Status: One-shot.

This Was a Terrible Day to Get My Period

one of one

Alex should really learn to keep better track of these things.

It’s just annoying, though, to have to mark it in his calendar every month, and it also raises questions if anyone happens to look. He doesn’t have any sort of personal planner, either, and, yeah, maybe he should, but he’s forgetful and lazy, so now it’s his fault that he didn’t realize his imminent misfortune sooner.

Tonight, May 22, will be the very first official gig for Alex’s band, All Time Low. And Alex has just gotten his period.

It’s not the end of the world, of course, except that it kind of is. The first day’s always the worst, and it usually passes with Alex writhing around on the floor in pain. It doesn’t matter how much medicine he takes; the cramps seem to almost always get him, and sometimes they make him throw up, and often there’s a headache, too, and it’s just never a fun time for him. Especially since he’s a dude, and he’d much prefer having a dick.

One of these days, he swears that he’s going to go on T if his family can afford it, and maybe a bit later, if he saves up a lot (like, a lot), he can get some sort of surgery, or something. His parents are still sort of weird about the whole thing, though, and he’s starting to think that maybe they don’t believe he’s really a boy. His mom did let him get a binder, and both of them are more supportive than he thought they would be, but…well, they could be better.

Jack, Zack, and Rian, on the other hand—they don’t know anything. Alex introduced himself to them as a boy, and they assumed he was just a bit of a late bloomer. He wasn’t going to correct them.

Until he can actually make some sort of physical change, though, he’s stuck with this, digging through the medicine cabinet for some sort of savior. The cramps might not have started up yet, but he knows they will, and he’d rather overdose on Advil than have to deal with Mother Nature’s bullshit. He’s going to play this gig if it kills him (and it probably will).

He goes over to Rian’s house to practice with the rest of the guys before the show, and they sound pretty fucking good, but Alex is starting to feel it. He makes sure to take more medicine when no one else is looking, but he’s afraid that it might already be too late and that it’s only going to get worse from here, because that’s just his luck.

“You alright, bro?” Rian asks him from where he’s sitting at his drum set, raising an eyebrow. “You seem kinda off today.”

“I’m good,” Alex assures him. “Just nervous for tonight, y'know?”

“Don’t be,” Rian says, grinning widely in his Rian Dawson way. “You’re gonna blow ‘em away with your beautiful voice.”

“Fuck off,” Alex says, but he’s smiling.

A few feet away, Zack calls, “Stop flirting, you two!”

“Fuck off,” Alex repeats, this time to Zack. Zack flips him off, which reassures him that everything is normal and fine.

The venue that they’re playing at isn’t that busy, but Alex is still freaking the fuck out. His pain has gotten worse, and he’s thinking about all the worst possible scenarios, because he’s kind of a nervous person when it comes to these things and this is his first gig and he just wants to make a good impression but it’ll probably just flop like everything else does. What if (though it hardly ever happens) the blood leaks through his pants and everyone sees? What if it gets so bad that he collapses onstage? He’s starting to actually get angry that this is a thing he has to go through every month.

He should be warming up now, but he can barely focus and he really needs to sit down. It feels like someone is stabbing him, but, like, slowly. Rian asks again if he’s feeling okay, and this time, Alex says, “I’m feeling kinda sick, dude.” It’s not a lie.

“What?” Rian says. “No. You can’t be sick. It’s just, like, pre-show jitters.”

It’s really not, Alex thinks to himself, but he doesn’t say it. Rian doesn’t need to know that all this is just caused by Alex’s fucking menstrual cycle. Rian doesn’t even need to know that Alex has a menstrual cycle.

“I’m gonna—” He winces, pulling the small bottle of Advil out of his pocket. “Fuck it. I’m taking another one of these.”

“Hey, you’ll be okay,” Rian says definitively, staying mostly calm and giving Alex another comforting grin that makes him kind of die a little. “And don’t worry. You’re gonna kill it, Lex.”

Alex gives him a genuine smile. “Thanks.”

