Status: ACTIVE.

Learn to Fly


Peyton sighed, rolling over in bed as her phone rang. She picked it up, frowning as she saw the name. He hadn’t called in a while and she honestly thought he had stopped.

Apparently that was a false alarm.

She slid off the couch in the boy’s dressing room and slid on her shoes. Things had been going well for her in the past month—really, really well, which before this tour she never would have anticipated.

She and John had become pretty exclusive—even if they hadn’t labeled it all those who mattered seem to know, and some fans were catching on. Eric had taken the news fairly well, not being upset about losing his ‘friend-e-fit’ in any way. Nick was by far the least accepting, but Peyton knew he would come around. The list was far from being over, but a large amount of it was done. Georgia would have been proud.

The temperature was finally dropping as they slowly made their way up the East Coast and in two weeks they’d be taking a weeklong break in Braintree for Christmas. The boys were going to be working on their new album, and Peyton was going to be home for the first time in two months. John had asked her to come visit him in Arizona, and she thought about it—but maybe being back home for a while was what she needed.

Lord knows she had some ties to sever.

Peyton grabbed her jacket and pulled it over her shoulders. She grabbed her cigarettes and stood outside in the breeze, beginning her routine. As of late every place was beginning to look the same. Maybe it was because she followed the same regular plan everyday, but she was honestly getting tired. Nick warned her that this might happen; that no matter how much fun she was having, the days would become monotonous. There would eventually be a point where she was ready for something—anything to make it more exciting, but usually at this time in the tour, you were just ready to be done.

Peyton needed a change; something to shake it up.

She threw her cigarette to the ground, stepping on it with her toe before walking back inside. She looked in the backrooms, but all the boys seemed to be missing. She frowned before walking into the main hall, following large sounds of laughter. Peyton walked into the room, saying hello to all the bands and feeling somewhat self-conscious as she noticed a line of fans. She forgot there was a meet and greet today.

It didn’t matter if you were a girlfriend on tour or not—if you had a vagina it was automatically assumed you were fucking somebody, and fans got protective of that idea. Peyton was just about to exit the room quickly when she heard her cousin yelling her name, calling her over to where Rocket and The Maine were signing autographs and taking pictures.

“What’s up?” She asked, ignoring the glances she was receiving and focusing on Nick.

“The guys kind of need a break before the show,” Nick said, looking over at Andrew who was passing out souvenirs for fans to get signed.

“Hayes, could you get ours too?’” John asked, pushing out his bottom lip from the table over.

She rolled her eyes and agreed, chuckling as Andrew gave her a massive hug and disappeared for the day before he had to work merch all night. She grabbed the signs and began walking down the line, giving posters to clusters of girls who couldn’t have been much over the age of fifteen. It was weird hearing them speak about the boys like they were; they spoke about them as pieces of meat—like they were a good to be taken, not like they were people themselves.

Peyton smiled honestly as she handed out the gifts, receiving questions like who she was working for on the tour, was she really Nick’s cousin, and others. She was happy that none of them brought up any questions about her love life.

Maybe this wouldn’t be as bad as she anticipated.

“Excuse me?”

Peyton turned to the shrill voice, feeling intimidated by a group of girls that didn’t have years on her at all. She didn’t know what made her nervous. Maybe it was sideways glances they all kept giving one another, or the way that their eyes kept traveling over her body making her feel like a spectacle to be judged.

“Yeah? Did you need poster or something?” Peyton asked, grabbing the thick cardstock and preparing to give it to the group.

“No, I already got one,” the girl answered, glancing back at her friends with a crude smile. “Are you the girl that’s fucking JohnOh?”

“U-uh excuse me?” She stammered, looking at the teenager in disbelief. She glanced over to The Maine’s table, trying to call in reinforcements but they were all busy.

The blonde laughed. “You heard me. Once he and Melissa broke up pictures started coming up of you two on tumblr. People said they had seen you guys kissing and stuff.”

“I really don’t see how that’s any of your business,” Peyton replied, shaking her head. She glanced back John, but instead found Eric looking back at her nervously. He could tell something was up, but she knew he would be no help. He couldn’t leave fans to take care of her—and honestly, he didn’t need to. She could do this herself.

“But I also heard that you were seen with Halvo,” one of the other girls said. By this point more fans in the proximity had started listening in, trying to get the dirt on their favorite boys.

Peyton could hear the chatter around her. John and Melissa broke up? No, they were so cute? Wasn’t she Halvo’s girl? That’s Nick’s cousin. John could do better.She shook her head, trying to silence all the voices. This was unreal. These girls really couldn’t care that much could they?

“That’s kind of slutty, don’t you think?”

Peyton looked back at the girl in front of her—the little bitch that had started it all. She glanced back over at John, mentally apologizing for the next words she was about to say without his permission.

“You know what? Maybe I am fucking John. Maybe I’m fucking Eric,” Peyton smiled, looking at the pathetic girls in front of her. “Hell, maybe I’m fucking Kennedy too. Maybe I’m fucking them all. But do you know what the best part of all of that would be? The fact that it is none of your fucking business.”

