"After You"

By: AmyK

 

Dayna grabbed a handful of Justin’s damp curls and turned his face towards her, "If you keep moving your head you’re going to get a fingernail in your eye. Knock it off."

"Then tell him to quit talking to me." Justin complained with a smile as Dayna went back to work styling his hair.

"You can talk to him without moving your head." Dayna said softly, her jet black ponytail swishing back and forth as she shook her head.

"I like to look at people as I talk, besides, he keeps showing me stuff." Justin turned his head to the side as Joey pulled something out of his pocket.

"Justin." Dayna sighed and dropped her gel coated hands on his shoulders. "Fine. You’re done, get out of here."

"But you didn’t – " He started.

"Nope. Done, leave my sight." Dayna smiled and shoved Justin out of the chair. "Come on pretty boy, you’re next." JC walked over slowly with an open magazine in his hands, then sat in the chair in front of her.

"Can I at least throw some hair spray on here or something? If I’m flying without a bandana tonight, my hair’s gonna go nuts." Justin reached for the hairspray, but Dayna slapped his hand away.

"Have a little faith in me, kiddo. Your hair will be fine. Bed Head products rock. If I’m wrong you can…" She thoughtfully creased her forehead. "Make me date Chris again." She joked.

"Day, you know how out of control the fro gets if left unattended." JC mumbled as he continued to read his magazine.

"Yes, I know how dangerous the afro can be. Trust me, I have felt the power." She laughed and lay her hand flat on JC’s head. "But… this new stuff kicks ass."

"You’d risk dating Chris again?" Lance asked as he examined his newly finished hair in the mirror.

"Hey now." Chris frowned as he walked into the hair and make up room. "You say that like it’s a bad thing."

"It was." The four boys, and Dayna said in unison.

Dayna laughed and said, "It’s not fun dating a 28 year old child, Chris."

"Well it’s no fun dating a mom substitute, Dayna." He retorted. They meant what they said, no matter how "joking" it sounded.

Dayna and Chris started dating a year ago when she was hired on as their hair stylist. It had been an instant attraction, and they dated for a good 7 months before she couldn’t take his childlike antics and he got tired of her seriousness. They split on good terms, and were obviously still friendly with each other, but the relationship was still a touchy subject. Having to see each other on an almost daily basis was trying at first, but they overcame that quickly, and now she was just another part of the tour crew.

"You know JC, you need a hair cut." Dayna said as she tilted her head to the side and pulled the hair on top of his head out straight, measuring it against her fingers.

"Nope." He said, flipping a page in his magazine.

"Just like, a half an inch."

"Nope." JC said again.

"Too bad." Dayna mumbled and picked up her scissors. JC was lost in his magazine and didn’t notice what she was doing until she was two cuts into it.

"Dayna, come on." He frowned and looked up at her in the mirror. "Now I’m going to have little hairs all over me."

"You guys… I swear. Have I ever let you walk out of here with little hairs all over you?"

"Yes." Lance laughed and headed for the door.

"That one time does not count. I was emotionally distressed." She shook her scissors at him as he disappeared through the door.

"Hurry it up, we’re on a dead line here." Joey whined as he tied his shoes on the couch.

"How long have I worked here Joey?" Dayna snipped more of JC’s hair and lifted the cut ends up and away from him.

"I dunno… a couple years?"

"One year." She corrected him. "I know you have deadlines, and I know you guys all have to look faaaabulous." She smiled and placed her scissors on the counter in front of her. "So leave me alone."

"I’m just saying." Joey sighed and pulled himself to his feet.

"You guys are extra cranky tonight, what’s up with that?" She asked. She ran her fingers quickly through JC’s hair and pulled the hair drier out. She turned it on low as she spritzed his hair with a light hold gel spray and began to dry it slowly.

"PMS." JC said softly as he stopped to read a story.

"Huh?" Dayna asked, unable to hear him over the drier.

"PMS, they’ve got PMS."

"Who?" She asked.

"They. Justin and Joey." JC smiled, never taking his eyes from the glossy pages.

"Oh yeah?" Dayna laughed and finished drying his hair. It wasn’t done, but it didn’t need to be. "You know their cycles?"

"Of course. I know yours too." He laughed and stood up.

