "Looks like we got a good one there," He says, and motions for Frey to strike some sort of pose. Unfortunately, he isn't able to coax another picture out of him, and the band leaves the photo shoot. Frey itches to play his violin, but when they get back to the hotel Lucas doesn't want to hear it so he taps out the rhythm on the inside of his thigh while Lucas takes a nap in the other room.
A month later, the magazine comes out, and, flipping through it, Frey comes to his picture. He hates it immediately. Anyone who knows him can tell by the look on his face, the slope of his shoulders, the set of his eyebrows, everything he was feeling at that exact moment. "I hate this picture," He announces, spreading the magazine out on the coffee table.
Kyle appears behind him and above him, leaning over the back of the couch and looking over his shoulder at the picture. He stares at it for a long while before nodding in agreement. "So do I."
Frey spends a long time wondering whether he should feel insulted or empowered by that comment.
A/N: I want to make it clear that what Frey feels towards Kyle is a mix between hero worship and the beginnings of a really bad crush. I don't know if I really made that clear.
Yes, the picture in this is the picture in the last chapter. (if that sentence made sense at all)
I think this will be my new thing for this story. When I feel like it, I'll write little vignettes about Frey and everybody else, about the stories and scenes I hinted at in the last chapter. Because, looking back on it, it's really not meant to be a dinky little oneshot, it should be at least a little more detailed.
Plus, I liked writing this.
Review? And this time, I wouldn't mind constructive criticism.