Note: this is a work of fiction. I do not own or have the rights to 5 Seconds of Summer, or the members, and everything about this story other than the names used is made up.
“Come on,” Michael begged. “you’ll have fun. We’ll have fun. I haven’t seen you in over a year and I miss you. We’re working on the album and hanging out in LA and it would be way more fun if you were here.” I played with a string on my shirt with my left hand, my right hand holding my phone to my ear.
I sighed; realistically, I knew I couldn’t say no to Michael, not when he wanted to see me this badly. I hadn’t been able to say no to him since we were little kids. But I had to show some sort of resistance, didn’t I? I couldn’t just give myself away. I shouldn’t immediately just be able to drop everything and go right to him.
“I’d have to book time off of work, and flights are so expensive, Mikey.” I reasoned. He groaned dramatically on the other end.
“Come on Ivy, don’t play games with me. You work for your parents, who happen to love me. As if they’d say no to you coming to see me when it’s been over a year. And I’ll play for the fucking ticket if I have to. I just want to see my best friend.” I smiled to myself, continuing to tug at the fray on my shirt.
“How long would I come for?” I asked slowly. I could almost see the smile spread across Michael’s face, the way it did when he got really excited. He’d had that trait since we were small.
“We have another two and a half, three weeks left here. So, you can come for a few days or you could stay the three weeks.” He paused for a moment, listening to something one of the other boys was saying. “Calum says we’d all prefer if you stayed for the three weeks.” I sighed, pretending to think about it. There was no doubt in my mind that I’d be there for the full three weeks. These boys were my best friends. Michael was the boy I’d adored since I was six years old and had started to understand what a crush was.
“I should probably get off the phone.” I stated, smirking.
“What? Why?” There was a tinge of panic in Michael’s voice. I couldn’t wait to see him. I couldn’t wait to hug him and be around him and listen to him laugh in person instead of over Skype.
“I have to call my parents, you idiot. And I’m going to have to book my plane tickets, which you’re paying for.” Michael laughed. After letting me know he’d book the tickets and have them sent to my email, I hung up the phone and laid back in my bed. Excitement flowed through me; within the next few days, I’d be with my best friend again.
When I landed at LAX four days later, my stomach was in knots. I hadn’t slept on the plane because I’d been full of anxiety and excitement. Half of me was absolutely exhausted and half of me was wired. The knowledge that I’d be seeing Michael within the next hour gave me more energy that the seven cups of coffee I’d drank on the plane.
After claiming my luggage and making my way through customs, my heart was pounding so fast in my chest that it surprised me you couldn’t see it through my t-shirt.
Michael and the others were here somewhere, I could feel it. I could sense their presence, even if they weren’t in the room. They were somewhere close, waiting for me.
And then I heard my name, being yelled from across the lobby and I whipped my head to the left, and there he was, his hair redder than I’d ever imagined, a smile spread across his face. his eyebrow is pierced, which it wasn’t the last time I’d seen him, and he’d gotten new tattoos; black bands wrapping around his right arm.
He walked quickly towards me, and I know that I should move towards him, that I should meet him halfway, but I couldn’t move my feet from the ground. Before I knew what was happening, Michael was wrapping his arms around my waist and lifting my a few inches off of the ground. I dropped my backpack to the floor and laced my arms around his neck.
“I’m so fucking glad to see you, Ivy.” He mumbled against my neck. I nod in agreement, too excited to speak.
When the other three joined us, he placed me back on my feet, letting me greet the others. I hug each boy before grabbing my backpack off of the ground.
“How was your flight?” Ashton asked, reaching for my luggage. He motioned towards the door in front of us before leading us out to the SUV I assumed they’d arrived in. A heavyset man in all black took my backpack and my luggage from Ashton and I, placing it in the back of the vehicle. I was lead into the car before I could even answer Ashton’s question.
“The flight was alright. I was too excited to sleep so I watched like, six movies. Plane food is always horrible, too. I’m starving.” I looked over at Michael, who still wore a wide smile.
“We can go anywhere you want.” He told me. “There’s Panda Express, there’s In-N-Out, there’s…” He was cut off by Luke.
“Jesus, Michael. Give her a chance to breathe. Listen, Ivy. We’ve got to go to the studio for a little while. Did you want to come with us, or did you want to go back to the house and sleep?” I looked at each boy, and I knew I couldn’t just go crawl in bed. I looked at Luke and rolled my eyes.
