Worry Rock

"I Love You"

---Charlie's POV---

We're going home in a few days! I'm so nervous. I've been thinking about what Jakob said, and he's right. I can't just automatically trust him again. I should wait. I should see what happens. But maybe - maybe, it will be alright again. Maybe he is sorry.
"Charlie, we're on!" I hear Jake yell to me, and I get up and start running to the stage. I feel someone grab my arm and look over to see Billie.
He opens his mouth to speak, but I just say, "Yes, Billie, I have my inhaler."
He smiles and nods - I guessed exactly what he was going to say. "Good luck." I salute him with a grin and run onto the stage.
"Hello, everybody!" yells Boom into the mike. He hears a loud response. "Oh, come on! Is that all you got?" They yell louder. "That's what I wanted to hear! Did you all notice our little Warren's attire today?" he asks gesturing to Warren, who flashes a grin and runs up to the front of the stage to show off his messy black wig, his eyeliner, his black pants and shirt, his red tie, and his studded belt. Remind you of anyone? Yeah. He even got a black and white polka dot tie to stick in his back pocket.
"I'm not Warren!" he yells into the mike. "I'm Billie Joe! Watch this! Hey-o!" A lot of people laugh. "Come on. Hey-o!" He gets a response this time, an echoed chorus of 'hey-o's. "No, wait!" he says and gets down onto his knees. Oh, that's wrong. "Now I'm Billie Joe fuckin' Armstrong!" he says. Some people laugh, but others get confused. "Cuz he's short, ya get it?" A few more people laugh. Warren stands up, apparently loving the spotlight he currently has and starts running back and forth across the stage. I look over at Jake who looks bewildered. We kind of didn't tell him we'd let Warren impersonate his father. I see him grin - he's okay with it. I look back at Warren, who's just eating all this up. "Somebody fuck me!" he yells, and I can't hold it back any longer. I break down, laughing hysterically and wiping tears out of my eyes. We had warned Warren beforehand that he could not masturbate on stage, but he did want to say that so we let him.
"Okay, that's enough, bud," chuckles Boom.
"Oh, you know you think it's sexy," retorts Warren, but he knows the charade is over now and takes off his wig, tie, belt, backup tie, and shirt, throwing them into the audience and revealing that he's wearing a white band shirt underneath it. Jake chuckles some, obviously loving the joke, and I pull myself up off the stage floor steadying my breath. I hope I can get through the rest of the show without laughing again.


That was awesome. I only chuckled a few times, and we didn't really mess up at all. We all laugh some more as we walk off stage slapping hands with our fellow band as they run past us onto the stage. Billie runs up to us.
"Hey!" he says. I can tell he's trying to keep a straight face and wants to fuss at us, but he breaks down and chuckles. "That was pretty good," he says to Warren who just grins.
We watch MCR play and then all of us head back to hang out at the hotel. We would go out, but damn, we're still minors. So we settle for inhaling sugary substances and goofing around in the hotel room. Why? Hyper twins are so funny!
"Hey, Charlie, can I, um, talk to you for a sec?" asks Joey out of the blue. He's been pretty quiet tonight.
"Uh, yeah, sure, Joe." He stands up, and I follow him into the bedroom where he closes the door behind us. I sit on the bed. "So what's up?" Joey walks over and sits down cross-legged next to me. I turn to face him. "What is it, Joey?" I ask, a little concerned.
He closes his eyes for a moment, then opens them and looks straight into mine. "Carlie, I love you." What the fuck. Well, he can get right to the point, can't he? "I mean, I really, really love you. I'm serious, Carlie. Please say something."
I open my mouth to speak, but I can't get any words out. No, it's not medical issues, okay? Just shock. I mean, it's Joey, for fuck's sake! Finally, I manage to squeak out, "What?" Oh, how articulate I am.
"I - I know it's a little weird." A lot weird! "But I really do love you, Carlie."
"Are you sure?" I ask apprehensively. He nods solemnly, and I feel butterflies fluttering around in my chest. But why? I don't love Joey! Do I? No, I don't. I mean, really, he's Joey! My friend! He's always been my friend! No way. Oh my god, what's happening? I shake my head and get up, starting for the door.
"Carlie!" he yells after me, but I can't turn around. I'm afraid to turn around. I just open the door and head straight for the one leading out of the hotel room going right through the middle of the large group of people out there, including the rest of the guys, My-Chem, and Billie Joe.
"What's up, Charlie?" asks Mikey, but I don't look at him.
"Just going for a walk," I say and reach for the door handle.
"Charlie!" I hear Billie say, grabbing my arm. I turn to look at him. "Just because Joey loves you doesn't mean you have to run away from him," he whispers so that only I can hear. I try to respond, but once again lose the ability to speak and just walk out of the room closing the door behind me. Once I'm out of the hotel, I realize I'm not wearing any shoes, but I don't care. I have no idea where I'm going, but oh well. I just need to figure things out. I'm so confused.

---Joey's POV---

She walked away. She didn't even say anything, she just left! No, she hates me, I knew it! I punch a wall hard, making a hole in it. Oh, that's not mine right? Oh well. I don't care. Carlie hates me. Oh my god, no.
"Shit!" I say, clutching my hand, which is bleeding some.
I hear Jake's voice saying, "So, it went well, I presume?"
"Shut up, asshole!"
Jake shrugs, saying, "Well, she made you hurt your drawing hand, so I guess not."
"She hates me," I say in anguish, closing my eyes. I really do feel like I'm going to cry, though that's a little hard to admit.
I feel Jake's hand on my shoulder and look up. "She doesn't hate you."
"You don't know that."
Jake gives a sigh, saying, "I'll talk to her, okay?"
I hesitate. Do I really want to send my brother to talk to the woman I love? Yeah, I do. I nod to him, and before he leaves, he says to me, "Just don't kill yourself while I'm gone, okay?" He smiles and walks out of the room, leaving me to wait for him.

---Charlie's POV---

I continue to walk. My feet are hurting from stepping on the concrete, but I don't care too much. I'm just trying to figure this out. Joey loves me. Joey loves me? Yeah, that's what he said. Oh my god. But I don't love him, though, right? I mean, I love him, but I don't love him. Right? I can't love Joey. He's Joey, for crying out loud! No way. Oh my god, this is confusing.
I walk for a little while longer before I stop at one of the Starbucks' you see on every corner and get myself some caffeine, then take it to a park so conveniently across the street. I sit down on a park bench with my legs folded and my warm coffee in my hands. Yeah, I know it's dumb to stay out in an unfamiliar place in the middle of the night, but I need to think. I close my eyes.
Okay. So Joey loves me. Should this really be as complicated as it feels? I don't think so, but it is. I grew up with Joey. He's been my friend all my life. Literally. He was there on the day I was born. Before Jakob even, but since Jake was only two days old at the time, it wouldn't really have mattered much anyway. But the point is, Joey's always been there, and I've always loved him, but I've never thought of him as more than a friend. I mean sure, I've thought about it, but it's hard not to with friends coming up to me and telling me all the time how cute a couple I'd be with Joey or Jakob. For the ones about Jakob (which come much more often) I'd actually be able to understand where they were coming from. We just connect, Jake and I, on so many levels. If I had to marry anybody in the world, then I'd probably pick him. Don't jump to conclusions, I don't love Jake that way. I'm just saying, it could be possible. He's my best friend, and I do love him but as far as I know, no one's forcing me to get married, and we already have a band to bond us together till death do us part - and that has nothing to do with romance or jewelry. But for Joey, I'd laugh it off. I guess I always knew it was possible for me to be with Joey, but did I ever think it would happen? Did I ever really want it to happen? Did I actually seriously think about whether I could ever love Joey? No, no, and no. But now it might happen, and I do have to seriously think about and totally reevaluate my relationship with him. I'm just really nervous about it. Kind of scared to love him since I'm more comfortable being friends, but still uncomfortable being friends now since I know he loves me differently than that. I'm so confused.
"Excuse me?" I hear and look up startled to see a guy who looks like he's in his low twenties looking down at me. Damn, I must have looked stupid. No shoes, a cooling coffee in my hands, closed eyes, and now I realize frustrated tears have been falling from them steadily for the past however long I've been sitting here, making my eye makeup all smudged. The guy looks at me for a moment with that you-look-familiar expression on his face, but that changes to realization as he says, "Hey, you're Charlie Spencer!"
I smile in amusement and nod, saying, "Yeah."
He must hear the I've-been-crying sound in my voice because he says, "Um, I'm sorry if I bothered you or anything-"
"No, don't worry about it. I was just thinking."
"Is it okay if I ask what about?"
