Worry Rock

"You're Like Jesus!"

"Talk to him."
"Why not?"
"I don't know."
"Charlie, talk to him."
"Stop asking me that, Jakob, god-dammit. I don't know."
"Well, he thinks you hate him now. Just talk to him, please."
"No. I can't."
"Yes, you can."
"Jake, just shut up."
We're home now. Well, not quite. Actually, we're at the place where we're going to be playing the show, but that's close to home, anyways.
"Charlie - "
"Jake!" I hear from behind us, and turn to see Jen. Oh, praise the lord! She is my savior!
"Jenny!" he yells, getting up and running towards her. I swear, all they need now is a meadow background, sappy music, and for everything to go in slow motion. But it doesn't. Within seconds, they've clashed together, and she's in his arms. They're so cute. When they pull apart, he says, "I missed you so much!"
"I missed you too, you have no idea! I thought I was going to implode from having to wait for you!"
I would really love to stick around and continue to watch this whole touching scene unravel, but I really need to get away while Jakob's distracted. I quietly get up and tiptoe away, but when I get to the door to go outside, it opens to reveal - "Hey, Mike!" I say hugging my sort of uncle tightly.
"Hey, Charlie! I came to see you play!"
"Yay! Is Tre here too?"
"Yeah. He's coming in a minute."
As if on cue, the infamous Tre Cool walks in with a huge grin on his face. He looks happier than usual. "Hey, Tre! What's up?"
"You'll see," he says with a smug grin on his face. Wow, I'm scared. No, I really am.
"Uncle Mike! Uncle Tre!" I hear and see Jake coming over. He hugs them both and says, "So, you gonna watch us?"
"Yeah! We can't wait!" replies Mike.
"Well, I'm gonna go and hang out outside," I say. "I'll talk to you guys later."
"But - " starts Tre, but I'm already out of the door and walking out at a fast pace, but happy to be free of all the scrutiny of my near family and friends.
I lean against the front of the stage and look over at the ticket booth. People are starting to stream in now, and a lot of them are looking at me strangely as if to say "Is that Charlie Spencer? No, it can't be Charlie. She wouldn't be so stupid as to go sitting out in the open unprotected with a whole bunch of hyped up fans around her." I see Jake come next to me out of the corner of my eye and say, "What's up?"
"Jen says she needs to go now, but she'll be back to see us later." I think I detect a bit of sadness in his voice and send him a warm smile.
"Don't worry, Jakob. You'll see her again soon."
"Yeah, I guess so. I just missed her so much!"
"Yes, Jake, I know." Because when he wasn't nagging me, he was gushing about Jen and how much he missed her. I was getting pretty darn annoyed.
"So, Charlie," he starts after a moment. "Have you considered talking to Joey?" Oh my god, not this again.
I'm about to tell him to fuck off about that, but a girl's walked up to us looking extremely excited. She looks about seventeen, with hazel green eyes and black hair. "Oh my god, you're Jakob Armstrong!" she says to him.

---Jake's POV---

My eyes widen, and I look down at myself, patting my body and then looking back up at the girl. "I am!? Wow, I should get my autograph!"
The girl laughs. "Dude, your dad is God! He's like a punk legend, he is so amazing! And then you're awesome too! You're like Jesus!" she says, her voice becoming pretty high-pitched by the time she's done talking. Charlie laughs, but I'm grinning widely. This is awesome. She thinks I'm Jesus.
"Wow. I'm Jesus? Cool. So is Joey Jesus too?"
"Yes! You're both Jesus."
"Awesome. So what is my mom then? Is she some sort of holy figure?"
She smirks. "Your mom is the not-so-virgin Mary." That sends Charlie and I into a fit of laughter.
"Yeah, that's right," I say.