The girls were all staring at her with their mouths open; she could tell they were all offended. Eric walked over to them quickly, obviously seeing the change in conversation. “Is everything okay here?” He asked, his eyes open wide when he registered how angry Peyton was.

She shoved the remaining posters in his hands, getting angrier as she watched the fans go from vicious to sweet-hearted in a matter of seconds. “Peachy. I’m going to go get Andrew to finish passing out these.”

Peyton began walking away, stopping as she saw a familiar girl standing in the corner of the room. Her long brown hair was in beachy waves and her skin was sun kissed. She smiled at her, clapping her hands briefly as to say good job.

Peyton shook her head, realizing that Georgia wasn’t actually there and stormed out of the building. She began walking down the streets of downtown Charleston, not even noticing the scenery. Her mind was going too quickly. She was so angry—how could people speak to her like that?

She had been walking for an hour or so before she finally realized how beautiful the area around her was. She was right on the waterfront and even though she was cold from the breeze of the water, she felt content.

In high school Peyton was always known as the ‘nice girl’. The one who, ultimately, would let you walk all over her and not say a single word. But today, she stood up for herself and she felt so good. Georgia was always the one sticking up for her—although the favor was hardly returned.

Georgia, being the girl she was, had many enemies. A lot of bad things were said to her out of pure jealousy from other girls and Peyton never said a word because Geo had never let it affect her. Or at least she never said anything about it. But, she still wished she had—she wished that Georgia would have known that she had her back too.

Peyton was sure she knew, but days like this was when she wished she had actually done it, or said something—anything.

She frowned as her phone began ringing again. Although the number wasn’t in her phone she knew exactly who it was. After Georgia’s death it called her at least twelve times a day for two months. Eventually she just shut off her phone.

But today, today she felt different. She was no longer the girl who stood by and watched things happen—today she was taking control of her life; if not for her, then for the fact that Georgia couldn’t anymore.

“Ian,” Peyton began, clicking the green answer button on her screen. The boy began to speak and even his voice just made her angry alone. Angry for what he had done, and angry for the words he once made her say. She cut him off. “Stop, stop fucking calling me. In fact, next time you call me—I’m calling the police. I can’t and I won’t answer any questions you have. You make me sick. Now, leave me the fuck alone.”

Peyton slammed her phone down next to her so hard that she was surprised it didn’t crack. She held down the top button on the phone, and slid the red bar across the top of her screen shutting it off for good. She continued to walk around downtown, stopping at tourist shops and snacking at shacks on the roads.

She made her way back to the venue lazily, finally feeling better after all the day had already put her through. She walked into the concert, smiling as Every Avenue lit up the stage. She flashed her badge and walked backstage, excited to show John the shot glass she had bought him at a store earlier that day. It said: 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila: FLOOR. It was perfect for him.

She walked into the back lounge eagerly, opening the door and smiling as she saw all of Rocket and The Maine. “Hey guys, look what I—

She was cut off as Nick stormed towards her, grabbing her by the shoulders forcefully. “Where the fuck have you been? Peyton we’ve been worried sick.”

She watched as John sat down on the couch, letting out a deep breath of air. She could see the frustration on his face. It was the same as whenever he was stuck on a song, or a chord, or whenever he had been fighting with Melissa. The boys all looked at each other nervously, as if they all were all mad at her for making their lead singers stressed before their show that night.

“I was just walking around downtown,” Peyton said simply, shrugging. “I didn’t think it was a big deal. I needed some air.”

“You couldn’t answer your fucking phone?” John asked, running a hand through his hair, looking at her angrily. They hadn’t had their first fight and she wasn’t ready to do it in front of all of the boys.

Peyton looked at the two angrily. “I’m not five years old,” she argued, putting her hands on her hips. “I can take care of myself.”

“Can you?” Nick asked. “Then why are you here? I wouldn’t be babysitting you right now if you could.”

She looked at her cousin, resentment filling her bones. He crossed a line and he knew it; she could tell her didn’t mean those words, but it didn’t mean they didn’t hurt. Peyton opened her mouth to retort but was once again cut off, but this time by a different voice. “Jesus you guys, back the fuck off,” Eric sighed, throwing his hands in the air. “Your fans were attacking her earlier. Give her a break. She had a bad day and needed to blow off steam.”

Peyton whispered a soft ‘thank you’ under her breath to the boy as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. He nodded his head and led her out of the room; she followed instantly, not wanting to be anywhere John, but especially Nick. She and Eric watched the rest of Every Avenue and Go Radio, sitting in silence. He didn’t ask any questions and she appreciated that. Eric never asked questions—he always just made her feel better and that was that.

Eventually it was time for Eric to play and Peyton snuck away to the merch tables, helping the boys work if it meant she could avoid John. She didn’t know why she was so annoyed. He was obviously just worried—but he didn’t have to attack her the way he did in front of everyone.

The Maine came on and Peyton couldn’t help but notice the way John’s always seemed to find her back at the table. She knew he was sorry, but she was still frustrated. It did make her feel better when the fans that attacked her earlier noticed his eye contact though, who was she to lie?

