Worry Rock

It's Not Love When You've Inhaled Half the Bar

---Joey's POV---

She was tense. I could feel it, she just tensed up when I got close to her. She wasn't ready. Yeah, I know, maybe I should've tried anyway. I've been wanting this for so long now. But I don't think what I want really matters so much. Carlie needs me to go slow for her, and no matter how much it hurts me, that's what I'm going to do.

"Joey, are you okay?" I hear and look up to see Jakob at the hotel room door. "You're usually the first one awake."

"I've been awake for hours," I answer simply, returning my gaze to the ceiling.
The door closes, the light goes on, and I feel Jakob laying on the bed next to me. "What are you thinking about?" he asks, even though he probably knows already. Jakob just knows things like that.

"Carlie," I answer simply.
"What happened?"
"I assumed she would have told you. She tells you everything."
"Maybe, maybe not. I want to hear it from you."
I close my eyes when I feel tears coming to them. "I was so close, Jake. I just, stopped."
"So close to what, Joe?"
I open my eyes and look at him. Judging by the look on his face, she hasn't told him yet. "I almost kissed her."

He sits up and is silent for a while, thinking. I sit up too. I think back to last night, looking into her simple, beautiful brown eyes, feeling her in my arms, her breath on my face... we were so close. I'm beginning to wonder if I blew it by stopping.

"So what are you going to do now?" asks Jakob after a while of silence.
"Go on as usual, I guess. Why?"
"You should take to her about it. Why did you stop, anyway?"
"I didn't think she wanted me to. She tensed up."
"Well she was nervous. I think if you would've kept going, she may have let you."
"You don't know that."

"I said 'I think.'" We're silent for a little bit longer before Jakob sighs and stands up. "You should really get up and dressed, man. Just take a shower or whatever it is you want to do, and we're heading over to the show at about 4:30 to get ready and stuff."
"Alright. See you in a while." And with that, I'm alone again.


I walk out of my hotel room, clean and dressed, and start off down the hall. I wonder which room everyone's in? I hear footsteps running down the hall and turn to see who but Carlie running out of the elevator.

"What game this time?" I ask as she keeps running. In response, she waves an object in my direction which I recognize as Jakob's phone. Stopping, she leans on me, panting as she holds it up to her ear.

"Okay, I lost him," she says into it.
"Should you really be running so much with your asthma?" I ask. She just smiles and rolls her eyes. At that moment, we hear an echoing in the stairwell. "Shit." She hands me the phone. "Don't let him see it. I'll come back for it later," she whispers and starts running off again, leaving me confused. I see Jakob coming out of the stairwell, gasping for breath. He jogs up to me. "Where did she go?" I point in the direction where Carlie ran off to, and he nods, running after her again.

Uncertainly, I put the phone to my ear and hear hysterical laughter on the other end. "Hello?" I start walking down the hall again.
"Hey. Joey?" Jennifer. Oh, Carlie's evil.
"Yeah. Charlie passed me the phone."
"I heard."
"Jake's gonna beat the crap out of her."
"No he won't. Jakob isn't that aggressive a person." I push the button for the elevator.
"Yeah, but he's been missing you."
"He has?"
"Yeah. He gushes about you constantly."
"We have a tape of him talking about you in his sleep, even."
She laughs some more. "I want to talk to my boyfriend now," she says.
"Well that depends on if I can find him. He's still running after Charlie."
The elevator door opens, and I step inside, pressing the button for ground level. The doors close.
"I've been missing him too. I haven't seen him in months, except for on TV."
"Welcome to my world. My dad went on tours for a year and a half at a time."
"Sounds rough."
"It was."
The doors open, and I step into the main reception area of the hotel, where I see everyone in a group to the side laughing as Jakob chases Carlie in a circle around a group of chairs. I start walking towards them just in time to see Jakob tackle Carlie. I laugh.
Jake looks up and is astonished to see his phone attached to my ear. He immediately jumps off of his friend and runs towards me. Grinning, I hold the phone out to him, and he snatches it away quickly.
"Hey, baby," he pants, a smile instantly coming to his face. I walk back to where our group is, sitting with them. All are cracking up laughing, except for Carlie, who's simply sitting on the floor with a little smile on her face, breathing deeply. She holds her hand out to me, and as I take it, she pulls me down to sit on the floor with her.
"He looks so cute," she remarks, looking at my brother, who is now holding the phone to his ear and smiling as he speaks to his girlfriend.
"Wow, I didn't know you were capable of saying the word cute," jokes Boom.
"Shut up," says Carlie with a smile. I don't say anything, but just look at her. Her brown hair is disheveled, and she's panting, but I think she's still as beautiful as ever. She notices me looking at her and pushes a stray hair behind her ear uncomfortably, looking away.