"You’ve got way too much free time on your hands." Dayna laughed and reached for her lint brush. "Come here, let me get those hairs." She ran the brush over his neck and hairline, picking up the stray hairs. "There you go."

"Talking bout, you want me back, well sometimes it be’s like that." Joey sang and did a little dance as he dropped himself in the seat JC had vacated.

"Chris is last huh? You’re going to leave me in here alone with him? With scissors?" She looked at the silver instruments devilishly and grinned. "Brave man."

"If you off him that’ll be one more free bunk to stash stuff on." Joey smiled and leaned back in the chair. He closed his eyes and let Dayna do whatever she wanted. Joey was cool like that, he didn’t care what she did as long as he still had hair when he opened his eyes.

"Hey, what’s that?" He asked as she smoothed the Shine Freak gel into his hair 10 minutes later. "That smells like grapefruit."

"Cool huh?" She asked as he opened his eyes. She held out the little container and showed him the cloudy Jell-O like goop with flecks of silver in it.

"I’ve gotta veto the smelly stuff, Day." Joey squished up his nose.

"You won’t even smell it." She closed the container and smoothed down his sideburns. "I love your hair Joey."

"Thanks, I love yours too." He blew a kiss in her direction then bounced out the door to wardrobe.

"Next." Dayna smiled over at Chris and patted the back of the chair.

"Can I take a nap in your chair?" Chris yawned and fell back in the chair.

"You can do anything you want, just don’t move your head." She smiled and grabbed the water bottle to spray his dry hair.

"Got it." He closed his eyes and sighed as she gently pulled a brush through his hair. She spent a few more minutes styling his dark hair, reveling in the fact that he was the only one who never moved his head. A quick snip to the ear had stopped that soon after they broke up. She finished with a light mist of hair spray, then stared at her snoozing masterpiece and smiled.

"Oh well… you can’t say ‘no’ if you’re sleeping." She whispered softly. Dayna reached into her hair kit and pulled out her green glitter hair mascara. She’d bought an array of colors on a whim and kept threatening to use them if the guys got out of hand, which they usually did, but she never enforced it. She smiled and lightly coated the tips of several sections of hair with the glitter and smiled. He probably wouldn’t even notice, but she thought it looked cool.

Dayna tucked the mascara away and lightly tapped his shoulder, "You’re done." She said softly.

Chris slowly opened his eyes and yawned again, "Thanks, I needed the nap."

"Anytime. Glad I could bore you to sleep." She smiled.

"Nah, you didn’t bore me." He scratched his stomach lightly and headed for the door. "I’m just tired. Which is always a great thing to be before a show, huh?

"I was being funny Chris." She smiled and shook her head. Chris laughed softly and pulled the door open, leaving her alone in her little room. Dayna started to put everything back in it’s place, knowing that the boys wouldn’t be back for another hour or so.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Day!" Chris shouted as he and Joey slammed through the door into her little room. Dayna glanced at her watch, right on time.

"Hey guys, grab a seat." She spun the salon chair around and waited for one of the boys to sit. She had exactly 7 minutes to get them primped before they had to run back out to the stage and the other three came back for their fixer upper.

"What’s with the glitter?" Chris asked as he dropped himself into the chair. Joey laughed and leaned against the wall beside the mirror in front of Chris.

"You don’t like it?" Dayna smiled sweetly and winked at Joey.

"Do you have it in orange?" Joey smiled and crossed his arms over his chest.

"Gross." Chris grumbled. "No… I’m not a glittery kind of person, Day."

"Oh live a little." Dayna shook her head and reached for the hair drier. She dried his sweat soaked hair and lightly spritzed it with a protein spray, then tapped his shoulder to signal that she was done. Chris stood up and Joey took his place. "Want glitter?" She asked Joey as she opened her case.

"Yeah, if you have orange." Joey laughed and bounced in the seat.

"Sit still or you’ll have it in your ear." Dayna sighed and pulled the tube of orange glitter out. She dried Joey’s hair, then coated the tips with the glitter mascara stuff. "Aww yer so purdy." She laughed.

"That’s cool stuff."

"Till it sweats off and runs down your face." Chris wiped his face with a clean towel and showed the tiny flecks of glitter on the towel.