Dad was coming back that day from his sixteen month tour for American Idiot. I was so excited to see him. He walked in through the door, and I was the first one hugging him, followed by Joey. He embraced us tightly saying, "Joey! Jakey! I missed you! How have you been!" We started jabbering on at the same time about random unimportant elements of our lives until Mom comes into the room.
"Billie!" she shrieked practically jumping onto Dad who embraces her tightly, kissing her hard.
"Ew!" I said covering my eyes.
Dad laughs. "How about you to go over to Charlie's house for a few days, or a week?" he asks Joey and me still holding Mom tightly and kissing her again.
"But Dad, I wanted to see you!"
"Jakob," says Joey warningly, "Let's go."
"Why? I want to stay and play with Daddy!"
"Um," Joey said, obviously (though I couldn't tell at the time) trying to think of a lie to get me away from our very horny parents so that we wouldn't be scarred for life. He pulls me close and whispers something in my ear to which I get very excited and run out of the front door to go wait for him on the lawn.
Later I learned that Dad gave him a suspicious look saying, "What did you tell him?"
"I told him you're using the week to plan us a trip to Disneyland," Joey replied with a wide grin.
"What?" replies Dad slightly angry.
"Well, you wanted me to get him out. So I said the first thing that came to mind. So will you?" What could he say? He hadn't been with mom since before the tour, and now his seven-year old son was all excited about getting to go and hug a stranger in a big Mickey Mouse costume.
"Fine, but you're not lying to your brother for me anymore!"
"Awesome! Oh, and Charlie's coming too."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. Now get out before I change my mind."
Jake just grins again and runs out of the door to meet me and walk to our best friend's house.
Yeah, young Joey was a bratty little shit.
I loved him.

*End Flashback*

---Ash's POV---

I turn to Charlie. I'm talking to Charlie Spencer. So badass! "Charlie Spencer! Oh my god, you are so cool."
She laughs. "No, I'm really not, but thanks anyway."
"Yes, you are! You're awesome."
"I like this girl!" says Jakob with a huge grin on his face.
"Yeah, of course you do, Jake, she called you Jesus," Charlie retorts with an eye roll.
"Shut up. So what's your name?" he asks me.
"Ashlynn," I reply happily. "Or Ash or Ashtray."
"Ashtray? Cool. So how long have you liked us, Ashtray?"
"Since forever! My mom loves Green Day, so I was always into them too. I have an original '94 Dookie CD" -It's true! I really do!- "And I think they are so awesome! And then I heard Worry Rock and thought you sounded so amazing, and then I found out you were in it, and it was just the coolest thing! But I liked you before that though. I remember watching the Kid's Choice Awards when I was like, seven, and you were there, and you and Joey were so cute! You had the matching hats and you were all shy! It was adorable!"
"I remember that!" Charlie says. "Yeah, Jake was so happy that he got to wear a hat just like his big brother."
"Shut up, Charlie," says Jake blushing slightly. Aw, he's blushing! That's cute.
"Aw. And your mom had that Adeline necklace, and Joey!" Joey has just showed up next to us. Wow, I didn't even notice he was coming. Awesome anyways. I am in the presence of both Jesuses! "You and Billie were wearing the matching shoes, and it was so precious!" Joey opens his mouth as if he's going to say something, and then just turns and walks away. Oh, no. "Did I scare him away?" I ask worriedly.
Jake and Charlie crack up laughing, and Jake says, "I like this girl! I know I already said that, but I really do." He turns away to look at a security guard by the backstage door and yells to him, "Hey, can we get this girl a backstage pass?" Oh my god, I must be dreaming.
"Really?" I ask in amazement.
"Yeah. You're awesome."
A few minutes later, Jake, Charlie, and I are still talking, and a man comes to bring me a pass. "So," Jake starts, "You wanna go and meet the guys?"
"Hell yes!" I say, and Jake grins widely. He puts an arm around my shoulders and leads me backstage. This is awesome.
We walk through the backstage door where we see that Mick and Warren have engaged in some old hand clapping game like little kids do.
"You guys are so gay!" Charlie laughs as we walk in.
They don't respond for a moment, but their hands keep moving fast. Finally, they stop and turn to us. "Ooh, who is this?" says Mick, smirking at me.
"A fan. Mick, Warren, this is Ashtray. Ash, the twins," replies Jake.
"Cool! A fan!" yells Warren happily and jumps onto me, giving me a hug. Whoa, that was unexpected. And a bit scary. I stiffen a little and then pat his back uncertainly.
Mick now walks up to me and takes me hand, shaking it but then pulling me closer to whisper loudly in my ear, "Don't mind my brother. He's the crazy one."
I laugh. "Sure, Mickey. Um, can I have yall's autographs?" I ask. Yes, I did it! I actually asked for their autographs. I will now be able to brag to my friends that I have actually met Worry Rock.
"Yay! Autographs!" says Mick grinning. "I love autographs."
"Yup, just another chance to leave your crazy, perverted little mark on the world, huh, Mickey?" says Charlie.
"Why's everyone calling me Mickey all of a sudden? Do I look like a freaky talking cartoon mouse?"
"No," says Jake, "You're more of a rat."
Mick smirks. "Well, I better get some cheese then."
"Oh, shut up, perv," replies the guitarist. Wow, did they actually just make a reference to the song "Like a Rat Does Cheese?" Um. Wow.
"That's not what you said last night," he says suggestively. She rolls her eyes.
"Okay," intervenes Warren, talking to me. "So what do you want us to sign?"
Damn, I forgot! I don't even have anything for them to sign! "Um, I don't even know."
Jake laughs. "Hold on." I see him getting his phone out and punching in a few buttons before returning it to his pocket smiling. Moments later, the amazing lead singer of my favorite band (of present-day; Green Day is my favorite band ever, of course.) is walking around the corner carrying a rolled up poster and a set of multicolored sharpies.
"Yay! Permanent ink!" yells Mick and runs over to Boom, who starts tossing markers in random directions and watching Mick and then Warren scramble after them, an amused look on his face.
While the twins are fighting like three year olds over a red sharpie, Boom walks over to me and smiles to me, holding out his hand. "Hi. I'm Boom."
I know that obviously but I don't say so. "I'm Ash," I reply happily.
"I heard you needed something to prove to your friends that you met the most kick-ass band ever," he jokes, unrolling the poster, which is pretty big. Much bigger than normal posters. It shows Worry Rock all standing there with Boom front and center, to his right the twins and to his left Jake and Charlie, Jake's arm casually draped over her shoulder, and the twins back to back looking very cheesy with their arms crossed and smirks on their faces.
"Awesome!" I say happily, and Warren and Mick come over, Warren looking defeated.
"Yeah, guys, can we have some now so that we can sign this for the very awesome and wonderful Ashtray?" Wow, Jakob Danger Armstrong, aka Jesus, just called me "the very awesome and wonderful Astray!" So cool. So cool.
"No!" yells Mick. He kneels down and uncaps all of the markers at once and starts to make swirls around his area of the poster. He does a big circle and then signs his name inside it in messy print. Then he passes the markers around and the rest sign it. I see that Boom has just put his name -well, nickname. No one really knows what his name is. Charlie wrote in nice script "Charlie Spencer." Mick and Warren put a lot of random drawings around their names. But Jake's is my favorite. "To Ashtray. Love, The Jesus of Punk Rock, Jakob Danger Armstrong." So awesome! I am framing this and not letting anyone come within five feet of it ever!