---Jake's POV---

"Hi, Jakob! I miss you so much."
"I miss you too, Jenny."
"Yeah, I heard. Joey says you were talking about me in your sleep."
"He told you that?" I feel my cheeks flushing red as I discover that that particular piece of information has been let loose.
"Yeah. You really gush about me, Jake?"
"Yes," I say, my cheeks turning an even deeper shade of crimson.
"That's so sweet."
"Our last show is tonight," I tell her. "I'll be coming back home soon. And then on the night I get home, you and I are going out."
"What, no asking anymore?"
"Jenny, will you please go out on a date with me the night I come back home?"
"Yes, Jakob, I'd love to go on a date with you."
She laughs. I love her laugh. "Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise."
"Does that mean you don't know?"
"No," I say. "That means it's a surprise."
"So how am I supposed to dress for this lovely surprise?"
"I'm buying you something."
"Do you know how cheesy and overused that move is?"
"You know you love it," I retaliate.
"Yes, I love your cheesiness."
"I knew you would."
"Jakob, I have to leave. My boss says if I'm late for work one more time, I'm fired."
I sigh. I hate that we don't get to talk so much anymore. At the beginning, we talked constantly. I was usually on the phone with her then. We could go on for hours just talking. But lately, it's been getting harder and harder to find times where we're both awake and not busy. I miss her so much. I may even go as far as to say the ever-so-avoided "L-word."
"Alright, Jenny. Call me when you get the chance, alright? I've been missing you a lot lately."
I can practically see her face soften from over the phone. That slight smile, those sweet eyes... "I miss you too, Jake. So much. I'll call you later."
"Don't forget."
"I couldn't forget you," she assures. "Bye."
"Bye, baby."
And then she's gone. God, I miss that girl.

---Joey's POV---

Everybody basically hangs out for the next few hours. In all honesty, there's not a lot you can say about a normal day on tour.
But now it's nearly over.
"Worry Rock, you're on in half an hour!" yells some random roadie.
I walk up to where Carlie is sitting with her guitar. Her eyes are closed, and she's playing what I recognize as her own song, mouthing the words quietly to herself as her fingers effortlessly glide over the strings. I sit quietly on a chair next to her, not wanting to wreck her concentration.
Near the end, I hear a faint whisper of her voice. It seems sad, and looking at her, I notice tears coming from her eyes. She sings the rest of the song in a quiet, depressing voice which brings back to me my own sorrow at not being able to really be with her. When she's done, she wipes her eyes and looks up to me.
"What are you doing?" she asks as if trying to mask that she was crying from her own music only a moment ago. Music which I know for a fact is about Harvey.
"Watching you. What's wrong?"
"Nothing, Joey. I'm fine."
"You know, I said something just like that last night."
"You were lying though."
"So are you." We're both silent for a while. "I wanted to ask you about last night," I say tentatively.
I can practically see the walls going up around her. "What about it?" she asks, twiddling a bit with her guitar and looking away from me.
"If I hadn't stopped, would you have let me kiss you?"
"Can we talk later? I have to go play in twenty minutes." I knew she'd try to avoid the question.
"No, I want an answer," I tell her as assertively as I can, which I have to admit isn't very assertive. "Just yes or no. Would you?"
"Joey, I don't want to talk right now."
"Yes or no?"
"Joey, stop."
"Please answer me."
"I honestly don't know, okay? Just stop." She stands up and walks off as if she can't get away from me fast enough.
And for the hundredth time in the last twenty four hours, I feel as if I've done something wrong.