"You can ask, but you won't get an answer," I say. I'd rather not tell the world about my very confusing personal life at the moment. Well, confusing to me at least.
"Oh. Well, do you mind if I join you?"
"Not at all," I say motioning to the space beside me on the bench. "I could use somebody to talk to right now who's not going to bug me about my personal issues."
He gives an uncertain half-smile and sits next to me. I can tell he's dying to know what's wrong with me. I'm dying to tell him, but next thing I know, I'll be on the front cover of teenie magazines with a headline like "Guitarist of Worry Rock in a Secret Relationship with Joey Armstrong?" or something like that. And that's the last thing I need right now.
"I'm Chris, by the way," he says holding out his hand.
I shake it and smile. I don't know, I guess I'm just happy to get my mind off of Joey. "So, are you a fan?" I ask casually wiping some moisture from my eyes as cleanly as is possible without streaking dark makeup all over my face.
"Not really, but my younger sister is. She's idolizes you."
"Me? Why the hell would anyone idolize me?" I laugh.
"Well, according to her, you're gorgeous, you can sing, you're a goddess on the guitar, you have a sense of humor, and because you get to hang around with Billie Joe Armstrong whenever you want to."
I was cracking up laughing by the time he mentioned the word goddess. I wipe my eyes again, brimming with tears of laughter. He looks at me strangely with a little smile. Or is it a smirk? I'm not sure. But when I calm down, I say, "Okay, first of all, I am not that good looking. Nothing compared to, say, Amy Lee or something. I can't really sing that well. That's why Boom is the lead singer, not me. And goddess? Well that's just funny. I'm not a goddess. If I am, then I never got the memo. And as for Billie, yeah, it's fun hanging out with him and everything, but that doesn't mean I do. And just because I can doesn't say anything about me, so it's not really a good reason to say she likes me. So there. See? I'm not that awesome."
He chuckles a little. "I'll have to tell her to add modesty to her list."
"It's not modesty if it's true. It's just normal. Ya know, not being egotistical or anything."
"Well, close enough."
"No, it's different."
"Fine, have it your way. But she also says you're an amazing songwriter. Any comments?"
I laugh. "I've only written one decent song in my life, and that's 'Hurt.' It's on the album. Everything else is crap, and I'm not just saying that. The lyrics are like they were written by an eight-year-old. The guys agree with me, so don't even give me the they-can't-be-that-bad thing." Just so you know, 'Hurt' is the name of the song written about Harvey after I found out what an asshole he is. Appropriate, eh?
He grins. "Fine. You win. You're an average person who just happens to be in one of the most amazing rock bands of this time."
"I thought you weren't a fan?" I smirk.
"I'm quoting my sister," he says uncomfortably.
I grin smugly. "Sure you are." I laugh saying, "But don't even pay attention to the being-in-an-awesome-band part. That kinda thing can come and go like that. You never really know whether you're just a fad or the real deal. All there is to do is wait it out."
"I guess so."
"Hey, Miss Murder..." I hear my phone ringing out from my pocket. I have trouble getting it from my pocket as I'm sitting, so I hand Chris my drink and sit up partly to get it out. Looking at the caller ID, I say, "Oh, it's Jake. Hold on, okay?" He nods, and I get up and walk off, saying into the phone, "Hello."
"Hey, Charlie! Where the heck are you?"
"Some park. Ow!"
"Stepped on a stick. I forgot my shoes."
"Well, what's the park called? I'm coming."
"Jakob, I'll be fine, okay?"
"Char, it's the middle of the night, you're a rock star, and you're lost. Not a good combo. So tell me where you are so I can come and pick you up in a cab and take you back to the hotel."
"Look, Jake, I'll be fine. Really. I just needed to think, alright?"
"Could you please think while you're somewhere safe? Everybody's worrying about you."
I smile a bit. They're worried about me. It's kind of nice to know that. "Don't worry, Jakob. I'll be fine. I promise to come back soon, alright?"
"And how do you plan on getting here?"
"I've got it covered."
"Charlie, please."
