Dayna sat in her hair chair and read her Jane magazine while the guys danced around on stage later that night. She had almost a full hour before they would be done and back in for a quick touch up to face the media, and she was enjoying the silence. Normally she would have snuck out to the buses or hung out in the green room; but with Patty on the prowl, Dayna didn’t want to take the chance of running into her. Every time Dayna saw her, she got this mental image of Patty and Lance together forever with two little blonde kids running around a huge front lawn with a golden retriever, and she could do without that happy image.

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

"Hey baby!" Joey laughed as he crashed through the door an hour later. He was followed by the other four who immediately tore off their shirts and headed for the back area where they had some privacy to change.

"Joe! Your mom called, you’re in trouble." Dayna shouted to relay the message.

"Damn. What’d I do now?" Joey shouted back.

"Your sisters birthday was yesterday." Dayna laughed.

"Oh shit." Joey looked at his watch and cringed. "All right, I’ll call her tonight."

"Any messages for me?" Justin shouted from the back.

"No."

"Me?" Chris asked.

"No."

"Me?" Lance laughed and joined the others.

"No."

"Meee?" JC drew out the word and laughed.

"Yes."

"For reals? Who called?" JC peeked his head around the wall and crinkled his forehead at Dayna.

"Alfalfa. He wants his hair back." She laughed at his sweat soaked hair that had fallen flat, with the exception of one lock in the back that was sticking up.

The four men in the back cracked up laughing as JC rolled his eyes and went back to changing. "Good one, Day." Lance laughed and stepped out from the private area. "How’ve you been?"

"I’ve been good." Dayna laughed and stood up from the chair, letting Lance sit so she could fix his hair.

"Don’t you get grossed out touching our stinky sweaty hair?" Lance smiled at her in the mirror as she reached for the hair drier.

"Do you know how many girls out there would pay good money for a vial of this stuff?"

"That’s nasty." Lance laughed and closed his eyes as she started the drier. She blew his hair dry and added just enough spray gel to keep it decent until he got to the bus, then patted his shoulder. "Thanks." He smiled and tried not to yawn as he headed for the door. The others bustled around the large dressing room, jabbering at warp speed about the show and the tiny goofs each one had that night.

"Oh totally! Did you see JC on the ramp? He came this close to taking a nosedive into the drum kit." Justin laughed and acted out JC falling.

The movement would usually bother Dayna when she was trying to work, but the after show clean up was nothing important, and she didn’t care if he turned cartwheels while she did it. If his hair wasn’t perfect, no one would notice.

"You saw that? Oh man, I swear I felt the edge of the stage on my heel and I was like, ‘oh shit!’. But I wouldn’t have hit the drum kit; I’d have hit the crowd on the other side. Talk about toast man, I’d be dead."

"You would have been naked." Chris laughed as he leaned against the counter.

"Hubba hubba." Dayna laughed and waggled her eyebrow at JC.

"You can see me naked any time you want." JC laughed back, and suddenly Dayna remembered he probably wasn’t kidding.

She cleared her throat and blushed, then quickly recovered, "I think I’ll pass, but thanks."

"Are you coming with us in the morning?" Justin asked from the chair as he turned to look at her.

"With you where? I thought I was sleeping in tomorrow? There’s nothing on the schedule." Dayna frowned and dropped her hands to her sides.

"We’re going to Venice Beach. It’s not on the schedule because we just decided."

"We who? I have to go?" Dayna placed her hands on her hips and continued to scowl.

"No you don’t have to go, I was asking if you were going to go. Me and Lance and Patty are going for sure, Joey said he probably would." Justin explained.

"You’re not going?" Dayna looked at JC, then started back in on Justin’s fresh cut curls.

"Nah, they’re just going to walk the Beach Front thing. I’m taking surfing lessons."

"Surfing lessons? You don’t know how to surf?" Dayna asked. "Isn’t that like, against everything Florida stands for?"

"I didn’t grow up there." JC rolled his eyes and pulled Justin by his elbow to get him out of the chair. "Come on, we don’t have all night."