"Relax, sheesh." Dayna rolled her eyes and checked the wall clock, "You’ve got 2 minutes to spare, damn I’m good."

"Two minutes?" Joey asked as he stood up, "Good, we’ll have time to cuddle after." He grabbed Dayna belt loops and pulled her hips toward his seductively, then busted up laughing.

"And you think I’m immature." Chris rolled his eyes and left the room as Dayna dissolved in a fit of giggles.

"Two minutes huh? Hardly worth my time." She laughed and pushed Joey away, "No wonder girls don’t hang around long."

"D’oh! Hey now…" Joey pretended to be hurt.

"Well if two minutes is as long as you can go." She shrugged.

"I could rock your world all night long bay-bee." He laughed and licked his lips in her direction.

"Don’t be crass." She tossed Chris’s discarded towel at him and shooed him out the door.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Dayna crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the cold metal of the stage riggings. The show had been over for almost an hour, but there were still groups of people hanging around. Chris stood in the middle of a small group of fans talking candidly with his hands. He laughed and placed his hand on one of the girls shoulders as she waved at the others. Chris and the girl headed alone down the opposite hall towards the cafeteria. His arm was draped casually around her waist and he laughed at something she said as he pulled the door open. Justin smiled and said hi as he passed them, then walked toward Dayna.

"Day Day!" Justin did a funky little dance as he walked over to where she was standing and ran his fingers through his hair. "Hey you know that crap you put in my hair?"

"Hmm?" She asked, snapping back to reality.

"That goop stuff? That you put in my hair? It rocks. I’ll never doubt your word again." Justin laughed and reached for her hand, "Feel it." She didn’t pull back as he moved her hand over his head. "Check it out."

"Yeah, I told you." She said distractedly. "Gross, you’re all sweaty." She pulled her hand back and wiped it on her jeans.

"You love it."

"I really don’t." She laughed and shook her head. "Go get some food and let’s head out. I’ve seen about enough for tonight."

"Chris and Miss Thang?" Justin glanced over his shoulder towards the cafeteria.

"No, that doesn’t bother me."

"Uh huh." Justin rolled his eyes.

"It doesn’t." Dayna said, looking him in the eye.

"You still get all gooey for Chris, admit it."

"Justin my dear… I do not get gooey over Chris." She shook her head, but looked back at the cafeteria door. "But he could do so much better." She said under her breath.

"Better than that?" Justin’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. "I haven’t seen many better than her. She was hot."

"Nevermind, I forgot all 12 year olds chase skirts." Dayna sighed and shook her head.

"Hell, even 40 year olds chase skirts. It’s a dude thing." Justin laughed then yawned and stretched his arms over his head. "Do I have to eat or can I just go lay down?"

"You can go lay down." Dayna nodded. "Where are the other kids?"

"Well Chris is-"

"I know where Chris is." Dayna snapped.

" – in the cafeteria with that girl. JC is on the phone in the dressing room last I checked… Lance is in the van on the way back to the hotel because he has friends coming in or whatever, and I haven’t seen Joe." Justin shrugged and looked toward the exit. "You seen the bitches?" He asked, using their affectionate nickname for their security guards.

"Manning the side stages and outside exits." Dayna looked over her shoulder towards the back of the stage. "I’m out of here. I’ll see you tomorrow, four in the a.m."

"Four? What the fuck?"

"Don’t look at me." She shrugged as she turned to walk away. "I don’t want to be up at that hour any more than you do."

"Shit…" Justin said under his breath, knowing it was already after eleven.

"Ditto." Dayna waved over her head and let herself out the side exit, then made a run for the tour buses.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Lance… sweetie… you’ve really gotta stop moving your head when I’m trying to cut your hair, or you’ll end up looking like a weed whacker attacked you." Dayna said sweetly as she wielded her scissors above his head.

"Sorry." Lance mumbled and smiled at her in the mirror. It was just after four in the morning and the guys had already been up for an hour.

"So tell me again what you’re doing up at this ungodly hour?" Dayna yawned, trying to stay awake herself.

"Um, we’re doing a sunrise special thing at the arch." Lance explained.

"We’re in St. Louis?" Dayna asked.

