Honestly For You 5


"Hello? Meredith?"

Meredith's gaze ripped away from the image in the mirror and she looked at Adrianne who was standing behind her looking at her with a worried expression on her face.  She hadn't known she'd been sitting there so long, but she found when she looked up that the sandwich that Adrianne had been eating was now almost gone.  As Adrianne put the last little piece in her mouth, she smiled.

Instead of speaking she grabbed up the cup of tea in front of her and took a sip.  She'd woken up feeling fine, but her throat had been feeling raw and her head had begun to hurt just after her sound check.  She didn't know if it was a cold coming on or if it was nervous, but she was praying that it didn't turn into laryngitis before the night was through.

She downed half a cup in almost one drink.  It was cooler now, being that it had been sitting out for so long, but the lemon and the honey would still work.  "Yeah?"

"You got lost there for a second," Adrianne said.

Her voice stuck in her throat so she took another sip.  Her eyes slid to the mirror again, this time concentrating on the way that her hair had been styled.  Before she'd been staring at her eyes, noticing how they didn't look like her's anymore.  They were dramatic with deep lines and enough glitter for three people.  This time it was the curls that had caught her attention.  She'd sat earlier in curlers feeling like an alien, but she felt more out of this world with the curly hair than with the contraptions in her hair.  She knew that things were going to turn out ok and that the dramatics were going to be worth it, but staring at herself looking this glamorous was making her feel strange.

"I'm fine."

"Clearly you aren't," Adrianne came around and stood between the mirror and the director's chair she was sitting in.  Her friend was standing there in jeans and a t-shirt and a jacket.  She looked comfortable with her hair in a pony tail and normal make up on, something that Meredith wished she could have.  "What's wrong?"

"Justin hasn't called me," she said staring for a moment at the security pass that her friend had plastered to the thigh of her jeans.  She thought that it was horrible that her best friend had to wear a pass to see her.  She'd always felt strange about having to wear one for Justin, but she'd put up with it because she was dating him, but to have her friends go through that, being on the other side now, made her feel strange.  "I wish he'd call me before I go on."

"Awe girl," she said and leaned and took her hand.  She swung it back and forth.  "You're just nervous.  Don't worry...things are gonna be ok.  Maybe he went over to JC's or something and they're working and he lost track of time.  You know how he gets."

"Yes."  She started to hear her own breathing and she knew she was becoming paranoid when it didn't come out right.  She should have been breathing on the four counts not every other count.  When she started to think about timing she started to think about the song that she was starting out with and forgot for a moment the set list that she planned to use that night.  Her eyes went wide and she grabbed for the sheet of paper and ran over the names of the songs quickly before she said, "I know.  I know how he gets, but he told me he'd be here."

"You're gonna do great tonight girl."  Addy took the piece of paper away from her, probably due to the strained look on her face.  "You're a big pop star now.  You don't need little old Justin--"

"I'm not a pop star," she said and took the paper back from her.  She felt like she was in school again and wanted to cheat by writing the set list on her arm or shoe or something so she could cheat.  "Or at least I don't feel like one.  I need Justin.  He was the one who started this--"

*****

"Five more minutes," he said.

"Justin," she said again.

"Five more minutes, Mere," he repeated not looking up from his work.

Before he knew what was happening Meredith was standing on the other side of the glass from him, inside the studio.

"What are you doing?" he asked speaking into the microphone.

Meredith stepped up to the mic and spoke, "I'm gonna sing this because you don't seem to be hearing me when I speak."

"I'm sorry," he said, "I didn't mean to ignore you. I just said that it was going to be five more minutes."

"That was almost an hour ago," she said pointing at the clock on the wall behind him. "I know that you're busy with the new album and stuff and I know that this is important, but your brothers have been in town since yesterday and it's getting hard to be with those two and try to explain that you're coming home soon."

"Fine," he said.

"Good," she said.

"Wait!"

Meredith stopped before she moved away from the microphone looking as if she might hit into something or break something if she moved, "What?"

"Sing for me," he said.

"Excuse me?" she asked.

"Sing for me Merebear," he said, "Please. It's my birthday."

"Oh no," she said, "Some of us are born for that kind of thing, but this little songbird has no voice."

"Whatever you," he said, "Just sing for me."

"No," she said again.

"Please," he said and began to pout.

"You're not going to let this go are you?" she asked.