“Come on, Luke. Did you really think that I’d just go to bed? I missed you assholes. Let’s go get food and I’ll come with you guys to record.”
Michael convinced me to try Panda Express for the first time and I gave in because I knew how much he loved it. When I told him that was where I wanted to go, his entire face lit up. I didn’t have the heart to remind him I had never been a huge fan of Chinese food because he just looked so damn happy. I choked it down and out of the corner of my eye I could see Calum watching me.
When Michael went to the washroom, Calum made sure to quietly remind me that the rest of them were fully aware that I hated Chinese. I sighed.
“Look at how happy he is, though. I’m happy if he’s happy.” I told them. Luke groaned and threw his fork onto the small table in the studio.
“Don’t start this again, Ivy. You’ve spent your entire fucking life letting Mikey walk all over you. You can’t let it keep happening.” I looked at each of the boys and rolled my eyes.
“It’s just a damn meal. Drop it.” I snapped. A moment later, Michael walked back into the room and sat down beside me.
“You guys ready to make some killer tunes?”
I spent the rest of the day watching them track their instruments and vocals. Watching my friends doing what they love, making music that they love, is one of my favourite things to do. Before they started touring, I’d lie on Michael’s living room floor while he and the others wrote lyrics and music, critiquing them, telling them what sounded better. They’d always told me that my opinion had been the most important one.
Michael had loved music since we were little; we’d spend hours playing Rock Band when it was released. Before that, we’d spend our time pretending we were in a band. He’d play air guitar while I’d lip sync to the music that came from his CD player. Our parents had thought it was ridiculous and entertaining; I don’t think they’d even imagined that this was what Michael’s life would become. I, on the other hand, always knew he could do it. He was meant to be somebody, at least in my eyes.
Luke came out of the booth, trading places with Michael. He sunk onto the couch beside me and sighed.
“You know that we’re not trying to come down on you right, Ivy? You’re our friend. We’ve just watched you do this with Michael for as long as we’ve known you.” I nodded my head but didn’t reply. I knew they were right, but I couldn’t stop myself. Being like this had become habit. Michael was a hard habit to kick.
The boys talked amongst themselves as Michael tracked his vocals, but I watched him closely. He always got so into the song, he always blocked everything out. For him, music was his escape. Everything else faded away and nothing mattered. I’d never had anything like that. I’d never loved anything like he loved music. The closest I’d ever come was him.
He opened his eyes and looked over at me and smiled, losing his place in the song; I blushed instantaneously.
“Let’s try that again, Mikey.” The guy at the soundbooth commanded through the speaker. Michael nodded and closed his eyes again.
It was almost midnight and I was so tired that keeping my eyes open burned. I leaned against Ashton, who was scribbling lyric ideas down in his notebook. When he had an idea, he had to get it down. He’d always been that way.
“When can we go home?” I mumbled sleepily, rubbing my eyes. Ashton just sighed and shrugged his shoulders.
“Mike, are you ready to head out? Ivy is exhausted, man. She’s been awake for over forty eight hours.” Michael didn’t even turn toward us when he answered, he kept strumming on his guitar.
“Soon, I swear. I just wanna finish this.” Luke groaned from the other side of me.
“Come on, Mikey. You’re being a dick. She’s exhausted.” He stopped fiddling with the instrument in his hands, and for a second I thought that he was finally agreeing to leave; we’d only been asking for the past hour and a half. He and Calum had had a great idea though, and we’d had to stay.
“Why don’t you guys go ahead? Me and Cal can finish what we’re doing and meet you at the house.” Luke and Ashton didn’t say a single word, just stood up. They had no issue with leaving the other two behind; they spent almost every waking moment together.
“When do you think you’ll be back?” I asked Michael quietly. He shrugged.
“I’m not sure, Ivy.” He strummed a chord. “Go home and get some sleep, okay? You’re exhausted. We’ve got tomorrow off and we’ll do something.” I nodded and turned back towards Ash, who was waiting for me. Luke had already made his way outside to the car.
When we pulled away from the studio, I leaned my head against Ashton’s shoulder again.
“Does he spend a lot of late nights at the studio?” I asked sadly. I prayed that this wasn’t how my entire trip would be. Ashton nodded.