"So you gonna come?" Justin asked from the doorway.

"Call me when you’re getting ready to leave, if I’m awake I’ll think about it." Dayna nodded.

"Okay." Justin waved over his shoulder as he took off out the door.

Chris squeezed between JC and the counter, and dropped himself into the chair as Joey came out of the changing area; "Can I veto a touch up?" Joey ran his fingers through his hair and shook his head.

"Sure." Dayna shrugged and dried Chris’s hair.

"Cool. See you tomorrow." Joey followed Justin out the door and left Dayna alone with JC and Chris.

"So did Dayna tell you she’s on a mission?" Chris asked as JC dropped himself onto the floor in front of the chair.

"A mission? For what?" JC asked.

"She’s trying to find me a girlfriend." Chris smiled sweetly up at Dayna.

"Really?" JC laughed. "You’re going to take her advice? Your ex-girlfriend?"

"Well she’s already hooked me up with one." Chris nodded.

"Oh yeah? How’d that go?"

"Other than the fact that the girl digs chicks, we had a great time." Chris laughed. "She’s actually gonna talk to Pete about having Justin work on a song with her."

"You hooked him up with a lesbian?" JC asked from the floor as he tried not to laugh.

"Well I didn’t know." Dayna blushed and gently yanked Chris’s hair.

"She’s playing Lilithfair." Chris laughed.

"Dead giveaway." JC shook his head and laughed with Chris.

"Oh come on, that’s such a stereotype." Dayna frowned and pulled her comb through Chris’s hair one more time before she signaled that she was done. She playfully shoved him toward the door; "I’ll have better luck next time." She called after him as he left her alone with JC.

"He’s going to let you have a ‘next time’?" JC gave her a half smile as he sat in the chair and sighed.

"Yeah, I’m on a mission."

"So it looked like you had a good time at the Grammy’s last night." JC frowned slightly as he met her eye in the mirror.

"Yeah, it was fun." Dayna smiled and dried his hair quickly.

"You and Chris thinking of getting back together?" He asked softly as he read the ingredients of the Shine Freak hair gloss.

"Oh please." Dayna rolled her eyes. "You know it would take more than a pretty dress and an awards show to get me back with Chris. Come on now, that’ll never happen."

"Well I don’t know, I mean… you guys were all lovey dovey on the carpet."

"Dude JC, I don’t know what awards show you were at last night, but you’re seeing things." Dayna laughed and shook her head. "We held hands as we walked down the carpet so that’d I’d keep up. I was so busy checking out Mark McGrath and that Aaron Carter kid that I was lagging."

"Aaron Carter? Please say you’re kidding."

"He’s pretty cute for a 9 year old."

"He’s 13."

"Why do you know that?" Dayna laughed.

"Whatever." JC sighed.

"What’s up with you?" Dayna stopped with his hair and turned the chair to face her. "Why are you acting like the jealous boyfriend? I liked you better when you were the annoying stalker."

"I’m not." JC pouted and used his foot to turn the chair back around.

"Yeah you are." Dayna whispered and spritzed his hair with a protein spray.

"If you wanted to go to the awards, you could have gone with me. And I wouldn’t have ditched you halfway through the after party." JC grumbled softly as he stood up and headed for the door, leaving Dayna with the spray bottle in her hand.

"JC… wait." Dayna touched his arm lightly as he pulled the door open. "It wasn’t that I wanted to go. Chris wanted me to go so he could have a ‘date’ and still hit on other girls. I only agreed to go so that I could torture myself by watching Lance and Patty. I’m a sucker for pain, you know that." She suddenly felt sorry for JC, and wasn’t sure how to deal with that.

"So if I’d have asked…?"

"I don’t know JC." She shrugged and tried to smile.

"He’s… he’s not gonna break up with her." JC looked down at his hand on the door handle.

"I know." Dayna sighed sadly.

"You know what’s a good way to get over a guy like that?" JC placed his hand affectionately on her shoulder. Dayna knew what JC’s answer would be, and she rolled her eyes in anticipation. "A night filled with "Die Hard" movies and a little bit of booze."