"No," he said and crossed his arms over his chest.

"Fine," she said.

"Ok," he said, "Just take the headphones off the stand, put them on and I'll play the song and you sing."

"What?" she asked, "You aren't going to record this are you?"

"You sing Kareoke all the time at Joey's--"

"Hey, that wasn't my fault and that was only once--"

Justin held up two fingers.

"OK fine, two fingers, but I was drunk and I didn't mean to get that into it."

"You were on the table," he said.

"Do you want me to sing or sit here and argue with you?" she asked.

"Hold on a second, I want to get these settings right."

"You're not going to show this to anyone are you?" she asked.

"Maybe," he said, "You never know when I might need to get a new job," he said.

"Is Pest a job description?" he asked.

"I'm gonna be a producer Merebear," he said, "And you're going to be the next pop-star."

"Yeah right," she said rolling her eyes. "Don't hold your breath."

*****

"Meredith?"

This time it was a male voice that distracted her from her reflection.  For an instant she thought that it might be Justin, but after a moment she saw movement in the mirror and her eyes slowly moved to the spot in the mirror where she could see the door and found Dean leaning in.  He wore all black and had his headphones around his neck.  "Yeah?"

"You've got a half hour," he said with his deep Boston accent.  From the deep rasp in his voice she could tell he'd been smoking that afternoon, a habit that she'd teased him about earlier.  He coughed.  "Wendell just went on and the band will be ready in about twenty."

Meredith swallowed the lump in her throat and sipped more tea.  She smiled for him and for her mother who was now watching her as well as Lynn who was getting up to come over to her.  "Thanks Dean."

He moved his headphones back onto his ears and winked at her.  "No trouble."

Taking a deep breath Meredith pushed herself from her chair and moved across the room.  She had on all her stage outfit except her t-shirt.  She walked over to the small couch that her father was currently occupying.  "I hate to make you guys leave, but I need to put my shoes on and do my warm ups."

Lynn took over then switching from mother to manager.  "It's ok honey," she said, "I'll show your parents and Addy their seats and we'll meet up with you tonight when you're done."

"Thanks Lynn," Meredith said with a shaky voice as she pulled the black running shoes towards her.  She would later change into heels, but for the moment it was all about the running shoes.  She had a dance number the first two songs.  "Hey Lynn, can you get Mari and Trina in here?"

"Sure honey," she said.

"Can you tell Dean that we'll be out in a minute?"

"Sure."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Thirty minutes later the whole room was dark and the screams of the seven thousand or so fans in the building reached a feverish pitch.  She shut her eyes for a moment to take it all in.  She'd heard a sound like that before, but never had the sound been directed towards her.

Dean waved his flashlight at her in the tiny crawlspace under the stage.  Meredith put her hand up to her ear monitor then looked over at Dean and smiled and lifted her hand to show him that she was ok.  He counted down for her and said something into the headset that he was wearing and a moment later the first beats of Perfect World began to play.

She knew what to do and as soon as she was standing on the elevator and had reached stage level and saw Mari and Trina she launched into the song as if she had been born to be on stage.  The whole thing was strange.  She'd sung all these songs before, but by the fifth one she was wondering when the end was going to be.  She normally had a half hour on stage then would be done, but tonight she was doing an hour and fifteen minutes.

"Thank you Seattle!"  Her voice vibrated in the room mixing with the screams of all the fans.  She smiled and turned her back a little to the crowd as she moved towards where the band was to grab her bottled water.  "Lemme get a drink real quick then we'll see what song you guys want to hear next."

She heard the fans start to scream and she wiggled her eyebrows at Dan and sipped her drink then wiped her mouth on a towel and turned back to the crowd.  "There's a new one that came out in stores today...I sang it with a certain person..."  Screams rose from the crowd as she approached the front of the stage and she put her hand down to shake hands with a few people.  Flashes went off and she smiled.  "It's a new one called--"

"I Dreamed You!!!"  The crowd yelled the title for her.

"You've heard of it?" she asked with a smile and laughed, "Justin couldn't be here, but we have something special set up so lets see if we can get Dan and the rest of the guys in the band to play the song for us."

The screams of the crowd got even louder.

When she turned back to look at the screen that would play Justin's part of the song she found the screen blank.  The music had started to play, but the screen wasn't working.  She found her eyes begin to tear knowing that something like this could really ruin the start of a tour.  Her eyes searched the crowd and landed on the reporters that had been interviewing her earlier.  She couldn't see their expressions, but there was enough light to show that they were turned to each other talking.