“This is how it is almost every night. When you have an idea, you’ve gotta get it out.” He wrapped his arm around my back. “I’ll talk to him, Ivy. I won’t let him be like this the entire time you’re here.”
I fell asleep almost as soon as we got back to the house that their manager had rented for them. I had never been so tired in my life and chances were, I could sleep all through tomorrow, too. But I set an alarm for noon, hoping that the boys would take me to explore the city a little bit. I’d never left Australia before.
At five o’clock, I woke up to the door of my borrowed bedroom creaking. I opened my eyes halfway to see Michael tiptoeing into the room, still wearing the clothes he’d been wearing when I’d left the studio. I closed my eyes again, pretending to be asleep. I listened as he undid his jeans and slid them down his body, and my entire body tensed when he pulled the covers down on the other side of the bed. He slipped in quietly and pulled me close to him, wrapping his arm around my waist. When I realized that he was crawling into my bed to cuddle with me, I relaxed and moved my body closer against his. He kissed my cheek softly.
“I’m so glad you’re here, Ivy.” He whispered. A few minutes later, he was snoring softly.
When I woke up the next day, Michael was no longer in my bed. The curtains were pulled shut and the door was closed, leaving the room dark and quiet. I made my way into the hallway and the first things I heard were Ashton giggling and Green Day blaring from whichever room they were in.
I followed the noise and ended up in the kitchen with all four boys; Michael, Calum, and Luke sat at the table while Ashton stood in front of the stove, flipping pancakes.
“Good morning, sleeping beauty.” Cal greeted, smiling up at me from his phone screen. I smiled back at my friend.
“What time is it?” I asked, sitting beside Luke. Michael hadn’t looked at me yet, let alone said hello.
“It’s quarter to one.” Luke mumbled, stuffing a spoonful of cheerios in his mouth. My eyes widened in surprise.
“I slept that late?” Luke and Calum nodded; Michael had yet to look up from his phone.
“I figured you needed the sleep.” Mikey finally said, putting his phone down on the table. He looked over at me and grinned. “You had a long day yesterday and I thought you deserved the sleep.” I nodded my head and smiled softly back at him.
A few minutes later, Ashton placed a heaping pile of pancakes in front of us and we all immediately started grabbing from the stack. I laughed when Luke’s pile was bigger than everyone else’s; he’d just had two bowls of cereal in the time it took Ashton to cook the pancakes.
“Alright, mates. I’m sorry if these are awful. I mean, you can’t fuck pancakes up too badly, can you?” I shrugged my shoulders and took a bite and immediately felt like gagging.
“Ash, these aren’t pancakes. These are poison.” I groaned, pushing my plate away from me. The boys followed suit and Ashton laughed.
“I’m sorry! I’ve never been good at cooking, but these guys practically live off of take out and I can’t handle it anymore. If I see another In-N-Out milkshake I’m going to go into diabetic shock.” I rolled my eyes and made my way over to the fridge to see what they had, hoping I’d be able to make an edible meal. Cooking was a good way to take your mind off of things, and my mind was spiralling after waking up to find Michael crawling into my bed.
I pulled eggs, sausages, and bread out of the fridge and turned towards the boys.
“How about while I’m here, I’ll handle the cooking. Because if the rest of your cooking is anything like your pancakes, I am going to die.” Ashton blushed and nodded his head before sitting in my spot beside Luke.
Immediately, I started cooking. The boys were off in their own little world, discussing music and song ideas and the things they needed to do before they released a new single, and I was off in my own little world, thinking about Michael.
I had lived next door to Michael my entire life, and he had never been affectionate like that. It was normal for him to hug me, or sit close to me when we watched a horror movie. But never before had he crawled into bed with me and spooned all night long. For the most part, he’d always treated me like he’d treat a sister. He’d comfort me when I needed comforting and he always made it known that he cared about me. But this was new. This had never happened before. And I’d liked it. I had liked it a lot. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I had liked Michael for as long as I could remember. It had become more than a crush or an adoration; I was head over heels in love with my best friend. But I’d kept it hidden and I’d done nothing about it.