Jack and Zack notice Alex acting weird, too, and reassure him just as much. The medicine is slowly kicking in, and by the time they’re on the stage, Alex thinks that maybe, just maybe, he can get through this.

“What’s up, Baltimore?” he says to the crowd, and the people who actually give a shit about them let out a fairly decent cheer. He’s not really talking to the whole of Baltimore here, but he’s too nervous to even remember the name of this goddamn venue, so he’s just going with the city name and hoping it doesn’t sound dumb.

He feels like he needs to say something else, make a joke, maybe, and he definitely should have prepared a speech or something before he decided that talking would be a good idea, and before he can completely think it through, he decides that, yes, the “making a joke” route is the way to go. So he throws his hands up in mock frustration and, in a sarcastic tone of voice, proclaims, “This was a terrible day to get my period!”

The crowd laughs, and the guys onstage do, too, because they all think he’s kidding, and that kind of makes Alex feel good, like he’s passing. It’s like his dirty little secret, because in reality, he’s not kidding. Not that he’s going to admit it.

Quickly, he says something else about how they’re a band called All Time Low that’s just starting out and thanking the crowd for staying to hang out and watch them and blah blah blah, and then they just get right into it. There aren’t that many people paying attention to them—nobody really cares about the opening band anyway—but Alex is still nervous as hell, if not because of his period, then just because it’s his first real performance at a venue and he’s not used to it. They’re just a shitty band of teenagers who can’t drive, playing covers of Blink-182 and Green Day, but he and the guys have a faint hope that this is the beginning of something big, no matter what surprises Mother Nature has in store.

After the show is finally over and Alex feels like he can breathe properly again, they all go back to Rian’s house to celebrate a job well done and surviving their first gig without getting pelted with tomatoes. Alex is feeling so good, in fact, that he almost forgets about the possibility of disaster.

“That period thing, though,” Jack says when they’re all sitting out in the living room, giggling and nudging him as they’re sharing the couch. “Best way to start it off.”

“When did you even come up with it?” Zack asks from the reclining chair that he’s taken to lying in. “It felt like it just came outta nowhere.”

“It kind of did,” Alex admits, and that’s not really a lie, either. The joke came out of nowhere, just like his period seemed to do this morning (even though he knows he should’ve expected it, if only he ever kept track of it). “I just sort of wanted to say something that would make them remember us, and then…” He makes an odd gesture with his hand that’s supposed to represent how the joke came out of nowhere.

“Well, they’ll definitely remember us now,” Rian says from Alex’s other side. “As the band that’s always making really inappropriate jokes.”

“That should be our thing,” Jack suggests, because if there’s one thing he loves more than his music, it’s crude humor. “Can that be our thing? Let’s make it our thing.”

Alex rolls his eyes. “Whatever, dude.” Then, instinctively, he leans over and rests his head against Rian’s shoulder. He doesn’t even really think about it; he just kind of does it. Rian doesn’t seem to mind, though, which is nice. If anyone says anything, he’ll say he’s doing it because he’s tired. It’s not even a lie.

They hit him a few hours later, the cramps. He knew they’d come eventually, of course, but after the show was over, he just kind of forgot about it in the rush of happiness and relief. And now he feels like shit.

It’s a bit later in the night when it happens. Jack and Zack have both gone home by now, but Alex is sleeping over because he kind of loves Rian and he loves sleeping over. It’s fun, but it would be more fun if he weren’t trying to pretend that he’s not in pain. Rian notices, though, because Rian always notices. Damn him.

“Dude, you seriously look like you’re about to throw up,” he says suddenly as they’re hanging out in his bedroom. “Are you, like, actually sick?”

“I—it’s not contagious, I swear,” Alex stutters, slowly standing up and bending over slightly, holding his stomach.

“Are you sure?” Rian says. “Because I can get my mom to drive you home, if you want—”

“No, I wanna stay,” Alex interrupts. It’s the truth, too—he doesn’t want to leave Rian; he just doesn’t really want to die of period cramps, either. “Just—this’ll probably sound weird, but do you have a heating pad anywhere?”

“Uh, yeah, hold on.” Rian rushes out of the room and returns a few seconds later holding a blue pad with a cord connected to it.