That wasn’t the answer she’d been expecting, and she laughed out loud, "Really?"

"You bet. There’s no romance in them, no cute blondes, Lance hates them and well, the booze is so you’ll actually enjoy the movies." JC smiled.

"That actually sounds like a good idea. Any idea where I could get the "Die hard" trilogy?"

"As a matter of fact, I have a copy on the bus… if you want some company."

"Can borrow them and watch them in my room?"

"Sure." JC nodded and sighed lightly, "I’ll have Lonnie bring them over when we get back to the hotel."

"Okay… thanks JC." She smiled sweetly and resolved to be a little nicer to him; he wasn’t annoying all the time. She cleaned up her little area and got things packed up to be moved out to the buses, then went out to find the Hollywood party they had after every LA show. There were always handfuls of celebrities at the shows, so afterward they all got together in the green room where they wouldn't have to worry about the media or insane fans.

Dayna found the green room and was surprised to see that it wasn’t as packed as she’d imagined. There were a couple little groups of people scattered around the room, but compared to other shows she’d seen, the place was quiet.

She took a bottle of water off the table and grabbed a small handful of Hershey Kisses before going to stand by the wall to take it all in. She let her eyes pass over Goldie Hawn and her daughter, Jack Nicholson and his daughter, Melissa Joan Hart and several other LA celebrities. Dayna stopped pursuing the crowd when her eyes fell on Lance and Patty standing on the outer edge of a small group in the corner. The only face she recognized in the group was Leann Rimes, who was talking animatedly with her hands as Lance and the others watched.

Dayna watched as Lance glanced over at Patty and smiled then took a tiny step toward her so that their shoulders were touching. She looked up at him slowly and returned his smile as she reached for his hand.

"So how goes the Chris project?" Joey asked as he walked up beside Dayna and crossed his arms. He followed her gaze and saw Lance and Patty holding hands, standing dangerously close to each other.

"You know what? I think Patty would be perfect for Chris." Dayna said as she cocked her head to the side.

"Patty is dating Lance." Joey frowned.

"Yeah, but if she was dating Chris then Lance could date me and then that would be perfect." Dayna smiled excitedly, then sighed and pouted. "This bites, Joe."

"No it doesn’t."

"Yeah it does. Why does she have to be so perfect? I mean, if I was a guy… or a lesbian, I’d be all over her. She’s supportive, she’s not annoyingly clingy, she’s beautiful, she’s got integrity and she’s smart."

"You pay way too much attention to Lance’s girlfriend."

"I need to find a woman like that for Chris, and that’s almost impossible."

"Chris would go nuts with a woman like Patty. And I mean that in a bad way." Joey looked over at the happy couple again and cringed. "Look at her, she’s too straightlaced for Chris, he needs a little fun. Lance is mellow like that; she’s good for him, but Chris? No way."

"You’re not helping." Dayna sighed and bumped her shoulder into Joey’s arm, "Come on, cheer me up."

"How?"

"Say something funny."

"Something funny." Joey smiled and draped his arm over her shoulders.

Dayna sighed again and pretended to cry, "Make me laugh Joey."

"Shit, if you turn on the waterworks I’m outta here. Girl tears are toxic." He turned to leave as Dayna grabbed his arm, "What?" He rolled his eyes and tried not to smile.

"My project is sucking hard core right now, I need you to make me happy."

"But Dayna, that would ruin our friendship." He said softly as he seductively ran his finger down her neck and kept his eyes on her chest.

Dayna laughed and brushed his hand away, "Stop."

"There, I made you smile. Can I go now?"

"What would you do if I said yes?" Dayna gave him a devilish smile.

"Yes I can go?"

"No…" She raised her eyebrow at him, playing along with his little game.

"Naw... come on now Day." He laughed nervously and blushed.

"Relax Joe, I’m kidding. You just made my night though." She laughed and affectionately placed her hand on his arm.

"Anytime." He shook his head, "Are you done laughing at me now?"