“You alright, Ivy?” Michael asked, pulling me out of my thoughts. He’d managed to sneak up on me and was now leaning against the counter space beside the stove, watching me as I made the scrambled eggs. He had a strange look on his face, all of his emotions hidden from me. I was unsure about whether or not I should bring it up; I was scared I would make things weird. And honestly, I’d like if it happened again. But I also knew if I kept quiet I’d go crazy.
“Yeah, I’m fine Mikey. Listen, can we talk after we eat?” I took a moment to take him in; he wore black skinny jeans and a beat up Metallica sleeveless t-shirt. He looked the same as he did almost every other day: perfect. “I mean, like, about last night?” Michael looked away from me for a second.
“Yeah, sure. After we eat let’s go sit by the pool and talk.” He smiled at me before making his way back over to the table to sit with the guys.
“That’s the best thing you’ve ever made.” Michael groaned, pushing his empty plate away from him. The others mumbled their agreeance and I smiled happily.
“I’m glad you guys liked it.” I brought all of the plates into the kitchen before turning back towards Michael. “Can we, um…” I started. He nodded his head and stood from his seat, motioning towards the back door. I followed him out of the house, ignoring the looks I was getting from the other guys.
Michael sat down at a little table a few feet from the pool and I sat across from him. I was feeling a little bit anxious and unsure of what to say. I didn’t want to put my feelings out on the table; I had never wanted that. I guess I just wanted to see where he stood.
“What’s up?” Michael asked casually, resting his hands behind his head. I settled into my seat and looked down at the table.
“Why did you crawl into my bed last night? Like, why were you cuddling with me? We don’t do things like that.” I asked finally, my voice hardly above a whisper. Michael shrugged his shoulders.
“I missed you, I don’t know. You’re my best friend, is there something wrong with me being affectionate?” He changed his position in his seat, resting his head in his hands, his elbows perched on the table. “I was a little drunk and I felt bad for staying at the studio so late. Plus I’ve missed you so much.” I nodded. My heart had sunk slightly, but I knew it was coming. It wasn’t for the reason I had hoped.
“It didn’t bother you, did it?” He asked, his voice full of concern. “Like, you aren’t weirded out by me being a little affectionate?” I shook my head.
“No, of course not. It just hadn’t happened before, so I was confused. I don’t have any issues.” Michael nodded happily and stood up.
“Cool. Let’s go see what the guys want to do today, yeah?” I smiled and stood up, letting him lead the way back into the house.
When we entered the kitchen, the boys were still sitting at the table talking. They’d been talking but as soon as we entered the room, they were silent and I just had this feeling that they were talking about Michael and I. But I stayed silent, sitting next to Ashton at the table.
Michael sat on the island counter, facing towards us.
“What do you want to do today?” He asked the group. The boys all turned towards me, as if I was the one making the decision. I shrugged my shoulders.
“I’m up for anything, really. We could all just hang out and play video games, or we could go to the beach, or we could…”
“All Time Low is playing a show at the House of Blues tonight.” Calum interjected. I nodded my head, frowning.
“I saw that online,” I admitted, staring at my hands. All Time Low had been my favourite band for as long as I could remember.. “but the show is completely sold out. We couldn’t get tickets if we tried.” The boys were quiet and when I looked up all four of them were grinning at me. “Why on earth are all four of you smirking like that?” I asked, confused.
“I bet I can get us tickets.” Luke informed me, grinning from ear to ear. His grin was contagious so I grinned back, despite how confused I really was.
“But… how?” Michael laughed from the island he was perched on.
“Ivy, do you not remember?” I must’ve looked puzzled still, because he rolled his eyes and chuckled. “We wrote a few songs with Alex…” He began, but I instantly cut him off.
“Oh my God. I remember now. Oh my God, I was half asleep when you told me on the phone that night. We can go?” The boys all laughed.
“We already planned on going.” Calum admitted. “ We were going to surprise you, but there goes that idea.” I blushed.
“We’re just going to chill backstage though, so you can’t freak out. Cal let the guys know we were bringing you along and you were a big fan, but you can’t freak out. It’ll be embarrassing. I don’t want another episode like that time we met Joe Jonas on the street. I wanted to pretend I didn’t know you that day.” Michael said. I couldn’t tell if he was kidding or not, so I just nodded awkwardly. Embarrassing? I didn’t know I was embarassing. I had been excited that day, but wouldn’t any person be excited? I mean, I’d had a huge crush on Joe Jonas and then one day randomly, we’d ran into him on the sidewalk. I can recall that day though, and Michael had been pretty embarrassed of me reaction. After getting a picture and an autograph, he’d sped walk down the street. He’d walked so fast I could barely keep up with him.
