So, here it is. My David Story.

A little background...

I participated in an interactive fan fiction on a friend's site, and my character ended up with David. I spent so much time immersing myself in his music and stories about him (which are hard to find, by the way) that he took over my thoughts for quite some time. I couldn't get him out of my head. He's still in there, rattling doors and opening drawers and such, but he's behaving himself. Mostly.

This story came out as an outlet for me to try to get through my little obsession. I told some of the girls from the other fan fic exercise, and they thought it was hysterical that I got so wrapped up, that I couldn't think of anything but him.

They convinced me to "go public" with the story, so here it is.

I hope you enjoy it. It starts here.

~ Hath

Chapter 56: Hath Goes to Chicago

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's been a long couple of weeks. April apparently told David about our little heart-to-heart, and he was amazed that I went to talk to her. Why wouldn't I? She obviously had a problem with me, and that was going to be a problem in my getting to know David's kids, and I want to get to know them.

Work has been a bear. It seems for every task that gets done, there are three more in waiting. Then the weather started, and SHIT, I figured I was never going to get to Chicago. BUT, I’m on an airplane, and am going to Chicago for a wedding. Well, for a series of concerts, to be Jon’s personal indentured servant, and a surprise wedding. Ugh. I’m a bit nervous about this trip; I'm flying by myself, and do NOT like flying – especially in bad weather.

Boston is having a wonderful snow storm today. Marvelous. I got to the airport plenty early, but they were threatening to shut down the airport because it was SUPPOSED to get bad. I mean c’mon. This is New England for Pete’s sake. They know how to deal with the white stuff here. We got off nearly on time, but with all the slipping and sliding, I ALMOST wish they had cancelled or postponed the flight. Almost. BUT, I digress.

I've been in the air for a little less than half an hour, and man, I'm SO looking forward to landing, I feel the plane tilt slightly, and the bile rises in my throat. We’re getting ready to make our approach at O’Hare. Pretty soon, I’ll have to put on my happy face, pull up the big-girl panties, and do Jon’s bidding. I’m determined NOT to make this too easy for him – my reputation as GSA (that’s ‘Goddess Smart Ass’ to the girls) is at stake. I will admit, though, some of the things he’s told me I’m to do are NOT hardships at all.

Like, for example, he wanted me to finish making arrangements for his and Sam’s wedding. YIKES! I’ll admit in retrospect, I guess I did go a bit overboard at first (I mean, how many times do you get to plan a famous person’s wedding?), and Jon went all Irate Rock Star on me, but I dialed it back, got some input from Lucy, who is closer to Sam than the rest of us, and I think I have something they will both enjoy. It’s going to be a beautiful wedding.

Jon also wants me to be his personal chef, chauffeur, and genral gopher. But he said he MAY let me work with his guitar tech at one of the shows. IF he lets me, I have to wear all black, so I packed an outfit for just in case.

None of that can take my mind off the fact that right now I’m hurtling through the skies at more than five thousand miles per hour at 32,000 feet in a three hundred thousand pound lump of metal that defies all the laws of physics by staying up here. I got stuck with a window seat, and have been studiously ignoring the puffy white clouds out there. It’s just fog, it’s just fog, it’s just fog. Thank God it’s a short hop from Boston to Chicago.

I have a pathological fear of falling, so how do I feel about being in a vehicle whose second job is a controlled fall from the sky? Well, let’s just say the woman next to me is equally grateful that this is a short flight. I’ve been sitting here with a death grip on the armrests, and have been trying to make idle small talk with her the whole trip. She’s not much for chatter, and I don’t blame her; if I were sitting next to me, I’d want nothing of it either. She’s buried her nose in some month-old glossy mag with pictures of famous people in it.

As she’s flipping through it for the thousandth time praying desperately for landing, I see a glimpse of familiar red. Holy shit, one of the pictures from the New Year’s Eve party is in that magazine. David didn’t tell me that these pictures actually went anywhere. I felt a strange little thrill, and wanted to take a closer look at the magazine, but didn’t want to tear it out of this woman’s hands. Well, truth be told, yeah, I did, but I wasn’t going to.

With a sigh, she closed the magazine, and leaned forward to put it the little seat pouch in front of her, and I asked her if I could look at it. She rolled her eyes at me, but handed it over, and I paged through it until I came to the double-page spread from Billy Joel’s party.