"Yeah." Lance laughed and tried to keep his head still. "So how come I’m the only one in here?" He glanced around the room. "Wait… is this your room?"

"Yeah." She nodded and straightened his head. "Rather than drag all my crap downstairs to the room they have, I thought it’d be easier to do it here. This way I can go back to sleep when I’m done with you freaks."

"Sounds like a plan to me." Lance smiled and covered his mouth as he yawned.

Dayna worked the light gel through his hair when she was done cutting and he let his eyes drift closed. His chin fell to his chest as she ran her fingers through his hair and styled it just so. Dayna watched him in the mirror and her heart did a little flip flop, he looked like an angel when he slept, she realized. "He’s got a girlfriend." She thought to herself. She shook her head and put the finishing touches on his sexy but sloppy hairstyle.

She wiped her hands on the clean towel at her side and placed her hands on Lance’s shoulders. She cleared her throat quickly and gave him a little squeeze, "You’re done hun."

"Hmm? Oh, thanks." He rubbed his eyes and smiled, "Do you get to go back to bed now?"

"Nope." Dayna yawned and stretched her arms over her head. "I’ve still gotta do the J’s."

"Bummer, I was gonna see if I could take a nap too." Lance smiled flirtatiously as he stood up and reached for his backpack.

"You can cruise over and nap here anytime you want." She laughed and busied herself with putting the scissors away. She sighed and watched Lance stumble back through her door, her eyes lingering on his jean covered toosh.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Dayna! My most favorite hair girl in the whole wide world who I love dearly!" Justin smiled as he poked his head onto the bus where Dayna was kicking back. It had been more than a week since Dayna discovered the wonder that was Lance’s ass, and she was having a hard time looking at it every day, knowing that he had a girlfriend. Not to mention Chris with his never ending parade of skirts he had following him everywhere he went. She was in a foul mood and really looking forward to spending several quality hours reading the rest of her Charlotte DeVille book.

"Whatever it is you're thinking of asking for the answer is no." Dayna said without looking up from her trashy romance novel.

"Come on, you’re always talking about how you never get to play with girl hair." Justin whined and leaned on the back of the little chair by the door.

"Never in my life have I said that." Dayna mumbled and marked the page in her book.

"Justin, really, I can do it myself." A female voice said from outside the bus.

"Who’s that?" Dayna whispered.

"A girl." Justin laughed. "And you’re always asking us to grow our hair out long so you can do something with it. Well I have a girl here with long hair and she’s in desperate need of a stylist."

"I’m not desperate." She protested from outside.

"Can you do it?" Justin asked.

"Yeah… yeah let me get my stuff." Dayna sighed and pulled herself off the couch. She walked to the back of the bus to grab her hair kit and a sweatshirt and asked, "Am I going to be cutting or anything like that?"

"Doubt it." Justin shrugged.

"Fine. But you’re going to owe me big time."

"No, Lance will."

"You’re the one here asking." Dayna gave him a look and brushed past him down the stairs to the cold night air. "Hi, I’m Dayna." She extended her hand to the beautiful sandy blonde young lady standing in the dim light given off by the hotel security lights.

"Hi, I’m Patty. You really don’t have to do this, you know." The girl smiled and shook Dayna's hand gently.

"Patty? Oh wow… Lance’s Patty?" Dayna was glad that it was dark outside so that no one would notice her cheeks turn pink. She quickly pulled the sweatshirt over her head to hide the surprised look on her face.

Patty laughed lightly and said, "Just Patty will do fine."

"I’m sorry, I’ve heard so much about you. It’s nice to meet you." Dayna forced a smile and nodded toward the hotel. "Come on inside and we can get to work."

"Thanks a lot." Patty smiled and followed Justin and Dayna back into the hotel. They went up to the crew floor where Justin waved goodbye and headed up to his floor. "So you do the guys hair everyday?" Patty asked as they walked down the hall.

"Sometimes a couple times a day, yeah." Dayna smiled over her shoulder and opened her door. They walked inside and Dayna flipped the lights on, the pointed towards the table and chairs by the window. "Are you guys uh… going um, out tonight?" Dayna blushed slightly and cleared her throat.