“I’ll try not to embarrass you.” I mumbled. I looked over at Ash, who looked back at me with a sad look in his eyes. Michael left the room without another word, and I didn’t even bother asking him where he was going.
Ashton wrapped his arm around my waist and I rested my head on his shoulder.
“He’s being a fuck, Ivy. You’re allowed to be excited to meet your favourite band. You should’ve seen Luke freak out when he met Alex.” I shrugged my shoulders and sighed.
This was how it had always been. Michael would do something to upset me and Ashton would be the one who would try and lift my spirits. Sometimes I thought I was just being too sensitive, but he’d always remind me that Michael was more or less just an asshole. He was right; Michael could be an insensitive asshole, but I always forgave him.
“I think Michael went to shower.” Calum told me from across the table. He was scrolling through something on his phone. “It’s a nice day out. I think we should go hang out by the pool until we have to go to the show. What do you think, Ivy?” These three boys, they always put my thoughts and feelings first. Michael tried to, I really believe he did, but he got so caught up in everything else sometimes that he got distracted. At least, that’s what I told myself. He was my best friend and I knew I was his. He didn’t mean to be an asshole, I knew he didn’t. He had good intentions and a good heart. But sometimes he said and did things that would make you think otherwise, and I hated when that happened.
“That sounds amazing. I’m still exhausted and I’d love to lie out by the pool.” I admitted. Cal grinned cheekily at me.
“As if you’re going to lie out by the pool.” Luke laughed. “You’ll get bored after ten minutes and we’ll end up playing some weird ass game you invented on the spot.” I grinned back at him. He was right.
After about two hours, Michael finally joined us outside. We’d just finished playing another round of tag when he sat down at that same table, still wearing his black skinny jeans and a band shirt.
The boys didn’t even turn towards him when he sat down, too busy splashing each other and fucking around, being their usual selves. But as soon as he caught my eye I got out of the pool and went to sit with him.
“Having fun?” He asked, using his hand to block his eyes from the sun. I nodded my head and pushed my wet hair away from my face. I twisted a strand around my finger, admiring how it looked almost black when it was soaking. I didn’t really know what to say to Michael; I was still sort of upset about his comment in the kitchen. After over five minutes of sitting there in silence, he nudged my foot with his own.
“I’m really happy you’re here, Ivy. I know I can be a dick. Hell, I know that for the most part I am a dick. But I really did miss you so fucking much and having you here is the best thing ever.” He smiled sheepishly at me. “I’m sorry for my comment in the kitchen. I’m not going to get all embarrassed like that time we met Joe Jonas, I swear. I was being a shitty fifteen year old boy that day. Today I will stand proudly beside you and let the dudes know you’re my best friend.” I rolled my eyes and smiled.
“You’re such a fuck.” I teased. He gave me the finger, but his smile was wide.
“Yeah, yeah. Wanna go play some Call of Duty?” I sighed dramatically.
“Fine. But only for half an hour. I have to get ready for the best day of my life.” Michael just groaned.
We ended up playing video games for over an hour and a half. The only reason we even stopped was because Calum came into the living room and told us it was already five and we had to leave in an hour. I groaned; how was I supposed to shower and get ready in less than an hour?
I’d gotten so caught up in playing video games with Michael because it felt so good to do something we’d always done. I’d gone so long without just hanging out with Michael like we’d always done, and it felt good to do practically nothing with my best friend. This is how we’d spent our time for over twelve years before he’d started travelling for the band. Sometimes I even got the urge to go play videos games in his basement alone when I missed him; I knew his parents wouldn’t mind. When I was thirteen, they’d given me a key to their house just in case.
“I have to go shower.” I shrieked, jumping off of the couch. Michael chuckled.
“Don’t bother, just throw your hair up. You’re gonna complain all night if you go out with it wet. Put it up in like, a bun or whatever, and just get ready. You’re gonna get all sweaty and want to shower tonight anyways.” I sighed.
“You’re right. Give me twenty minutes to get ready.” Before he could reply, I ran off to my room to get ready. I was going to make sure I looked hot tonight.