“Oh, thank God,” Alex says, plugging the cord in, changing the setting to “High” (he’s not fucking around here), and taking the opportunity to lie down on Rian’s bed.

“You don’t have to tell me,” Rian says slowly, “but may I ask why…?”

“I’ll tell you later,” Alex replies dismissively, and he’s not sure when “later” is going to be, but in the moment, he means it.

“Later” turns out to be, well, later that night. Alex is aware that just twelve hours ago, he was swearing that the guys would never know his big secret, but now he kind of really wants Rian to know. Or maybe he just really wants to make sure that Rian won’t hate him and kick him out of the band. Either way, he wants Rian to know.

Then again, it’s three in the morning, and most of Alex’s best decisions are not made at three in the morning.

He can’t sleep, though, and this is keeping him up, and he doesn’t think he’ll be able to let it go until he just does it already. He reaches over—he somehow ended up sleeping in Rian’s bed, and somehow Rian ended up sleeping with him (it’s actually not as weird as he thought it might be)—and lightly shakes his friend, who promptly swats his hand and mumbles something about not getting enough beauty sleep. Alex, little shit that he is, resists the urge to say, “What beauty?”

Instead, he just says, “Wake up, you big baby. I have to tell you something.”

“This is gonna be something really pointless, isn’t it?” Rian complains, though Alex can hear the lighthearted teasing in his voice. “It doesn’t involve tits, does it? I’m not Jack, dude.”

Alex just snorts because, well, it kind of does involve tits, considering that he has them. “Just. Get up. It’s important.”

“Is it really so important that you have to tell me at three in the morning?”


Rian groans and slowly sits up, rubbing his eyes, and despite the wild bed-head and the drool on the side of his mouth, Alex thinks that he actually looks kind of cute. But that’s not what this is all about.

“Okay,” Rian says. “I’m awake. Hit me with it.”

“I—I, um…” Now that it’s time, Alex is nervous, unable to find the words. His mouth works faster than his brain, which is unfortunate, because it’s what causes him, at three in the morning, to tell his best friend, “I’m bleeding out of my vagina.”

Fuck. He’s done quite a bit of research on coming out, and he’s pretty sure that this was not one of the suggested options.

“Your what?” Rian says. Now he’s definitely awake.

Alex sighs, trying to come up with the simplest way to explain it. Finally, he just says, “I’m trans, Rian. Transgender. Like, my gender doesn’t match—”

“Yeah, I know what it is,” Rian interrupts, nodding slowly and staring at him with an unreadable look on his face. “This isn’t a dream, right?”

“No,” Alex says, rolling his eyes to hide the way his heart is starting to pound. It has occurred to him that, no, three in the morning probably was not the best time to do this. “I’m serious, okay? I want you to listen to me.”

Rian nods again. “So you, like, don’t have a dick,” he says, point-blank (again, probably due to the fact that it’s three in the morning, and this is one of the wildest conversations they’ve ever had).

Alex shakes his head. “Nope. But I’ve got a vagina. I wasn’t kidding about the bleeding thing, by the way.”

Rian eyes widen as it all seems to sink in. “Holy shit, wait,” he says. “So that period joke wasn’t a joke? The medicine, the heating pad—”

Alex just blushes, because out of all the things they could be talking about, they’re talking about his fucking period. “Oh, yeah, I was dead serious up there. I just pretended that I wasn’t.”

Rian stares at him for a long moment, and then he just sort of laughs. “Holy shit,” he repeats. “So, like, you’re still a boy, right? Like, mentally, or whatever. Sorry, I don’t really know much about this stuff.”

“No, yeah, you’ve got it,” Alex says, breathing a big sigh of relief. “Boy. I’m a boy. But everyone thinks I’m a girl because of what’s in my pants. And one day, maybe, I’m gonna try to fix some physical stuff, so that I can be more comfortable with myself, y'know? But…yeah. That’s what I wanted to tell you.”

“So technically,” Rian says, “it did involve tits.”

