Sequel: If Only Until Morning

Pictures on Silence

Chapter 13

My eyes fluttered for a minute before I shut them again and rolled over. Too bad I was wide-awake. Annoyed, I threw back the blankets, put on jeans, bra, and Nirvana t-shirt, and wandered into the front of the bus.

A grin tugged at my mouth at the sight that befell me. Ryan and Brendon, obviously having passed out from the caffeine crash, lay sprawled across one couch, looking quite comfortable on each other. So I did what any normal person would do. I got my camera and took pictures.

But when I came back, I realised it was seven thirty in the morning and no one would wake up for at least two hours. I backtracked on tiptoe to my bunk, retrieved my wallet, shoes, and cell phone, and silently exited the bus. I walked to the Starbucks we patronised the day before and ordered four large mochas.

I left the coffee on the table in the kitchen area and went into the sleeping area. I got out my sketchbook and a pencil and situated myself on the couch across from Ryan and Brendon, still sleeping in the exact places I left them.

Just as I started shading in the hair falling across Ryan's face, the curtain to the bunkroom moved and a groggy, unshaven Jon Walker emerged. I smiled and pointed the eraser end of my pencil at the coffee. His face brightened and his posture straightened before he strode purposefully towards it. I shook my head and turned back to my sketch.

The scraping of the chair Jon pulled out caused Brendon to jolt awake and looked around, disoriented. "Mmmm, coffee," he garbled. Brendon looked at me. "What are you doing?" I shrugged, adjusting a shadow on his shoulder. "Are you drawing me?"

Smiling, I raised my eyebrows at him. "Go drink your mocha, Bren," I whispered. He nodded and slunk over to Jon. Ryan made a noise, but curled up in the warmth of his absent friend and continued to sleep.

Unfortunately, everyone was awake when someone knocked loudly on the door. The bald man told me he got no response from the van when he knocked and we had to get moving. "Oh, they'll be out for a few hours," I said, shutting the cover on the mostly finished drawing. "I'll just follow you guys and let them sleep."

"Oh my god, coffee!" Spencer praised, walking past everyone to the chocolaty coffee goodness. He took a long swig and sighed. "Since you're the only one dressed, Angie, I'll make an assumption and say, I love you so much right now."

I laughed quietly. "No prob, Spence. Now you boys be good, I have a friend's van to break into." Which didn't require much, seeing as I had a key and Jesse was snoring in the back.

What I wasn't told was that our next show was in Eugene. Eugene, Oregon. Hours and hours away. By the time we stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, my eyes ached and I felt like my brain had melted and congealed. The guys slept for another three hours, so I was without music for that time, and the equation Angie + no music x boredom does not equal good. It equals brain dead.

With the majority of my legs asleep, I stumbled from the van over to the guys. I grabbed Spencer-- since he was closest-- by the shoulders and shook him.

"Oh, please, don't make me go back there!" I begged dramatically. "I can't stand the silence anymore! It's tearing me apart!" I sobbed loudly onto his shoulder. Spencer looked kind of freaked out, but the other guys were laughing. I straightened up and grinned at him.

"Oh...kay..." he said. "How about some food?"

"To the mini mart!" Matt exclaimed, striking a heroic pose.

We all bought personal munchies and went to the register. Waiting in line behind me, Ryan flipped through the contacts on Matt's sleek, black phone. His eyebrows drew together. "Who's Cancer?" he asked, staring at the name.

"That's Penelope's cell," he replied.

Ryan raised his eyebrows at me. "Cancer?"

"Haven't you heard?" Matt asked.

Sean leaned his head in. "She's th'new cancer," he informed him.

"Never looked better," commented Jesse, walking by with his food.

I spun around and tapped his nose. "And you can't stand it," I finished with a smile. Jesse, Brendon, and Matt laughed and despite rolling his eyes, Sean laughed too.

Ryan looked at the ceiling. "You know, I think that's the first time my own lyrics have been used against me."

"Trust me, Slim. It won't be the last," I assured him, stepping up to the counter to pay for my stuff.

Back on the bus, I called home and talked to my parents and to my siblings for a little longer. I called my mom and we talked for a good half hour before she had to go. I rolled off my bunk and went back into the front to finish my drawing. Brendon and Spencer were on laptops and Ryan sat on the table, playing guitar.

Within a few minutes, my phone rang and I slammed down my pencil to pick up the damn tiny thing. It read Aero! I smiled and answered, "Good afternoon, sir."

"I'm your band manager, not your principal," he commented.

"Fine. Hey, loverboy."

"Hi, sexy," Aromi greeted. I rolled my eyes. "How's life aboard the S.S. Panic! At the Dreadful?"

A laughed escaped my lips. "You're such a weirdo. But you knew that. We're heading up to Eugene at the moment and I was going to finish a picture until you called."

"Aww, poor Penangela. Is it a sexy picture?"

I bit my lip and looked down at the drawing. Yes! "Maybe," I said quickly.

Aero whistled. "Only a few days on tour and you're already drawing dirty pictures of your tour mates. You'll have to teach me how you convinced them to pose. I want to see it when you get back!"

I laughed and leaned on an elbow. "It's not dirty, it's completely innocent." The other three people in the room were trying not to listen to my side of the conversation. I think I got their attention at 'loverboy'. "But you will love it, I guarantee you."

He gasped. "You drew a picture of Brendon for me?!"

I rolled my eyes. "A little louder, hon. I don't think they heard you in Greenwich."

"But I LOVE him!" I shushed Aromi into the receiver. "Oh god, he's right there, isn't he?"

"Yeah, pretty much," I laughed, looking over at Spencer and Brendon. The latter looked at me over his glasses. "Hi!" He smiled and continued doing whatever. I rolled onto my back and saw that Ryan was watching me with his head tilted; I grinned and relaxed on the couch again.

"Ohmigawd, you know what you should do?" Aero rhetorically asked in excitement.

"No, love," I replied. "What should I do?"

"You should do that thing that I said I wanted to do and take pictures for me!"

"I am not going to cover him in maple syrup and take pictures for you," I refused flatly. Ryan stopped suddenly and the room fell silent. I looked around to see that all three of them were giving me the same 'What the fuck are you talking about?' look. "What?"

My friend and band manager was laughing into my ear. "They're looking at you like you're insane, huh?"

I turned my head and snapped back, "Yeah, thanks to you."

"Aww, Angiepants, I'm sowwie." I hummed a dual note, saying I didn't believe him. "Oops, Charlie's looking for me. Gotta go, sweetie. Love you!"

"Love you too, babe," I replied. "Ciao."

I pressed the end call button and put my arm down. After a second, I turned my head to the right and then behind me. Ryan, Spencer, and Brendon were still all staring at me. After a few seconds of silence, a smile broke my expression and I dissolved into laughter, turning over again to finish my drawing.

They all gave me weird looks for the rest of the day.