The headline screamed “Miami Bash!” and I swallowed hard when I saw the picture of David and me. It was when he handed me out of the limo. You got a good glimpse of leg, and a fair bit of cleavage, and my face, looking up lovingly and trustingly at David – probably the one unguarded moment of the whole evening. The caption was plain, which is more than I expected. “David Bryan and his mysterious lady-love arrive with Tico and Alejandra Torres.” I sighed and dropped the magazine into my lap, tracing David’s face with a gentle fingertip.

“You a fan?” the woman next to me asked, seeing what I was looking at.

I nodded absently. “Yeah, you could say that,” I answered softly, unable to tear my yes from the page. “I’m flying out to see the shows with some friends.” I scanned the article for where they wrote about David. I swallowed hard and read. “David Bryan, keyboardist for Bon Jovi, arrived with bandmate Tico Torres and his wife, and a woman Bryan claims to be in love with. Nobody seems to know who she is or where she’s from, but this reporter heard Bryan berate a paparazzo who made some off-color remarks about his date. Could this really be true love?”

The woman was looking over my shoulder, and sighed. “It’s too bad he’s off the market,” she said. “I kinda like thinking about him single and looking.”

I burst out laughing, making the woman look at me like I was nuts. “Sorry,” I said to her, then held up the picture next to my face.

It took her a moment, and she flushed red. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“That’s OK, really,” I said. “You're not the first person to tell me that. To tell the truth, this is all sorta new to me.”

After that, we chatted until we landed, and we were still chatting as we gathered our belongings and walked down the jet way.

The Goddess Has Landed

I saw David right away. He was trying to be all inconspicuous in a dark hat that he must have swiped from Sambora and amber shades, but those glorious curls give him away every time. My smile faltered when I saw a frowning man with ball cap and sunglasses with David. Arms crossed over his chest, he made an intimidating picture. I squinted at him and scowled. Son of a bitch, it's Jon. I was expecting him to be waiting for Steph and Matt with Sam and Lucy.

I whispered to my new friend, "Want to meet David?" Her eyes went wide, and I discretely nodded in David's direction. "Jon is there, too." She squeaked, and I took that as a yes. We sauntered over to the pair, and I introduced Meghan to the two of them. They were very gracious, as expected, and she was giggling when she walked away, clutching her freshly-signed boarding pass.

I sighed and waved goodbye to my new friend, and turned to say hello to David. As I stepped into the circle of his arms, Jon cleared his throat. “Uh, hey there, slave,” he said quietly, “you didn’t ask my permission to greet David.”

Shit. So that’s how it’s going to be. Well, I channeled my best GSA, dropped to my knees at Jon’s feet, and clutched at his hand. Looking up at his shocked face with big, fat crocodile tears in my eyes, I wailed, “Oh please, sir, it’s been so very long. Please find it in your heart to let me greet my future husband; the love of my life; the father of my child.” I was causing a spectacle, but damn it, he picked a public place to start in on me.

He tried to pull his hand free, but I held fast. “Get up you crazy bitch,” he hissed at me.

I answered with a “yes sir,” and after kissing his hand, stood and looked at him wide-eyed. David was barely holding it together while I looked at Jon expectantly, and blinked rapidly.

“Oh, go ahead,” he said, laughing at me.

When I stepped once again into David’s arms, he glanced at Jon then back at me. “You know he’s going to be like this all week,” he said.

I kissed him soundly. “Bring it on,” I said. "And let's go find Steph and Matt."

David grinned. "You go," he said. "Jon'll go with you. I wanna wait for Ang." He was rubbing his hands together gleefully, and I had to laugh at him.

"Where's Richie?" I asked.

"Right here, darlin'," he said from behind me. He swooped me up and spun me in a hug and kissed my cheek. "Congratulations, little Mama," he said. “You sure you want to marry this asshole?”

"Thanks," I answered laughing. "And yeah, I’m sure. Where's Lucy?"

"She's with Sam and the other guys. I think they were heading to meet Steph and Matt," Richie said, distractedly.

"I'm sure we'll find them then," I answered. I gave the two of them my very best triple-G stare. "Now you two play nice with Ang," I said.