"It's alright, Jake. I'll be okay."
"Fine. But call me if you need something, okay?"
"Alright. I promise."
"Okay. Be careful, Charlie."
"I will. Bye."
I swear, he's worse than a parent sometimes. But that's alright. He only cares. I would probably be the same way with him. "Sorry," I say coming back to Chris.
"It's okay."
"Hey, could you take me back to the hotel? Apparently, people are already worried about me, and the longer I wait, the less likely it is that I'll get five minutes to myself to continue my whole confusing thought process."
He smiles. "Yeah, sure." He hands the cup of cold coffee back to me and stands up. I follow him out to the street, and we start walking together. After a little walking, he stops.
"What's wrong?"
"I just thought of something. My sister would owe me so much if I got her your autograph."
I laugh. "Yeah, no problem."
"Thanks so much. Her birthday is next week. She is going to love me forever."
I laugh again, and he pulls from his pocket our CD and a sharpie. I look at him skeptically. "Why were you carrying that around?"
"Like I said, her birthday's next week. I bought this for her earlier today." He unwraps the CD and discards the plastic. "And for the sharpie, I kind of like to sniff it." I laugh. "What? It's cherry scented."
"What's her name?" I say with the sharpie poised and an amused smile still on my face.
"Lori. We call her Lor."
I scribble some words down on the case and then hand it to Chris, who reads, "To Lor, Keep rocking out! - Charlie Spencer." He looks up at me. "Thanks. You've just made my sister's sixteenth birthday."
"No problem," I say with a shrug as he slides the CD into his pocket. "Could you help me back to my hotel now? My feet are really hurting."
He looks down at my feet. "Why aren't you wearing shoes?"
"I was a little rushed leaving the hotel. I forgot them."
"Um, alright. Let's go." He turns and begins to walk. Once we get to the hotel, he walks me inside (mostly for the comfort of my sore feet) and says, "Well, it was nice meeting you, Miss Spencer."
He holds his hand out to me, and I grin taking it. "And you as well, Mr..?"
"Chris Rowling? Like J.K. Rowling?"
"Of no relation to the Harry Potter lady, but yeah, like that."
"Okay. Well, it was nice meeting you, Chris. I'd like to be able to talk to you again." I really would. Chris is so oblivious to my plight that he just kind of relaxes me, I guess. Don't get thinking. Not past the friends level, or anything. Just somebody to talk to who won't nag me about my situation with Joey. "Can I have your number?"
"Sure," he says and tells me his number as I deftly put it into my cell phone.
"Thanks. Just so you know, you're pretty much my unofficial therapist now."
He smirks. "Really? What's the pay?"
"You get to be friends with me, of course!" I say with a grin. He laughs. "Well, bye."
"Don't forget to call me, alright?"
"Trust me, therapy will be needed very soon," I say, hugging him. "Later."
"Alright. Bye."
"Bye." He walks off, and I go up the elevator.
When I step out onto our floor, I see that Joey's waiting in the hallway outside of the door to Gerard's room, where we were all hanging out earlier. As soon as he sees me, he gets up and looks at me. I feel like my insides are all frozen up now, and a whole new rush of confused emotions rush to my head, screaming out to me to run away from him and just free myself of this new confusion that is Joey, to hug him tightly and cry out all my tears of frustration and whatever else is jumbled in there, to walk calmly to him and talk this over, and even one strange one telling me to kiss him, but that's out of the question. Because I don't love Joey. I don't. At least, I don't think so. I'm so stunned from tonight I just can't think straight. And then he takes a step towards me, saying, "Carlie." One word. Carlie. The serious name. The one used when something is so solemn, so serious, that my preferred name doesn't quite fit. I feel tears come to my eyes. I don't know why. They just do.
So I run. Down to my hotel room door, where I go in and lock it, going to my bed with fresh tears in my eyes. This is so overwhelming.
I take my phone out and type a text message to Chris.
Hey. I think it's time for that therapy we talked about. Text back. I can't really talk right now.