---Charlie's POV---

I look contemplatively at the two seventeen year old girls with backstage passes hanging around their necks talk excitedly to my band after the show. They seemed a little disappointed when My Chemical Romance left about five minutes after they met. The guys were tired, but they promised to spend the next day with us before we went back to California and they started their international tour.
"So how did you like the show?" asks our frontman.
"It was amazing," the one named Sarah answers.
"Fucking awesome," the other, May, agrees.
"I think I'll be hoarse for weeks," jokes Sarah.
"I'm glad you liked it," Jakob tells them sincerely, with a warm smile. Yeah, there goes that smile again. And this time, it takes some affect as I see May's face turn red and Sarah gives a nervous giggle.
"I wanna be your dominated love slave..." Mick reaches into his pocket, taking out his phone and flipping it open.
"Yay! Rene!" he says excitedly.
"Who's Rene?" asks Sarah, obviously the more outgoing one.
"Rene's his, um, what is she?" I try to answer. "Girlfriend, friend with benefits, what is she? I don't even know." I laugh.
"It's too complicated, you wouldn't understand!" says Mick in a joking voice as he anxiously texts his - er - texts Rene back.
"Yeah, I don't. Seriously, what is she?" I ask.
"You don't know either, huh?"
I laugh. "I knew it."
"Whatever he is, I'm single!" volunteers Warren, and the group laughs.
"I wanna be..." He flips his phone open again, grinning and closing it up again.
"Be right back," he says, standing and walking off.
Sure enough, he's back in a couple of minutes, with a certain Starbuck's counter girl riding on his back. He's running towards us, the girl on his back laughing and holding onto him around his shoulders tightly as if she didn't trust him to hold her up. I don't blame her. I sure wouldn't trust him. They're kind of cute, actually.
"Mick, stop grabbing my ass!" shrieks Rene.
Cuteness aborted.
"You have a nice ass," he says with a suggestive smirk.
"Shut up and put me down," she says, rolling her eyes.
"But I like you on top of me!"
"Don't make me kick you in the balls," she says in all seriousness, and Mick promptly puts her down.
"Okay, Rene, you know these losers," he says gesturing to us, "Losers, Rene."
"Hey, Rene!" says Warren, winking. She winks back at him.
"And okay, Sarah and May, this is my - um, this is Rene."
Rene smirks to Mick and then waves to our guests. "Hey," she tells them, and they reply in the same way.
"Hey, Rene," says Boom.
"Are you Mick's girlfriend?"
She glances to Mick suspiciously, smiling a little. "What did he tell you?"
"He doesn't know," answers Jakob.
"Oh." There's silence for a moment.
"So are you?"
"Well, I only met him yesterday..."
"That didn't keep you from eating his face off in the movie theater," I put in, earning myself what she must've meant to be a glare.
"Yeah, yeah, shut up."
"Well are you?" presses Warren.
"Well, I guess Mick would have to ask me first, wouldn't he?" she says, not looking at Mick, who bites his lip but doesn't say anything.
Boom breaks the silence. "So, anybody wanna do something tonight?"
"Like what?" Warren asks.
"I dunno."
"Let's get drunk!" Mick suggests.

---Joey's POV---

Why do they have to do this? Seriously, I'm the only one in this group who is actually old enough to drink, and yet me and the second oldest, Boom, are the most sober people here. And the youngest, my girlfriend, is the least. Alcohol seems to agree with her all too well. Her and Mick. Damn Rene for referring us to a club that doesn't ask for IDs. Jakob and Warren aren't so bad with it though. At least there's that.
Now, I bet you're wondering about Sarah and May. Well, we stayed backstage hanging out for a while (since we didn't want to go around getting seventeen year olds drunk, which could lead to other things, including law suits), and then those two had to go home. I'll admit, though, it was hilarious when we said goodbye. Why? Well, when Jakob hugged May goodbye, she nearly passed out in his arms. Now that in itself is enough to make me want to piss myself laughing. But then, when Sarah was hugging Mick, she grabbed his ass. He looked really surprised, then just smirked and winked at her. That was really funny too.
Anyhow, back to the drunken idiots in front of me.
"Rene, I love you, I really, really do," slurs Mick, his arm around Rene's shoulders, leaning on her. She laughs.
"Okay, Mickey. I'm sure you do," she says with a smirk.
"No, really, Rene, I do, I do."
"I'm horny."
"Drunken perverts generally are," she fires back.
He laughs like only a drunk man can. "Yeah, really, really, it's true. I'm sooooo horny." He pulls himself up enough to plant a kiss on her cheek.
"Yes, I know, Mickey," she says amusedly.
"Fuck me, Rene!" he yells at the top of his lungs, making the sober people of the club laugh and the drunk people laugh even harder. I look down the bar a little where Jakob and Warren are babysitting Carlie to see her doubled over laughing, her hand attached to Jakob's arm in an attempt to keep her balance. He's smiling and rolling his eyes at her. Boom, sober, chuckles from next to me.
"Me too!" yells Carlie, still laughing. Well at least she's not the violent kind of drunk.
"You have Joey!" fires back Mick, making my heart sink. I can't do anything with Carlie while she's drunk. It's just wrong.
"You're right!" she says and runs over, flinging her arms around my neck and laughing more into my chest. "I love you, Joey!"
Ow. That really hurt. She loves me when she's completely wasted, sure. But sober, she probably doesn't think of me that way at all. I was already starting to lose hope that she would ever feel that way towards me, and this just makes it all worse.
"No, Carlie," I tell her. "You're drunk."
"J-j-just - just a little bit. A little bit," she slurs and holds up her fingers to indicate that she is only a little drunk.
"A lot."
"Yeah," she admits, chuckling and burying her face into my chest. I bite my lip. Control, Joey. Control. You can't do anything to her while her judgment is altered. No, just wait. Wait like you have for so long. Keep waiting until you can't anymore. It hurts so much to wait, but you have to do it anyway. For her.
Before I know it, Carlie is swaying back and forth, pressed up against me and humming the song playing under her breath. She doesn't even like this song, but I guess that doesn't make a difference to her right now.
She looks up at me. "I love you Joey."
My throat catches. "Please stop, Charlie," I plead. She has no idea what she's doing.
"Why?" And before I can answer, her lips are pressed to mine.
Now I really feel bad. This is what I had imagined would be the best, most amazing moment of my life, but I suppose the stench of alcohol on her breath takes away from that. And the thought still remains: I'm taking advantage of Carlie.
I push her off. "Carlie, stop!" I say more forcefully.
She looks slightly hurt. "What's wrong, Joe? I thought you loved me."
I love you so much. Way too much to kiss you when you can't think enough to know whether or not you want it. "I - I'm going back to the hotel," I announce, turning and walking off.
"I'll drive you," says Rene, who had been our ride here.