Richie and David looked at each other, competition clear in their gazes.

"I mean it," I said, and took Jon's arm, and went off to rescue my luggage and find Steph and Matt.

Kindred Spirits

"How's Sam?" I asked him, as we headed off to baggage claim.

"She's good. Starting to show," he said proudly, with a grin that lit up the whole place.

"Aw, that's wonderful!" I said. "I can't wait until I'm showing," I said, patting where the lump would be. Jon laughed at me.

We waited for the bags to come, and Jon was having me give him, for the hundredth time, the rundown of the details about the wedding. We were talking in low voices with our heads angled toward each other, so as not to be overheard. When someone jostled me, Jon automatically put his arm protectively around my waist, and drew me to a quieter corner. We continued our chat until a loud buzzer heralded the impending arrival of the luggage, and we aimed for the carousel.

Traveling first class has its distinct advantages; one of them being getting your luggage first. "How much shit did you bring? Will one of these be enough?" He was shoving quarters into the luggage cart rental machine thing.

I laughed and raised an eyebrow at him. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me," he said wrestling the cart from the track. "I know how you women pack. How much?"

"Three suitcases," I said, and he gaped at me. "Plus my bowling bag. But one suitcase is nearly empty," I said.

"Why the hell would you bring an empty suitcase?"

I started counting off on my fingers like I was talking to my brother. "Let's see. One: Ang said she was bringing some presents for LJ. Two: I figure we girls are going shopping for souvenirs -- that is if you let me see the light of day. Three: I've got people at home I need to buy Jovi swag for at the show," I trailed off and blushed, not meaning to say that last bit. Jon rolled his eyes at me. "What?" I said softly, fidgeting with my bag. "Not everyone can get to your shows, but they all want the gear. I have very specific lists."

Jon laughed. "I’ll just bet you do. How many items are to be autographed?" He thought he was fricking hilarious, but I was hurt. I turned from him abruptly and he sighed. "What'd I say?"

"My friends aren't like that," I said angrily. "They'd never ask me to do that. Never." I furiously wiped a stray tear from my cheek.

"Aw, hell, Hath, I didn't mean anything by it," Jon said, awkwardly putting an arm around my shoulder.

I shook my head and sighed. "Shit, Jon, I know you didn’t," I said. "And I didn't mean to tear up. Blame it on LJ," I said with a smile. "She's making me do things I didn't think I'd ever do."

"Yeah?" Jon's interested peaked.

"Never mind that," I said laughing. "Here come my suitcases. They're the purple ones. The bowling bag is black with flames on it." I made to grab them from the belt, but Jon would have none of it.

"Sam would have my head if I let you heft those bags," he said.

"Well, thanks," I said, grateful I didn't have to lug them. Jon muscled the big bags onto the luggage cart, and we both grabbed for the cart’s handles at the same time. He gave me a pointed stare, actually lowering his sunglasses a little, and I raised my hands in surrender. We walked through the terminal stopping under the arrivals board to check on Stephanie's flight.

The two of us consulted our Blackberries and sighed simultaneously. I looked at him and laughed. We both had one hip cocked, and were thumb-typing a frantic 90 words-per-minute while looking up at the board. "Jesus, if not for the fact that I know we didn't grow up in the same house, I'd swear we were related," I said, nodding at his handheld. We were both dialing up Steph’s contact and itinerary information. We also both had the same model – the newest model with all the bells and whistles.

"Yeah," he chuckled. "We're a lot more alike than I thought when I first met you."

"Is that good or bad?"

"I have no idea," Jon said. "I haven't met another 'me' before. But, neither of us is dead yet, so I guess it ain't all bad."

I put a hand to my heart and fluttered my eyelashes. “Oh, why sir, you say the most WONderful things!” Jon just rolled his eyes at me, and smiled indulgently.

"Smart ass," he muttered under his breath.

We saw that Steph and Matt's flight was arriving a few gates from where I had come in. David and Richie had already gone to the Customs area to wait for Ang, and we would meet them there once we had collected the others. While we were waiting, I noticed how busy it was, and was amazed that disguise notwithstanding, nobody had recognized Jon yet. Interrupting my thoughts, Jon casually said, "Would you mind getting me a drink?” He nodded at the overcrowded news stand. “I'll stay with your stuff."

