Being In The Band

Being In The Band
©1999-2000
By Sarah
Chapter 4


        "And one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!  Come on, Nick, youíre lagging!  Five, six, seven, and eight!  Stop!"  Fatima yelled.
        Brian stopped dancing and gasped for air, looking over at the choreographer as she walked towards him and the other guys.
        "Guys, I know its been a long day and dancing to a tape isnít easy since youíre used to hearing live instruments, but you have to keep it together.  Weíre almost finished, we just have one more routine and you can relax, ok?"  Fatima said as she walked in front of them.  She stopped in front of Brian and looked at him, concerned.
        "You ok, Brian?"  She asked him quietly.
        Brian nodded and took another deep breath, trying to will his face to lose the red tint it had.
        "Are you sure?  You donít want to take a break?"  Fatima asked.
        Brian shook his head.  "No, letís get this over with, whatís the last routine?"  He asked.
        Fatima looked at him warily and continued her walk.  "Ok, everyone, last routine.  Everyoneís favorite, ĎItís Gotta Be Youí," she said, smiling as everyone groaned.
        "Aww, come on, guys, it isnít that bad!"  Fatima said as she walked to the Ďfrontí of the stage and standing in front of the group.  "Tell you what, you can even stand in your corners for this one, but donít forget that I will be watching, mess nothing up," she said, wagging her finger at them and walking up the platform in the middle and standing in the middle.
        "Youíre a slave-driver, ĎTima," AJ said as he walked to the corner of the stage he was on.  Brian nodded in faint agreement, reaching his corner across from AJ.  The stage was pentagonal, so each guy had his own corner and side, a whole section of audience to entertain.
        "And you love me for it, AJ.  From the top, guys!"  Fatima called as everyone got in their places.  Brian tried to paste a smile on his face as the music started booming through the speakers and Nickís voice followed.  He sang and danced with the music, then stopped with everyone else when it came time for them to introduce their band and dancers.
        "Wait a second, what about Tommy?"  Brian asked.
        Kevin shrugged.  "I donít know, I guess we introduce this Lizard person at this point," he said.
        "Whoís Lizard?"  Fatima asked as she walked down the ramp to the stage.  "And explain to me why you all stopped while youíre at it," she said.
        "Tommy broke his wrist and he wonít be playing on stage with us.  Heís having one of his friends fill in, someone named Lizard.  We donít even know who this person is and he is going to be playing and practically directing whatever we do on stage," AJ explained.
        "We stopped because we donít know what to call him.  Lizard?  Or his real name?  We have no clue," Brian said.
        "Whatís his real name?"  Fatima asked.
        Nick shrugged.  "We donít know, we just found out about him the other day."
        Fatima sighed.  "Look, just skip that part, go to the end of the introductions and everyone take their place, start from there," she said, walking back up to the top of the platform.
        Brian sighed and took his place where he ended, then smiled as the music came back and started singing.  When the song ended, he froze in place, not looking around until he heard cheering.
        "That was great guys!  Wow, things look so different from down here," Tommy said as he walked up the aisle of the arena and to the stage.  He climbed on the stage and Brian walked over to him.
        "Hey, man, when did you get here?"  Brian asked.
        "About ten minutes ago, I took a taxi here from Lizardís house.  Weíre finished, Lizard knows all the music by heart and will be joining everyone at the venue in Michigan tomorrow afternoon.  It was amazing, I gave Lizard the music two days ago and when I went there today, I could hear it being played from the street.  Lizard is so good, knows it by heart now.  Iíll be leaving with Lizard tomorrow, showing the ropes.  Our flight gets in about eleven Michigan time, weíll be at the venue by two that afternoon.  Iím telling you, guys, Lizardsí even better than me!"  Tommy said, laughing.
        "But what about the timing?  There are times when you arenít facing us, you have to do a part by trust, kinda like a blind jump," Kevin said.
        "I know, and Lizard is well aware of that.  One practice and youíll have everything set," Tommy promised.
        "But Tommy, about the intros in ĎIts Gotta Be Youí.  How should we introduce Lizard?  Is that even his real name?"  AJ asked.
        Tommy opened his mouth to answer when music came blasting through the speakers above.
        "Sorry, my bad!"  One of the technicians called from above them at the speaker he was working at.
        Brian sighed and looked back at Tommy, who looked down at his beeper.
        "Sorry, guys, weíll continue this tomorrow, I have to get home and pack.  See you all tomorrow afternoon," Tommy said as he walked off the stage.
        Brian waved limply and watched Tommy walk out of the arena.  He turned back to his friends and saw them all lying on the stage.
        "Tired?"  He asked Nick as he stood over him.
        Nick nodded as best he could, given his position.  "Just kill me now," he said, closing his eyes and turning his head to the side.
        Brian chuckled and leaned over, tickling Nickís stomach.  "I donít think I want to do that, I could get mobbed by the Nick Carter fan club, Iíd be in trouble.  Then your mom would come and hit the hell out of my head," he said.
        Nick smiled and Brian walked away from him, hopping off the stage and going beneath, walking to the dressing room reserved for him and the other guys, grabbing his bottle of water and opening it, taking a long sip.  He sat back in a chair, closing his eyes.
        "Come on, man, I know you still gotta pack, and your ride is leaving right now," Nick said as he ran in the dressing room.  Brian opened his eyes and stood up, grabbing his bag.
        "Ok, letís go," he said, following Nick out.  They both got into Nickís Durango and Nick drove him to his house.  Heíd gotten picked up that morning when he over-slept a little.  Brian walked in his house and was met by his dog, Tyke.  He went into the kitchen and fed the dog, then grabbed himself something small to take upstairs with him while he packed.
        Brian finished packing about two hours later and collapsed on his bed, tired.  He had to catch a flight in about three hours, the red eye to Michigan.  He closed his eyes after setting his alarm, trying to take a quick nap before having to leave.

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