---Charlie's POV---

We talk to Ash a little longer, and I find out she's a pretty cool girl. She's into a lot of stuff we're into, and I can tell Jakob absolutely loves her. But then she calls him Jesus. Of course he loves her.
I hear a door open and look up to see the previous generation of punks enter the room. From next to me, I hear a whispered, "On my Billie, it's God." Looking, I see Ashlynn in total awe looking at them. Jake and I look at each other and at the same time burst out laughing.
"Hey, Dad! Guess what!" Jake yells to him.
"What?" he says, walking towards us with Mike and Tre. I force myself not to look at Ashlynn who must be about to have a heart attack.
"I have a new best friend!" he says and hugs Ashlynn who laughs nervously but again doesn't hug back. I guess she's not the hugging type.
I feign hurt. "Jakob, what about me!"
"You're my bestest friend! There's a difference." I grin.
"Okay," says Billie. The three are standing with our group now. "Well, introduce me." He grins to Ash.
Jake stops hugging her and says, "This is Ashlynn or Ash or Ashtray. And she's cool!"
Mick nudges Billie and says to him sort of quietly, "She thinks he's Jesus."
Billie laughs. "So you're Jesus, huh Jake?"
"Yup!" Jakob says with a grin. "And you're God!"
"Wow, I'm God? When did that happen?"
Ashlynn finds her voice saying, "You were always God! You just didn't know it."
"Oh. Cool."
"Um, can you sign me?" At that everybody looks over to her strangely. "What? I want it tattooed."
"You'd seriously get our signatures tattooed on you?" says Mike skeptically.
"Hells yes! You're like the holy trinity!"
"Cool!" says Tre. "Where do I sign?" He wriggles his eyebrows at her, and she looks kind of nervous.
"Um," she replies uncomfortably.
"Tre, stop scaring the fan!" Mike jokes.
Billie still looks a bit unsure. "Are you even old enough to get a tattoo?"
"I'm seventeen, but my mom be alright with it. She'd be jealous of me! Look, I'll call her." Ash pulls out a cell phone and dials a number. A few moments later, she says, "Hey mom! Guess what! No, better! Better! No, mom, I'm standing here with Worry Rock and Green Day! I'm serious. Yeah, you wanna talk to them? Okay, hold on." She hands the phone to Billie.
"Hello? Yeah, this is Billie Joe." I see a small grin spreading across his face. "Desiree? Cool name. Yeah, uh, Ashlynn wants to get our signatures tattooed on her. Would that be alright with you? Ha ha, seriously? You're awesome too. Alright. Ha ha, okay. Well it was nice talking to you, Dez. Bye." He closes the phone and hands it back to her saying, "I guess you're getting a tattoo."
Ashlynn jumps up in the air and yells a big "Yay!"