"No probl -- wait a second," I looked at him, and he couldn't keep the grin off his face. His gorgeous smile had me smiling right back at him. "Is this your new tactic, Master? Couching commands as favors?" I pointed a finger in his face. "I'm on to you, mister. Bottled water?" He nodded, and reached for his wallet. “I think I can swing five bucks for a bottle of water, there, chief.” After sticking my tongue out at him, I went to do his bidding.

All Hail the Queen

I was excited to see Stephanie again. Stephanie and Sam had come into the city a couple of weeks ago to have lunch with me, and we did some shopping. We had a great time, and Steph spent the night at David’s house with us. We cooked together, and sang and danced in the kitchen, and served up a meal that made David hum with pleasure. He’s so easy. Afterwards, we had a great talk about my screwed up sense of self, watched chick flicks that made us cry, and hunkered down in the media room for the night like high school kids at a sleepover.

I was also looking forward to really “meeting” Matt. He sounds like a sweetheart of a guy. I'd met him for a moment in Jersey, but that didn't really count.

The flow of people started coming through the gate, and I grabbed Jon’s sleeve excitedly. He looked down at my hand and raised an eyebrow at me, but I ignored him. I was straining on my tiptoes, trying to look over the heads of the people in front of us.

“Would you please relax?” Jon said. “You did just see her a couple of weeks ago.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t,” Lucy had come up behind me, and scared the shit out of me.

“Lucy!” We wrapped each other in a big hug, and grasped hands like long-lost sisters. Sam was behind her, and I gave her a hug too. Jesus, Tico and Hugh were trailing along behind the girls. No way we were getting out of here without the guys getting mobbed.

"Hey Querida," Tico said. "Nice to see you again." He kissed my cheek and gave me a big hug. David and I had stayed with Teek and Alejandra for New Year's, and well that's probably where LJ was conceived. I blushed a little thinking about that.

"What's wrong, Hath?" Hugh asked after we were properly introduced, and I gave him a hug.

"Oh, nothing, really," I hedged.

Tico laughed loudly. "Hughie, she's all embarrassed because the last time she saw me, she got pregnant." He winked at me, and I was about ready to die.

I swatted at him, and turned beet red. "Jesus, shut up already," I said.

He just chuckled. "Now we're even for the drink comment."

I had to think back. "Jesus, man, that was months ago!" Back in November, I made some crack about him poisoning my drink and he waited until now to get me back?

He just shrugged. "I can keep a grudge, Querida."

Sam rescued me by putting a hand on my shoulder. I turned to her. "How's the baby?" we both said at the same time, and broke out laughing. "Fine," we both answered. Jon rolled his eyes at us, and grabbed Sam's hand.

We girls were talking about the babies and the concerts, and Lucy was gushing at our rings, and I told her for the thousandth time I wanted to drive the Lexus. We were playing a great game of catch up, and she saw my eyes perk up, and knew what was coming.

“THERE SHE IS!” I exclaimed. “Steph!” I called, but she didn’t hear that.

We girls all yelled at the same time: “QUEENIE!”

Stephanie, of course, heard us THAT time, and saw the welcoming party. Lucy, Sam and I were standing there with Jon, Tico, and Hugh behind us. She grinned at us, grabbed Matt’s hand, but didn't move. Matt looked like he was ready to throw up. Steph leaned over to whisper something to him and they got moving. They came over, and we girls all embraced warmly, kissing each other soundly.

“Hi Matt,” I said to him, and he smiled.

“Hi, Hath,” he said, extending his hand. “Nice to see you again.”

I ignored his proffered hand and before he knew what hit him, pressed a quick kiss to his cheek. “Likewise." Introductions were done, then we were ready to go find the others so we could get out of there. We girls looped arms and started to head back to the carousel for yet more luggage, leaving Matt to walk with the guys. Hugh befriended him, and the two men were having a quiet conversation. Jon cleared his throat loudly, getting our attention. I turned and he crooked a finger at me. “Hey, Jeeves,” he said, and I knew what was coming.

“Yeah, HRH,” I said, making him laugh.

“Grab my water?” He had left it on the table behind us.

“Yeah, sure,” I said, and did it. Man was this week going to suck. These little things are gonna kill me.