---Rene's POV---

I wonder what that was all about. Charlie and Joey, I mean. They're a couple. So why did he have a problem kissing her? Mick and I aren't even a couple and I can kiss him. I guess it's one of those inner-circle things. I'm not in the inner circle. Well, I don't really need to be. I'm curious, but it's not like I need to know every aspect of these people's lives. The media does enough of that.

It's weird. A lot of people (meaning psychotic kids who think they're grown up because the word "teen" is in their age) would kill to be in my position. I've been hanging out with Worry Rock for the past couple of days; made out with Mick (awesome, by the way), gotten him piss ass drunk to the point of being ready to fuck the next person who comes along, and in the process, I got Charlie Spencer just as drunk and witnessed something beyond what the public eye has been able to see. Not like that, you perv! I mean, what just happened in the bar. It's funny how people seem to be happy when the cameras are flashing, but once they're alone (and/or wasted) then there are all these problems that everybody outside their personal cult of closest friends would be surprised to know about. I guess it's like that with everyone though. Famous people are just more likely to have those secrets passed around.

We're getting near the hotel now, and I feel like I should break the silence.
"Joey," I say, glancing to him. He snaps his head around, having zoned out looking out of the window. "Are you alright?" He looks like he's thinking for a minute, then nods. "No, you're not. You wanna talk about it?"

He shakes his head again. "No. I'll be okay in a while. I think I need to sleep on it." I nod and turn into the hotel parking lot.
"Alright, Joe. Whatever you say."

There's silence again as I pull up under the overhang in front of the hotel's entrance. Joey opens the door and steps out of the car. "Thanks for the ride," he mutters distractedly and starts closing the door. I lean over and catch it before it closes, pushing it back open.

"Hey, Joe!" I say to the man who's beginning to walk away now. He turns back to me. "You sure you're gonna be alright?" He nods, with a weak smile, and turns away again. Fucker. I unclick my seatbelt and leave my car for a moment, climbing out through the passenger side door. I grab Joey by the shoulder and spin him around. He looks taken by surprise.

"Look, Joey, I don't really know what's going on or anything, and I'm not going to ask. Just so you know, you're a horrible liar, and I know you don't feel okay at all. So you should at least tell me."

"Um, fine," he says. "I feel like my insides have just imploded. Happy now?"
"You don't have to be so bitter," I tell him. "I just don't like people lying to me."
He sighs, running his fingers through his dark brown hair. "Sorry. I guess I'm a little tense right now."

I raise my eyebrow. "A little?"
"A lot," he corrects. "Thanks for not asking about me and Carlie."
"No problem. It's none of my business anyways. Wait, did you just say 'Carlie?'"
"Oh, yeah. It's her real first name, but she doesn't let people call her that."
"Nice to know."
I hear a car horn and see that a car is waiting to move behind mine. "I gotta go now. Take care."
"Alright," he says, hugging me. "Bye."
"See ya," I say and climb back through the passenger door into my seat.
"Rene," I hear and look up to see Joey not having gone far. "Thanks."
I smile and nod to him, holding my hand up in the universal signal for "You're welcome," and drive off.