The show was awesome. Billie, Mike, and Tre all took Ashlynn to this tattoo place, but we stayed behind to start getting ready. We didn't get to see Ash's new tattoos yet, but Billie says she's coming back here again after the show. Which is now. This will be interesting. After a little while, we see our new favorite fan running towards us. I see a patch of white sticking out from under her left sleeve, and when she gets here, she says, "I got the tattoo and it's so awesome! Look!" She pulls her sleeve up and carefully peels the patch to reveal the familiar signatures of the Green Day crew tattooed on her arm.
"Awesome," says Jake. "You wanna come hang out with us at our house? My dad's, I mean. Worry Rock's gonna be there, and my dad and Uncle Mike and Uncle Tre, and probably Stella Dirnt and Frankito Cool and the My-Chem dudes, and my mom and Joey. Prolly other people too. But that's the just of it."
"Hell yeah!" says Ashlynn, and a while later, we're back at home with the said party of people hanging out. I've been sticking close to Ash because she seems to have some sort of Joey-repelling powers. Don't take that the wrong way, I just think that firstly, Joey's probably nervous to try talking to me again anyways, and secondly, he likely wants to avoid another "You were so cute at the 2005 Kid's Choice Awards!" episode.
Looking up, I see my admirer staring at me from across the room. He doesn't look away, but I can see that he really wants to talk to me. Painfully, I turn away. Okay, I know you probably hate me now. You have a right to. I mean, I should not be doing this to him. But I'm scared to talk to him. And I'm still not sure of what to tell him if I could. I steal a few more glances over at him, and he's still looking at me every time.
"Hey, what's going on between you and Joey?" asks Ash. Damn, was it that obvious?
"What are you talking about?" I say unconvincingly. "Nothing's going on."
I glance to Joey again, and he looks away this time. He probably figured out we had said something about him. Ash looks at me like I'm stupid. "Charlie, I'm not an idiot."
I sigh. I guess there's not really any getting out of it. I don't know why, but I think I can trust her. She's not like other fans who'll just go home and tell all their friends the juicy gossip about how Joey Armstrong is in love with his brother's best friend. She just doesn't seem like that kind of person. "Come on," I say and turn towards the stairs. I bring her up to my bedroom so that we can talk without being overheard. "You have to promise not to tell anyone, okay."
"Yeah, I promise. What is it?"
I take a deep breath and sit down on the bed. "Well, I've been friends with Joey my whole life. He was there the day I was born even, and even though Jakob's my best friend in the world, Joey comes in second." Ash nods to show she understands. "But a few days ago, he really freaked me out. He, uh, he told me he loves me. I'm just really shaken up by it, you know? It's like he just tipped the whole balance of my world and I'm having trouble getting my head around it. I'm kind of scared to talk to him because - I don't even know. I don't know how I feel about him anymore. So I've kind of been, uh, not talking to him much for the past few days." Wow, did I really just spill my heart out to a complete stranger? Damn. I need some therapy.
"What, so you haven't talked to him for days just because he says he loves you as more than a friend? And while you're on a tour bus together? That's not just not talking to him, that's fucking avoiding him."
"Yeah. I guess so. I just can't talk to him."
"You are such a fucking retard."
"Yeah, I know." She's right. I'm an idiot. She starts for the door, and I say, "Where are you going?"
"I'll be back in a couple of minutes. Just stay here." With that, she's out of the door.
I pick up my guitar and begin to strum a few simple chords without plugging it in as I wait for her. It gets my mind off of all that I just spilled out, I guess. A couple of minutes later, I hear the door open behind me and stop playing to turn around to see... Joey. The door closes behind him, and he looks to me with sad eyes and says, "Hey, Carlie."