Alex laughs and buries his face into his pillow, feeling the relief fill his chest. He can’t believe he thought Rian might hate him or kick him out of the band or something. Rian’s a go-with-the-flow kind of guy (speaking of flows…), always willing to accept things that other people might think are “weird.” And Alex loves him for it.

Fast-forward a little over ten years.

The day is May 22, 2015. It’s the third-to-last date of All Time Low’s Future Hearts Tour, in Philadelphia. And Alex is feeling really fucking good.

A lot has happened since that night. For one, the band got bigger. A lot bigger. Big enough that they’ve brought three opening bands with them on this tour. Big enough that they’ve toured in other countries multiple times. That’s something fifteen-year-old Alex never would’ve dreamed of.

For another thing, Alex did come out to the rest of the guys, eventually even opening up to the fans about it—he figures it’s important not to hide who he is, especially since there’s always a lack of trans role models. He’s been on hormones for years now and was able to get top surgery in 2012. He’s happier with his body, with his life, with himself. It’s incredible how far he’s come from that first gig, when he still wore a binder and suffered from period cramps.

The third thing is that, eventually, Rian became Alex’s boyfriend. Their relationship is one of best friends to lovers, of sex in the tour bus and whispered love confessions in their bunks. It’s one of them calling it a relationship and not thinking about any sort of complications—more than anything, Rian loves Alex, his boyfriend, no matter what his body looks like, because that’s what’s most important, really.

And now the sky is darkening, and they’re all playing their hearts out to a crowd of people who support them, and it’s the best feeling. They’re probably going to make a ton of dumb jokes and play way too late (and then all the venue workers will hate them, and then Alex will genuinely feel bad because he always feels bad), and he can already tell that it’s going to be a wild night.

After the third or fourth song, it’s time to talk to the crowd. First, of course, Alex asks them how they’re doing, to which they respond with yells and cheers. (That doesn’t really tell me how they’re doing, he thinks briefly. Imagine being like, “How ya doing, John?” and John’s just like, “Ahhh!”)

Then, as Alex is the midst of switching guitars, Jack announces, with much sarcasm, “This was a terrible day to get my period!”

There’s another chorus of cheers and laughs, but it’s a lot larger than it was the first time. Alex rolls his eyes and kind of laughs to himself as he’s turning back around with his other guitar. It’s the anniversary of their very first gig tonight, so Jack’s teasing him, and since there’s a very slim chance that anyone in the crowd knows about the inside joke, Alex just goes along with it. A bit of his One Direction tank top is lightly brushed to the side, and he takes the opportunity to say, “Free that nip.” (It has brought him great joy to be able to make jokes about that, considering that, four years ago, he wouldn’t have been able to “free that nip” without getting yelled at.)

He was right—the concert is wild and definitely one of his favorites off the tour. During this tour, they’ve been playing both “Missing You” and “Kids In the Dark,” two new songs that, though the lyrics could easily apply to anyone, Alex specifically wrote with other trans kids in mind. It’s a special night; it really is.

“'This was a terrible day to get my period,’” Alex quotes afterward as he’s hanging with Rian backstage. “I’ll have you know, I haven’t had my period in years.” That’s another thing that it brings him joy to say—the testosterone took care of his period a long time ago, and he certainly doesn’t miss it.

Rian laughs. “Good,” he says, kissing him on the cheek and taking him by the hand. “Because tonight’s a night for celebration. In the tour bus. Alone.”

Alex giggles a little, knowing exactly what Rian is implying. “Dude, your mom’s here! Shouldn’t we hang with her first?”

Rian just laughs. “Okay, yeah, you’re right. Let’s go find her.”

So they go.
♠ ♠ ♠
right ok so i don’t write atl fanfiction that often, but when i went to the future hearts tour in philadelphia jack said “this was a terrible day to get my period” and because i’m trans and i love trans characters and i also love alex gaskarth, my mind immediately went to transboy!alex. and then i wrote a rilex one-shot bc i’ve fallen in love with the ship recently. please note that this is all fiction, i really have no idea when atl’s first gig was or how it went or anything like that. just go with it and enjoy the rilex bc u can never have enough of that honestly