"Yeah, we’re actually going out to dinner, it’s our two year anniversary." Patty blushed herself and looked down at her shoes. "It seems weird huh? Two years and I’ve only seen him maybe for half of that."

"Yeah, life on the road is rough."

"That’s right, you’re dating Chris, right?"

"Um… I was, yeah." Dayna nodded and busied herself with her bag. "But that was different, since I was on tour with them, I got to see him all the time. That may have been part of the problem." She laughed lightly and surfaced with a hairbrush. "What did you have in mind for tonight?"

"I don’t know really." Patty pulled her hair off her back and let it drop casually. "He likes it up…" She shrugged. "I feel like a pain asking you to do my hair for me, but Justin said you wouldn’t mind."

Dayna cleared her throat and clenched her teeth slightly, she did mind. This was Lance’s girlfriend, the so-called love of his life, the perfect girl that he would move mountains for, who understood him completely and who was all he’d ever hoped for. Nothing that Dayna could compare to. "No, I don’t mind." Dayna forced a smile and moved behind Patty. "You have beautiful hair." She said softly as she began to brush it.

"Thank you." Patty smiled, it was impossible for Dayna to not like her. "So how is it really? Being out on the road with these guys?"

"It’s all right." Dayna went to work twisting Patty’s hair up and pinning it into position while she talked. "They’re so busy all the time, the only time I really see them are when they’re sitting in my chair."

"Are they big babies when you have to brush through the tangles?" Patty laughed.

"You have no idea." Dayna laughed and itched her nose with her shoulder. "Justin is the worst, well… Justin and JC are. You’d think I was ripping their hair out at the roots."

"Men are crazy. I love it when hair stylist pull my hair." Patty closed her eyes as Dayna did just that, to pull her hair into even twists. "Have you always wanted to do hair?"

"Um… no, not always. When I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor, but then I remembered that blood makes me faint. Then I wanted to be a teacher, but kids drive me up the wall." Dayna laughed, "Then I was going to be an actress… but I can’t act." She shrugged and sighed, "Now I do hair for five bratty kids that are constantly scraping themselves up and I have to act like I like it… so…" She shrugged again and laughed.

"So you get to do it all." Patty smiled and rolled her shoulders.

"Yep, pretty much." Dayna pushed a few more hairpins into Patty’s new up-do and handed her a mirror, "What do you think?"

"That’s it?" Patty’s crystal blue eyes flew open. "That was quick."

"Well, see if you like it… if not, we can do something else."

Patty looked at herself in the little handheld mirror then stood up and went into the bathroom to look at the back. "That’s amazing… Dayna, thank you so much." She beamed.

"You’re welcome." Dayna cringed and began to put her brush and pins away. "Here, let me spray it into place."

"Oh no that’s okay, hairspray makes my hair clumpy." Patty crinkled her nose and shook her head gently.

"I’ve got some stuff you’ll love then." Dayna dug in her bag and pulled out the Bed Head light gel spray. "It holds great but it doesn’t feel all sticky or anything." Dayna stepped into the bathroom behind Patty and misted her hair with the gel. "Trust me on this."

"Thank you so much." Patty turned again to look at the back and smiled. "Lance will definitely owe you big time."

"Yeah… he will." Dayna said softly as her stomach did cartwheels. "Have a great time tonight."

"We will, thanks again." Patty turned around and hugged Dayna quickly before she could move.

"You’re welcome." Dayna said into Patty’s shoulder.

"It was really nice to meet you." Patty grabbed her purse off the chair and said, "Next time I come out we’ll have to grab lunch or something."

"Yeah… that’d uh… that’d be great." Dayna fought the impulse to roll her eyes.

"Great, I’ll see you later then."

"Bye." Dayna waved as Patty bounced out of the room. "Dammit why’d she have to be great?" Dayna grumbled to herself as she tossed her equipment in the bag and reached for her own purse. She needed to get out of there.

Dayna got an okay from the security boys and took a cab across town to go to the movies by herself. She sat through the two hour long Sandra Bullock movie while munching on popcorn and milk duds, then wandered around the little shopping mall afterwards just to be out in the fresh air. When the stores began to close she called another cab and went back to the hotel to go to bed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The next day Dayna did everything she could to avoid Patty, but somehow the pretty blonde cornered her after lunch and suggested they go to the gym in the hotel together. Dayna, who never worked out and hated to sweat, said "Okay" just to be nice, and regretted it as soon as she hopped on the Stairmaster.

"You’ve used the Stairmaster before, right?" Patty asked as she placed her hands on her spandex covered hips. Her bare midriff was tanned and toned and perfectly accented by her black stretch shorts and sports bra.

"Um, yeah, yeah of course." Dayna stared at the odd contraption and frowned. It couldn’t be that hard.

"Cool, I love this machine. It gives a great quad and butt work out." Patty smiled and climbed on, then pressed a few buttons to get the stairs moving.

So that’s what it was, a never ending staircase. Lord help her. Dayna stepped onto the machine and pressed the start button. It asked her to choose a speed and a level so she chose one in the middle, she didn’t want to look like a complete wimp.

The machine jerked under her feet and before she knew it, Dayna was climbing up flights of stairs as fast as her little legs would carry her. She frantically reached for the buttons at the top of the machine and adjusted the speed quickly, "I uh… the settings are different on this one I guess." Dayna blushed and panted as she tried to keep up at the slower pace.

"Yeah, all these machines are different." Patty smiled as her ponytail bobbed up and down while she stepped. "So are you going to be backstage after the show tonight? I heard that MTV was going to be there."

"Uh…" Dayna panted and brushed her dark hair out of her eyes, "No… I hadn’t heard that."

"I wonder if any of the VJ’s will be here, I love Ananda, she looks like she’d be so much fun. Have you met any of them?"

"No." Dayna shook her head, unable to muster up more words than that.

"I’d love to meet her… and Carson Daly. He’s such a dork he’s adorable." Patty laughed lightly and turned her attention toward the controls at the top of her machine. She upped the pace a little and focused on her climbing.

"If I faked a heart attack right now, I’d be able to go lay down for a couple days." Dayna thought to herself. It seemed like a great idea at the time. "How much longer… are you here… for?" Dayna asked between breaths as she wondered if it were possible to have simultaneous embolisms in her chest, side and thighs.

"I leave tomorrow morning." Patty frowned. "This is actually the most time I’ve spent with Lance since Christmas."

"Really?" Dayna panted and tried to wipe the sweat out of her eyes.

"Yeah, so since there’s a show tonight, I’m only going to have a couple hours after that before I have to leave. This really sucks sometimes, ya know?" Patty smiled weakly and shrugged, "But, it’s worth it. He’s great, I really couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend. I mean, even though he’s not physically there for me all the time, I know that no matter what, if I ever needed him for anything… he’d be there just as soon as I said the word." Patty wiped her brow quickly and sighed as Dayna grinded her teeth, "He’s just… just perfect."

"Yeah." Dayna mumbled. She knew it was true. Lance was perfect. He was charming and smart and funny and everything Dayna could ever wish for. The only problem with him was Patty.

They climbed steps in silence for the next five minutes before Dayna used the last bit of energy she had and slapped the machine off. "Whooo, I’m about done here." She stepped back off the machine and stood on wobbly legs trying to decide if they’d actually be able to transport her back to the room.

"Did you want to try the rowing machine next?" Patty asked over her shoulder as she continued climbing.

"What?" Dayna asked, "No, I’m uh… I’m gonna head back upstairs. I have to leave for the venue here pretty soon." Dayna wiped her face with the towel and tried to catch her breath as the fire in her chest died down.

"Oh, okay… well I'll see you tonight then, after the show." Patty smiled and waved quickly before increasing the speed on her machine.

"Sure thing." Dayna smiled as she tried to make her legs move. They were not cooperating. "Come on man…" She grumbled under her breath. She used all the strength she had to slide her feet across the thin carpeting and out into the hall where she spotted Rocky, one of the boys security team. "Rock, my man. I need you to do me a favor big guy."

"What's that Miss Day?"

"I need you to pick me up and carry me to my room. And then after that, I need you to kick Lance's Patty in the throat."

"Patty's a sweet girl." Rocky smiled and shook his head.

"I know. But she tried to kill me just now. Dammit where were you?"

"What happened?" His face turned serious.

"She made me get on the Stairmaster. That thing can not possibly be good for you. And now I can't feel my legs." Dayna whined.

Rocky laughed and scooped her up in his arms, "Come on princess, I'll take you on up to your room."

She wrapped her arms around his thick neck and smiled, "You rule."

"I know I do." He laughed and held her as they rode up the big glass elevator to her floor. He set her down outside her door and saluted as he walked away, "You gonna be okay going down to your ride later?"

"Yeah, that's what Justin's here for." Dayna laughed.

"Yeah, the day that boy can lift you up, I'll eat my shoe."

"Are you saying I'm too heavy for him?" Dayna gave him a look that dared him to answer.

"I'm saying he's a girly man."

"I'll be sure to tell him that." Dayna laughed then unlocked her door and held it open with her foot.

"You go right ahead, what's he gonna do? Bite my elbow?" Rock laughed and waved as he stepped back onto the elevator. "See ya later Day."

"Bye Rocky." Dayna scooted into her room and fell face first onto the bed. "Never ever ever again. Machines are bad." She growled into her pillow. She lay completely still until three when she was gathered up to go to the venue with the rest of the crew. She managed to walk as upright as possible to the van, then groaned as she fell into the seat.

"Hard ride last night?" Justin asked.

"Funny." Dayna rolled her eyes. "Do your fans know you've got a such a filthy mind?"

"Probably not." Justin shrugged.

"Wait. What are you doing in my ride? This is the crew van." She grumbled.

"This is also the "late Nsyncer" van."

"Why are you late this time?"

"Condom broke." He laughed.

"Seriously. I am getting online tonight and bursting all of the little 'Justin's pure' bubbles all over the place tonight."

"Dayna dear, I'm as pure as driven snow." He batted his eyes at her and gave her the puppy dog look.

"Driven over snow maybe." She laughed and pushed him away. "Patty is evil."

"No, Patty is angelic."

"No, she is evil. She's one of those gym freaks."

"She's a personal trainer." Justin nodded.

"She's evil."

"Why do you say that?" Justin laughed.

"Because my legs feel like they're made of lead and my hips don’t work." Dayna frowned.

"Awww… poor widdle Day-day… all outta shape."

"Hey Justin. Bite me." Dayna crossed her arms over her chest and stared out the window.

"I'm just messing with ya." Justin playfully nudged her shoulder. "Come on, I'm only kidding with you. You know that."

"Don't touch me." She said angrily, but with a smile as she faced the window.

"She’s leaving tomorrow, so you won’t be forced to kill yourself with her anymore."

"Yeah whatever." She sighed.

"Cheer up Dayna bear." Justin smiled and rested his head on her shoulder. "One day your prince will come…" He sang, pitifully off key.

"Justin? Jump up my ass." She grumbled.

"You like it that way?" Justin raised his eyebrows in surprise.

Dayna sighed, "Perv." She shook her head, then rode the rest of the way to the venue in silence.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When the concert was over Dayna cleaned the guys up so that they were presentable enough to meet with the press. "My boys are so handsome." Dayna cooed with a thick southern accent. "Now get out of here, I’ve got to clean this shit up and get it back on my bus so we can get the heck outta here."

"We who kemo sabe? We leave tomorrow." Joey frowned.

"Oh I’m sorry, us working people have to leave tonight so you guys can cruise on in tomorrow and have everything all ready for you." Dayna rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, right, because we don’t work at all." Justin yawned and tied the pull string at the waist of his pants.

"Nah, I’m just giving you a hard time. You guys could use the sleep tonight." Dayna sighed. She wouldn’t catch a wink on the bus, but then again, she could sleep all afternoon.

"Ha, I don’t know about you guys, but I won’t be getting much sleep tonight. Kim’s here tonight." Chris smirked.

"I thought her name was Pam?" JC asked.

"Shit. Is that it?" Chris frowned and tied his shoe.

"Jesus." Dayna shook her head and said, "You guys look great, see you later." She waved over his shoulder as she left the room with her hair kit in tow. She’d send the crew boys back later to get the big stuff.

She loaded her stuff onto the bus and checked in her bunk to make sure her walkman was there, and not stashed in one of her boxes somewhere. The walkman was where she left it, but she was going to need fresh batteries if it was going to last all night, and the batteries were in one of the crew trolleys backstage.

"Beautiful." Dayna sighed and hauled herself back into the arena where she tracked down a crew hand and located a handful of AA batteries. Before she headed back to the bus she decided to grab a snack, so she swung by the little green room and picked up a candy bar and a coke. She stopped to chat with Joey by the door, helping him avoid the persistent interviewer from Teen People. She sipped her soda as she listened to him babble on about how everyone thinks he’s a player, and how he was tired of trying to explain that he wasn’t, things like that. She tuned him out after a couple minutes, he was a player so she didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. Sure the media played it up a lot, but paint a cat green and it’s still a cat. He was a player.

She stared past Joey’s shoulder and watched Lance and Patty from across the room. She felt her jealousy and frustration building in her as she watched them, and decided she had better get out of there, "Hey Joe? You’re a player, deal with it." She smiled and patted his shoulder, "But we love you that way, so don’t sweat it." She bounced up and kissed his cheek quickly. "I’ll see you tomorrow in Pittsburgh."

"Philly." Joey said softly.

"Huh?"

"We’re in Philly tomorrow. We’re in Pittsburgh right now." Joey smiled.

"Ahh, okay… whatever. See you there." Dayna smiled slightly and waved as she headed for the door.

Dayna sighed and dropped her now empty cup in the trash can as she caught a glance of Lance and Patty laughing together on the couch for the photographer. She turned to back towards the door and was met with Chris and his girl of the moment huddled around the pinball machine playfully pushing each other out of the way to try to play.

"Uggghh." Dayna rolled her eyes and threw the door open, intending to slam it behind her.

JC was a step behind her as she left, and stopped the door with his hand, "Hey Day, you okay?"

"Peachy." She grumbled, not bothering to turn around.

"Wait up, what’s wrong?" JC trotted to keep up with her.

"Nothing." She frowned and stopped at the corner, looking both ways, trying to remember where the makeshift central office was in this arena. "Where might I find David?"

"In the office." JC nodded toward the left, "But I don’t think he’s there. Wait, Dayna, hold up." He reached for her arm and stopped her from storming down the hall. "What… what’s going on?"

"I’m done here JC, this isn’t fun for me anymore." Dayna looked down at her shoes and shook her head as the tears she’d been holding back slowly rolled down her cheeks. She quickly brushed them away and sniffed, "I should have known better."

"Wait, you… you’re leaving? Don’t leave Day." JC shook his head and rested his hand on her shoulder. "Is this about Chris? You know… he’s not serious about these girls…"

"I know that. That’s what – nevermind JC, this isn’t about Chris. Not totally anyways."

"I know it’s gotta be hard if you still have feelings for him, I mean, with him bringing all these girls around and ev-"

"I do not still have feelings for Chris. Shit, why does everyone think that? I’m over him, that is so not it." She shook her head. "I wouldn’t date him again… not without some serious monetary compensation."

"Nice." JC smiled as she wiped the remaining tears away with the back of her hand.

"It’s too complicated to go into here. It’s just, I’m not having fun anymore, and David has always said if working with the team ever stops being fun to let him know. So I’m gonna go let him know."

"Dayna…"

"I had a lot of fun while it lasted, but…" She shook her head and sniffed again, "I’ll see you later Jace."

JC pulled her close for a quick hug and said, "Just wait it out another week, things will get better."

Dayna shook her head against his shoulder, "Thanks JC, but I think it’s time I moved on." She took a half step back and smiled as she looked at her feet. She shook her head again and started back down the hall.

"Wait, Day…" JC spun her around slowly and kissed her, taking her completely by surprise.

Dayna’s original mission slipped her mind as JC’s lips met hers. She was too stunned to move at first and by the time she finally got her wits back, his tongue was lightly brushing her lips. "Whoa, whoa wait." She placed her hand firmly on JC’s chest and pushed him back slowly, "Come on JC." Dayna sighed and shook her head, trying not to lick his taste off her lips while he watched. She turned around quickly and continued down the hall, more intent than ever to leave the tour. JC’s little move was the last thing she needed to be added to her already huge mound of crap she had to deal with.

 

On to part 2…

 

Copyright � 2001 Amy Lynn