"I’m not laughing at you Joey. I adore you, you know that. You make me laugh, but that’s not the same as laughing at you."

"Yeah whatever." He hung his head.

"Don’t start." She laughed and messed his hair. "I’m going to go drown my Patty sorrows in hot chocolate, booze and "Die Hard: with a vengeance". I’ll see you tomorrow."

"G’night." He waved lamely as she headed for the door.

"Good night Joe, and thanks."

"No problem." Joey shook his head and turned back to the little party as Dayna headed out to the vans.

When she got back to the hotel she let herself into her room and smiled as she noticed an Express bag on her bed. She peeked inside and laughed out loud, inside was the makings of a good movie night; microwave popcorn, a mini-bar bottle of peppermint schnapps, a snicker bar and of course the movies. She poured the contents onto the bed as a little note drifted to the floor.

Dayna picked up the small piece of scratch paper and read the sloppy handwriting, "Day, I hope you have a good movie night and I hope these take your mind off whatever’s bugging you. I hope it’s not me – haha. If you decide you’d like company tonight, give me a call (room 2301). Have a nice half day off tomorrow. - JC"

She stared at the note in her hand and then at the phone; one call and she could have someone to watch the movies with. Not the someone she wanted, but someone nonetheless. Dayna crinkled her forehead in thought and looked around the room weighing her options.

She sighed and reached for the phone then dialed before she could change her mind, "Hi JC, this is Dayna." She closed her eyes as he answered the phone.

"Hi how’s it going?" JC kicked his shoes off and dropped his wallet and room key on the bed.

"Does the offer still stand?"

"The offer?" JC asked softly.

"For the movies?"

"Didn’t Lonnie leave them in your room?" He asked, confused.

"Um, yeah… yeah he did." Dayna removed her hand from her eyes and shook her head; maybe this was a bad idea. "Nevermind. I’ll see you tomorrow."

She went to hang up the phone but stopped when she heard him say, "Wait, you mean me?"

"What?" She brought the phone back to her ear.

"You mean the offer for me to come down and watch them with you?" JC asked with a smile.

What harm could it do? At least she wouldn’t sit around all night moping alone, "Yeah."

"Yeah, of course that still stands. I can be there in like, ten minutes if you want."

Dayna cleared her throat quickly, "Okay."

"Okay." JC smiled and they hung up their respective phones. He quickly changed into comfortable clothes and let his security know where he was going, then took the stairs down one flight to Dayna’s room.

While she waited for him to arrive, Dayna started the microwave popcorn and ordered up hot chocolate from room service. JC and the hot chocolate arrived at the same time a few minutes later, and she greeted them both with a smile.

"Thanks for coming over JC."

"Anytime." He pulled her in for a quick hug, and she stepped back when he released her.

"Um… JC, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here tonight." She looked down at her bare feet.

"I won’t." He smiled flirtatiously, proving to her that he most certainly would.

"I’m serious." She took another step back and almost fell over the corner of her bed.

"I know." He nodded and held her elbow to keep her from going over. "Relax Dayna, you invited me over. If you want me to leave I will. I just wanted to watch the movies with you, they’re a couple of my favorites."

"I know… I just…" She shrugged and turned away from him, busying herself with adding mini marshmallows and the peppermint schnapps to the hot chocolate so he wouldn’t see her blush.

"Don’t sweat it." JC said quickly. He grabbed the first movie off the bed and pushed it into the VCR, then hit "play". "Have you seen these before?"

"Uh, nope." Dayna shook her head and handed him a cup of cocoa.

"Man, what planet have you been living on?" JC laughed and set the cup on the nightstand as he flopped down on the bed. He leaned back against the headboard and stretched his bare feet out in front of him. "These are the ultimate Bruce movies." He took a sip of his spiked cocoa and raised his eyebrows, "Ah ha, you added the schnapps."

"It’s better that way. I’m not a big Bruce fan." Dayna smiled and lay on the bed beside him on her stomach, so that her feet were by his hips. She grabbed a pillow and tucked in under her chin as the movie started.

JC spent the first half hour not even watching the movie; he was too taken with Dayna to notice the explosions and gunfire on the TV. The way her dark hair never seemed to stay in the scrunchie, the way her tiny silver hoop earrings were always crooked, the way she could make even a simple pair of flannel pajama bottoms and a t-shirt look sexy. He studied her body from her elbows to her shoulders, down her back to the top of her pants, around her hips down to her knees, all the way down to her brightly painted toes.

"Do you want some popcorn?" She asked suddenly, tossing her ponytail over her shoulder as she turned to face him.

"Huh? Oh uh, no… no that’s okay." JC stuttered and looked up quickly to meet her eye.

Dayna noticed his quick eye movement and smiled, "Okay, well I’m hogging it down here, so if you want some let me know."

"Okay." He said softly as he tried not to stare at her. After another half hour JC noticed Dayna’s head began to nod off to the side, and shortly after that she lay her head down completely and fell asleep.

JC let the movie play out, even though he didn’t watch any of it. He sat back at the head of the bed and just watched her sleep. He didn’t want to like her so much, he knew that things would never work between them, not as long as she was on tour with them and still anti-dating. "She’s not anti-dating, she’s anti-dating you." JC whispered to himself with a frown. He slid off the bed and crawled on his knees to the end of the bed where he rested his chin on the bedspread and watched her sleep. He tilted his head slightly to the side so that their faces were even and looked closely at her jet black eyelashes and slightly freckled nose. "Man, I’ve never wanted to be Lance so bad in my life." JC whispered and sighed as he stood up and switched the TV off, sending the room into almost complete darkness.

He stood still letting his eyes adjust for a minute, then moved back around to the side of the bed and grabbed the pillow he’d been using. He lay down beside her and fell asleep to the sight of her ponytail only a few inches from his nose.

JC awoke the next morning no closer to Dayna than when he fell asleep, with his pager alarm beeping incessantly in his pocket. He reached blindly and stopped the beeping before it could wake Dayna out of her peaceful sleep, then slowly rolled over and off the bed. He shuffled around the bed to the bathroom and gently shut the door behind him.

"You look like hell." He grumbled at his reflection as he checked his pager. "Probably because you only went to sleep 4 hours ago."

He splashed cold water on his face and seriously pondered canceling his surfing lessons. Another hour or two in bed sounded like paradise, and of course being in bed with Dayna would be heaven… even though they never touched. He shook the thought out of his mind and went back into the bedroom where he placed a tender kiss on the top of Dayna’s head, then let himself out.

JC stepped into the hallway and quietly shut the door behind him as he yawned. He scratched at his stubbly chin and rubbed his eyes as he squinted in the sudden brightness of the hall. "Jace?" Joey asked from four doors down.

"Hey Joe." JC nodded in his direction and headed for the elevator.

"What are you doing here?"

"Going back to my room. You?"

"Trying to wake up Bobby and Brian to see if they wanna go to Six Flags with me." He continued to knock gently on the door.

"It’s like, six in the morning." JC grumbled.

"Yeah, but it opens at eight and it’s two hours away. I want to be there when it opens."

"You’re not going to the beach or whatever?"

"Let’s see… get sand in my nether regions, or spend 8 hours on roller coasters. Tough call."

"We have a shoot at three." JC yawned again and closed his eyes and pressed the "up" button repeatedly.

"We do? Damn. Okay never mind then." Joey laughed and abandoned his knocking. "Hold up, wasn’t that Dayna’s room? That you came out of?"

"Yeah." JC leaned against the wall by the elevator.

"You… you spent the night in there?"

"Yeah."

"You and Dayna?"

"We watched movies." JC shrugged and leaned against the wall as he pressed the up button.

"But I thought…"

"Hmm?"

"I thought you bugged her?" Joey crossed his arms across his chest and frowned. "She’s been whining for weeks how you get on her nerves."

"Thanks Joe, can I go now?" JC asked as the elevator doors opened in front of him.

"Is she awake?" Joey asked as he glanced down the hall.

"No." JC shook his head and leaned on the wall of the elevator.

"You really spent the night with h-?" The doors of the elevator shut, cutting off the last part of Joey’s question.

JC took off for his surfing lesson a half hour later as the others remained sleeping. It was after eight in the morning when Justin finally woke up and called Lance to get everyone started for the day. "Is Dayna coming with us?" Patty asked in the background as Justin and Lance talked about which security guards were going to be joining them.

"I don’t know." Lance said to her as he held the phone away from his mouth, "Hey is Dayna coming?" He asked Justin.

"I have to call her still. I was going to give her another half hour or so to sleep in." Justin explained.

"You’ll let her sleep in but you’ll wake us up?"

"You guys are high maintenance. Dayna can be ready in ten minutes." Justin laughed and shook his head. "I’ll give her a call in a few minutes and I’ll meet you guys at the elevators in an hour, okay?"

"Got it." Lance nodded before he hung up. Justin got up and got himself dressed for a day at the beach, then picked up the phone and called over to Dayna’s room. "Day Day! Are you coming with us?" Justin asked cheerfully when Dayna answered the phone.

"What?" She grumbled as she ate a piece of stale popcorn from the bowl beside her. She’d only been awake a couple minutes and she felt like she could still use another hour of darkness.

"To Venice Beach." He laughed.

"Who’s ‘us’?"

"Um, me and Lance and Patty."

"I’ll pass." Dayna shook her head and rolled over onto her back. "I think I’m going to go get pampered at the spa here before I have to pretty you guys up this afternoon."

"You’re gonna go be a girl?"

"Yep. The whole shebang, manicure, pedicure, facial. You name it, I’m getting it."

"Sounds like a blast." Justin rolled his eyes. "You’d rather do that than hang out with me?"

"As shocking as that may sound, yes." Dayna smiled. Just about anything sounded more fun than having to watch Patty and Lance all day. She just didn’t feel like torturing herself any more.

"Fine whatever. You meeting us at the shoot then?"

"Yeah, I’m riding over with Chris and JC, if he gets back from his surfing lessons early enough."

"Oh hey speaking of Mr. C, I hear congratulations are in order." Justin smirked and slid his feet into his flip flops.

"Huh?"

"Last night. A little hippity dippity going on?"

"Excuse me?" Dayna sat up quickly, knocking over the bowl of popcorn.

"Joey said he saw JC coming out of your room early this morning looking like something the cat drug in."

"He what?!"

"Is he wrong?" Justin asked.

"JC slept over but we just watched a movie. Jesus, you guys are gossip hungry horndogs I swear." Dayna frowned. "Nothing happened."

"Okay! Okay, don’t get all PMSy at me. I was just asking." Justin said defensively.

"Did JC say anything happened?" Dayna asked quickly.

"Not that I know of." Justin shook his head. "He wouldn’t say that it did if it didn’t though."

"He’d better not." She shook her head and brushed the spilled popcorn back into the bowl. "Or he’ll learn the meaning of the word ‘ouch’."

"He didn’t say anything to me." Justin shrugged. "So you’re not coming with us?"

"Are you going to keep asking me?"

"Okay, okay. Then I’ll see you at three at the shoot."

"I’ll be there."

"Have fun being a girl."

"I will." Dayna smiled and said goodbye, then pulled herself off the bed. She made her way to the bathroom and turned the shower on as hot as it would go, then looked at herself in the mirror, "Ugh, how can I look so much like shit when I got eight hours of sleep?" She groaned and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, then climbed into the steam filled shower.

She stood under the hot water until her skin was bright pink, then climbed out pulled her clean jeans on. She dried her hair halfway then threw the rest in a sloppy bun before she pulled her sweater over hear head and sighed. "How come Lance and JC can't just… switch places? Ugh."

Dayna checked herself in the mirror one last time then headed down to the salon off the lobby. Right then, four hours of ‘girl stuff’ was just what she needed.

 

On to the next part….

 

Copyright 2001 Amy Lynn