Counting down she took a breath and held the microphone to her lips hoping that the screen would come on and that it would be synced up with the tape of Justin's voice that should have been playing.

You walked in the room
and time was standin' still
knew you were my destiny
by the way you made me feel
only you in my life
forever and today
you're everything I ever imagined
my love could be
you for me

She closed her eyes and waited for the piano to play the notes that would connect the two verses and that's when she heard a click and then breathing, breathing that wasn't hers.  When she heard the noise of the crowd get even more loud she opened her eyes wondering if they were going to storm the stage.

It was the spotlight on the far side of  the stage that caught her eye and moments later Justin stepped into it to sing his verse.  His rumbling voice filled the air and all the worries that had been stressing her out that afternoon and evening seemed to disappear.   Just the look on his face as he walked towards her, dressed in black slacks and a gray sweater was something that would have brought her to her knees if she hadn't been standing in front of a few thousand people.

It was like a movie and she found herself floating towards him.

Like the stars need the sky
and the river needs it's rain
like an eagle needs it's wings
and the fire needs it's flames
like the sun needs the day
and the night needs the moon
like the air that I breathe
that's how I...

When his hand finally reached out and took hers she knew that she was going to cry and mess up all her make up.  He brought her closer and put and arm around her pulling her tight.  He moved his hand to her cheek and smiled at her and it was as if everything in the whole room, all those thousands of people, disappeared and it was just them up there.

dreamed of you
I dreamed you

When he stepped a little away from her she put the microphone to her mouth and started to sing and the song continued, him holding her hand while their voices mix appropriately, him giving backup vocals when needed on the next verse.

It's hard to explain
but when you know you know
I was so amazed by you
you had me and: 'hello'
I need you in my heart
my body, mind and soul
it only took a moment to take my breath away
will u stay?

For the chorus they sang together and just stared at each other.  At one point he wiped some tears from her cheek, but other than that it was as if they were frozen in time there together.

Like the stars need the sky
and the river needs it's rain
like an eagle needs it's wings
and the fire needs it's flames
like the sun needs the day
and the night needs the moon
like the air that I breathe
that's how I...
I dreamed of you (and I)

Our love can't be denied, no no
there's nothing I can do, nothing I can say
my heart always knew
that's how I dreamed of you

For the next part of the song Justin danced her around a little until she was standing with her back to him and he pulled her so that she was standing against him and he sang to her while hugging her close.  She had seen duets before, but the two of them were definitely giving them a show.

Stars needs sky
river needs rain
like an eagle needs it's wings
and the fire needs it's flames
like the sun needs the day, yeah
and the night needs the moon
like the air that I breathe
that's how I need you

Finally Justin let her go and reached to touch a finger to her lips.  In a very dramatic fashion he stepped away from her and began to sing the last chorus, raising his voice to a strange level that she'd never heard before.  There was so much emotion there and she thought that she saw his eyes tear up too.  She'd seen him like this during gone, but had never seen him direct anything that emotional at her in a long time.

Like the stars, sky
river and rain
like an eagle needs it's wings
and the fire needs it's flames
like the sun it needs the day
and the night needs the moon
like the air that I breathe
that's how I need you
like the air that I breathe
that's how I...
dreamed of you
I dreamed of you
yeah
yes I did
oh baby

The arena went black as the final piano notes were played.  She could see in the shadows Justin running over towards her.  He kissed her quickly and hugged her then disappeared off stage.  She didn't know where he was going or what the plan was, but he was gone just as fast as he'd shown up.

It was only the sound of Dan playing Holding On that brought her back into the present and as the lights came back on she found the microphone stand already set up for her and a stool for her to sit on, like they'd planned.

"WOW!"  she said into the microphone as she went to find her seat.  "That was amazing.  I really didn't know he was going to show up."

The crowd let out a collective, "Awe."

"Anyway...I don't know if we can top that performance tonight, but--"  She laughed and Dan started her cue.  "Holding On seems like a good one to sing since I think I need something to hold on to after that."

After taking a breath she looked over her shoulder at Dan and started to sing the lyrics to the song.

song lyrics --  I Dreamed You  -- Anastasia -- Album: Freak Of Nature

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