Peyton made her way back stage after the show was done and everything was packed up. All the bands and techs had ventured out into the streets to drink before they headed out for the evening. She was invited but decided that by the rate everything was going that day maybe it was jus best to stay in. She went to The Maine’s dressing room, knocking and entering when she heard a soft ‘come in’.

John was on his phone, his face straight. She took a seat across from him at a table, not wanting to sit so close as to where she felt she was eavesdropping on his conversation. She looked around the room, attempting to distract herself from his soft murmurs to he person on the other line. He still looked angry, but she wasn’t sure why. Was he still mad from earlier? He hung up a few moments later and looked at her with an unreadable expression.

“Hey,” he said softly, running his hand over his shoulder.

“Hi,” Peyton replied, sucking on her bottom lip nervously. She had never really fought with a boy before—how did these things work?

John stood up and walked over to her and placed his hand on her hip. “I’m sorry I freaked out earlier. I was just—worried, you know. You just kind of disappeared.”

Peyton pulled her bucket list from her pocket and pointed to number twelve.

Leave and tell no one where you’re going.

Sure, that wasn’t her initial intentions of leaving earlier, but it had worked out well. John covered his hand with his face before burying himself in her neck. “Well, now I feel like an ass,” he sighed. His breath tickled her neck, giving her the goose bumps.

“Don’t,” she breathed, kissing his forehead. “You were worried I get it. I was just mad that you guys attacked me, I guess. And Nick…”

“What Nick said was fucked up,” John said quickly, shaking his head. “You know he didn’t mean it.”

Peyton shrugged and looked at the floor, “I know.”

“Just give him some time,” he replied, hugging her tighter. “He’ll come around. I really am sorry though.”

She nodded her head, ultimately knowing John was right now matter how mad she was at her cousin. Some things should never be said even if they were thought. John moved them to a couch on the other side of the room, and they lay down, holding one another tight.

“So, who was on the phone?” Peyton asked, her curiosity getting the best of her.

John ran a hand through her hair, tangles his long fingers in her blonde locks. “Melissa, actually,” he said softly, chuckling as she raised her eyebrow at him. “Apparently word got out that you and I are together…she wasn’t very happy about it.”

“She broke up with you,” Peyton said slowly, wanting to end this conversation. She hated talking about Melissa with John. He still didn’t know about the abortion and everyday her guilt piled higher over that fact.

“It’s…it’s whatever,” John sighed. He didn’t want to talk about her either. “So, I heard something interesting today…”

Peyton became nervous as his lips turned into a conspicuous smile. “And what would that be?”

“I heard that you and I are fucking…and you and Kennedy, and you and Eric,” he laughed, shaking his head.

Peyton buried her blushing cheeks in his white shirt. “Some of your fans are bitches.”

John chuckled, kissing her sweetly. “They really are. But for the record you’re not fucking any of them correct?”

She chuckled, shaking her head and kissing his lips. John still hadn’t found out about her and Eric’s previous arrangement—a wish of Eric himself. She didn’t regret it; John had a girlfriend at the time, but she wasn’t sure why Eric was so protective over the secret.

“It’s weird though, hearing that we’ve fucked,” John began, a coy smile on his lips. “Because we haven’t.”

Peyton giggled and kissed his neck. “I mean, we could,” she said thoughtlessly. Her cheeks turned red as John looked at her seriously registering her words.

“What?” He stammered, obviously nervous.

Her smile was replaced with an anxious frown. “I—I uh, I mean…we could…you know…” she trailed off, feeling butterflies in her stomach. She was a virgin—was she ready for this? When she thought about it the answer was yes. And if she was going to do it she wanted it to be with John. Not on a perfect night with dinner and candlelight, though she was sure that’d be great too, but she wanted it on a real night—and their first fight just seemed as real as it got.

John’s cheeks were a crimson red as he looked at her. She could see excitement in his eyes, hidden by a veil or worry. He looked nervous. “I mean, do you want to?” He asked, his bottom lip hiding between his teeth.

Peyton looked at the boy; his red cheeks, his blue green eyes that were surveying her every move, his soft pink lips that felt so good on hers. She smiled softly, nodding her head at him. They were quiet for a moment, just holding each other on the leather couch in a dressing room in the middle of South Carolina. It wasn’t everything that she had ever imagined, but being here—with John…somehow it just made it right.

After she had found the nerve to kiss his soft lips their clothes were off in a matter of moments, but still they didn’t rush. They kissed tenderly, lovingly, and as the last article of clothing was shred, Peyton found herself being engulfed by him entirely; not just his body, but also his everything.

He wasn’t ‘fucking’ her like she had told that fan. No, John was making love.

And she was falling.
♠ ♠ ♠
Well, if anyone is still there Keri found the outline I had made for this story and after receiving some encouraging comments I decided to take it up again. I hope some of you are still out there and if you are I would love to hear your feedback. Thank you so much for the comments that made me want to continue this story even after its 9 month hiatus...please don't hate me too much. Also, I have a John co-write up with keriberry234...check it out! We've got some crazy plans and frequent updates!

Thank you so much for sticking with me guys! I appreciate you all. Lemme know what you think? (: