I have a couple of people to thank for it - LenniLuvsBrian, who I forced to co-write it with me, since she was insistent on there being a concert scene (I always have such a hard time writing them, though I've been to every tour except This Is Us)
And the person who posted pretty much the entire 2001 Dallas show on youtube, in which I had fun watching during my research :-)
“I want to be able to sit out in the audience and watch the concert, will that be a problem?” Ava asked Stefan a little later on that night. The fans have been let in and it’s almost time for the boys to go out onstage and grace them with their presence. She was currently standing with Nick who had his arms wrapped around her waist and was placing tender kisses on her forehead. Jade sat nearby with Zara, still fascinated as ever with her new toy. Neither Nick nor Ava has ever seen her so absorbed in one thing for so long before. “I do it every concert and it’s their first one of the tour, so it’s important.”
“As long as we are able to control the situation around you the whole time it will be okay” Stefan answered after a moment. He really wants to say no and it is clear on his face. He can just see David taking advantage of a big crowd like this. But he recognizes how important this is to her and knows he has to make it work somehow. As long as she’s willing to compromise with him, he doesn’t see any reason to be the bad guy. She is the type of woman who would make it very difficult to be the bad guy. But if he has to, he will do it. He looked at Q with a look that clearly said help.
“We have a small balcony section to the left of the stage reserved for our friends and family watching the show. Nobody but them will be up there and you can easily protect her from there, my guys and I made sure,” Q spoke up.
“Okay,” Stefan nodded after a moment and he gave Demyan and Drake a look telling them to get ready. “I’d like to get you up there now then,” he added and Ava nodded and looked up at Nick. Nick gently placed his hand to her cheek and brushed his lips lightly over hers.
“Have fun Nicky, I’ll be watching” she told him softly and he rubbed his nose lightly over hers.
“I love you,” He told her, before pulling away from her and going over to Jade who looked up at him. He gently gathered her up into his arms and hugged her close to him affectionately, causing her to slide her arms around his neck and hug him back.
“Mommy is going to take you to your seats now baby, I will see you later tonight okay? I love you.”
“Okay Daddy,” Jade told him happily and he kissed her cheek. “I love you too.” He hugged her for a moment longer and then gently handed her over to Ava, before giving her one more quick but meaningful kiss and he slid his fingers through her soft curls. When he pulled back he watched her walk out of the room with Drake, Stefan, Demyan, and Q, as well as Kathryn, Tierja, Denise, Raven, and Zara. When they were all gone, he turned and prepared to go onstage and Brian, who was of course watching him, rolled his eyes playfully.
“You’re practically glowing, Frack.”
“And you’re having way too much fun making fun of me, Frick.” Nick responded as he picked up after his daughter, putting all of her toys away. “I can’t help it if I’m finally happy. I feel closer to Ava then I have ever been. This is the first time she’s ever needed just me. She didn’t go to AJ to take care of her when she was scared, she went to me. It’s a big deal.”
“Yeah I’m still dealing with that bro, don’t rub it in” AJ spoke up and he slid his arm around Nick and hugged him.
“I know it’s hard for you to let your baby sister go, but I’m thankful you stepped back and let me take care of her this time” Nick responded.
“I knew it was important to you. And it helped that I’m sort of pre-occupied with keeping Tierja in my life right now,” AJ responded. “I have problems of my own right now, so it’s good that you’re here to take over with Ava.”
“Not take over completely though,” Nick reassured. “She’s still your baby sister and always will be.”
“Damn straight she is,” AJ responded. “So do a good job with her or I will beat you. She deserves happiness this time around.”
“Well, she’s got it so don’t worry.”
“I hate to cut into your bromance time here guys, but we have to go onstage now” Howie spoke up and Nick and AJ looked around to see everybody watching them in amusement. AJ cleared his throat and pulled his arm away from Nick’s shoulders.
“Right,” Nick replied and he and AJ ignored the laughter as they prepared to go on stage and perform.
“Mommy, when will daddy be out?” Jade asked as Ava stood beside her mother and friends holding her daughter on her hip. Stefan was standing on the other side of her protectively, while Drake stood outside the door to the balcony and Demyan and Q were down below scanning the crowd looking for any danger that might come at them from afar. Kaci Brown currently had the stage and Jade was very unimpressed.
“Any minute now baby,” Ava reassured, kissing her on the forehead. “You have to have a little bit of patience.”
“They shoulda had Mandy Moore sing for them, she’s way better” Zara spoke up as Raven stood next to Ava with Zara on her hip as well so that the two friends could be side by side during the concert.
“Maybe if you put in a good word for her, they’ll ask her to join them during the second leg of the tour sweetheart” Drew spoke up amusedly as he suddenly came up behind them. Everybody looked at him curiously to see him holding two glow sticks in his hands. One was pink and another purple and both girls looked at him with widened eyes.
“Are those for us??” Zara asked hopefully and Drew laughed.
“Of course they are for you, silly. Who else would I brave the merchandise booth for but my two favorite girls?” He asked while handing them over, each girl getting their favorite color – Jade pink, and Zara purple. The two of them happily marveled over their new treasures and Ava looked at Drew and smiled.
“Thanks Drew, you didn’t have to do that.”
“Of course I did,” Drew insisted while planting a kiss on her cheek. “Just be thankful it wasn’t the rainbow cotton candy that I saw. Q told me if I valued my life I would strongly re-consider.” Ava burst out laughing and shook her head.
“Yes, he would know better that’s for sure. He got himself into trouble earlier at the grocery store.”
“I would’ve paid good money to see that. Well, there is always tomorrow night’s concert when Q hasn’t had a full day to have all of the fun without me.” Ava looked at him with a raised eyebrow and he smirked. “Hey, it’s glow in the dark rainbow cotton candy. They have to experience it just once you have to admit!” Ava rolled her eyes and shook her head in amusement.
“How about one to share?” She compromised and Drew grinned.
“It’s a deal,” he told her and leaned in and kissed her cheek once more before stepping back, but sticking around to help incase he’s needed. Just then the lights went out as Kaci Brown had long since announced the boys and left the stage. Ava had been so focused on her conversation with Drew she hadn’t even noticed. Jade and Zara both squealed excitedly as the music to the boy’s intro began. Ava and Raven exchanged amused looks as their daughter’s got just as excited as the millions of fans around them.
“Do you think they’ll sing As Long As You Love Me, Mommy?” Zara asked in Raven’s ear so that she would hear her as they watched the space theme pictures on the big screen and the special effects.
“Of course they will, what kind of concert would it be without As Long As You Love Me?” Raven reassured and Zara beamed. She always likes it when Brian sings that song to her. He makes sure to do it every night and now she gets to hear him sing it twice. Just then the boys took the stage, doing their robot-like space dance routine making the fans – and Jade and Zara go crazy, the two of them waving their fun new glow sticks that they adore and the boys went right into the song Everyone.
"We've been through days of thunder," Brian sang. "Some people said we don't belong. They try to pull us under, but here we stand together and we're a million strong....." The crowd shrieked its delight, cameras and cell phones waving in the air as girls eagerly tried to snap as many photos of their idols as possible. Ava smirked slightly as she heard the noise. She had missed this. "Let's get on with the show," the Boys sang, as they danced around on stage. "Oh let's get started," Nick smirked, as he gyrated his hips a little bit. He winked at Ava as he ran by, causing her heart to pound excitedly. Jade squealed, jumping up and down with Zara, as she figured the wink was for her - her eyes were of course glued to her Daddy. They finished with Everyone and set right onto Larger Than Life, as their fans really were larger than life - if the screaming wasn't any indication, their record sales definitely were. Ava and Raven moved to the music while they each held their girls, enjoying it with them.
After Larger Than Life the boys disappeared backstage for a quick wardrobe change, only to return one by one as they each said a little something to the fans with Kevin taking the stage last and announcing What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful). Ava hugged Jade close in anticipation of hearing this song live, as she watched all four boys join Kevin and take their seats on the stools in their white outfits, AJ’s complete with a hat of course. It’s a song that Howie had written and it makes her feel like it was written specifically for her.
AJ swears to her it’s just a coincidence since like everyone in their group, Howie is completely in the dark about Ava’s past, but ever since she heard it for the first time she deemed it hers and loves Howie just a little bit more than before if that was even possible at all.
“You don’t run with the crowd, you go your own way. You don’t play after dark, you light up my day” Howie began singing and Ava noticed Nick look her way again with so much love in his eyes as Brian took the next verse, making her heart turn over in her chest. Now that he knows her deep dark secret, he’s of course figured out why she’s always listening to this song. “Got your own kind of style that sets you apart…baby, that's why you captured my heart”
"I know sometimes you feel like you don't fit in and this world doesn't know what you have within," Howie continued as he stood from his stool.
"When I look at you I see something rare," Brian added as he rose. "A rose that can grow anywhere…and there's no one I know that can compare."
The other Boys joined Brian and Howie, all of them standing as the chorus began. A.J. was in front of his sister and felt Nick throw an arm around his shoulders. Together they sang to the girl they both loved with all their hearts.
"What makes you different, makes you beautiful. What's there inside you shines through to me. And in your eyes I see all the love I'll ever need. What makes you different, makes you beautiful to me..."
Ava wiped her eyes as she had of course teared up. This was her favourite song and her two most favourite guys had just sung the chorus to her.
"Hiiiii!" Jade squealed as she waved, jumping up and down excitedly.
Zara waved as well then looked to see where Brian was. He was by far her most favourite. He was dating her Mommy after all and he always made her feel like a Princess.
Nick and A.J. waved to the little girls and moved on before people got too suspicious. Sure everyone knew A.J. had a sister, but now was not a good time for people to fully realize that she was in the audience. After What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful) the boys moved on to do songs like Yes I Will, Not For Me, More Than That, I Want It That Way, and Quit Playing Games. Right as they were just starting Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely, Drew moved up behind Raven and whispered something in her ear. Raven rolled her eyes playfully and looked down at her daughter in her arms.
“Zara sweetheart, Drew has asked to borrow you for a few moments. It appears Brian may need your help with something…” Zara and Jade widened their eyes.
“Really, me…? But what can I do?” She asked astonished and Drew chuckled softly.
“You’ll see,” He answered and he held his arms out to her. Zara leaned toward him and allowed him to take her and he turned and walked out through the balcony door where Drake still stood guard, only to have Mike walk in and take Drew’s place so that Ava and Jade’s security detail remains strong. The women and Jade continued to watch the show, enjoying Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely and then they left the stage again for a short break only to have a funny video clip of them from “2050” as old guys appear on the screen and Ava, Jade, Denise, Kathryn, and Tierja got a real kick out of watching that.
When it ended the music to As Long As You Love Me began playing and Jade squealed in delight right along with the fans as they boys, and Zara appeared on the stage, all of them wearing blue outfits and sitting on giant blocks – Zara placed in none other than Brian’s lap! Nick walked to the edge of the stage as he began the song, pacing along the edge of it and singing his heart out to the crowd, something Ava loves to see most. She loves watching him put his heart and soul into doing the thing he loves.
“Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine, I'm leaving my life in your hands…people say I'm crazy and that I am blind, risking it all in a glance…and how you got me blind is still a mystery, I can't get you out of my head.” He discretely cast his eyes in Ava’s direction again, determined to make as much words as he can about her tonight. “Don't care what is written in your history, as long as you're here with me…” he added and he blew a kiss in her direction, making her swoon and he watched an amused Kathryn wrap her arm around her as the boys chimed in for the chorus.
“I don't care who you are, where you're from, what you did…as long as you love me. Who you are, where you're from, don't care what you did…as long as you love me.” Brian got up from his block and joined Nick in walking along the stage singing, though he smiled down at the little one on his hip so she knows he is singing to her too.
“Every little thing that you have said and done, feels like its deep within me…doesn't really matter if you're on the run,” Brian sang and he pretended to make like he is running, making Zara giggle and he planted a kiss on her cheek. “It seems like we're meant to be…” He added, and the boys jumped in again for the chorus.
“I've tried to hide it so that no one knows, but I guess it shows, when you look into my eyes…” Brian serenaded, and he rested his forehead against Zara’s and looked playfully into her eyes, making her smile big and look back into his with so much love in her own. She would be more than okay if her mommy made him her daddy someday. The man means so much to her and has since the day she was born. “What you did and where you're coming from….”
“I don’t care….” The boys harmonized.
“As long as you love me baby…” Brian continued, before looking back out into the audience and finishing up the song, even going as far as grabbing hands as he walked along the stage, though he held the small child close to him ever so lovingly the whole time. When the song ended and they were going into I’ll Never Break Your Heart, Brian quickly took Zara backstage again, meeting Drew halfway. When he took her again and proceeded to take her back to the balcony in secret, Brian rejoined the boys and finished the concert with them.
“That man is trouble with a capital T,” Kathryn informed Ava, kissing her friend on the forehead. “No one is supposed to know you’re out here, and he simply can’t help himself” she added and Ava laughed tearfully and rubbed at her eyes. “It’s is very clear that he loves you honey, you are beginning to see that right?” she asked and Ava nodded and rested her head against Kathryn’s shoulder as she continued to watch the show. They did Shining Star, How Did I Fall In Love With You, Time, Everybody, All I Have To Give, The Answer To Our Life, Get Another Boyfriend, and Shape Of My Heart, which AJ made sure to catch Tierja’s eyes during, putting her in tears next and then ended the show with The Call.
Drake, Drew, Mike, and Stefan waited until most of the crowd had exited the building completely before sneaking the women and children backstage again. When they got back there Ava gave her brother a brief hug and a kiss on the cheek and told him she loves him, before immediately moving onto Nick who hadn’t even completely changed out of his sweaty concert clothes yet. He was standing there looking absolutely sexy in nothing but a pair of jeans. He slid his arms around her waist and pulled her into a hug with their daughter sandwiched between them the both of them slid their arms around him, Ava’s around his neck while she buried her face in it.
“I thought you’d be in the shower getting ready for your after party by now.”
“I wanted to see my girls before you left,” Nick insisted gently and he kissed her forehead affectionately. “Did you like the show?”
“How could I not? Not only did all five of you put on a really great show, but you couldn’t have made it anymore special tonight” She spoke softly in his ear and he grinned and hugged her a little bit closer.
“You are special. Are you sure you want to head back to the hotel? Haven’t we spent enough time apart today?”
“I don’t think the after party scene is appropriate for a four year old, babe. Maybe I will attend one another night, but I want to go back and rest this time” She told him and she looked up into his eyes, silently promising him that she will be giving him an After Party for two once their daughter is asleep later. He gave her a small loving smile and brushed his lips lightly over hers.
“I will see you later tonight then. I love you,” He told her and he hugged her one more time before taking his daughter from her and hugging her next. He had a quick conversation with her about the show before kissing her cheek and handing her back and he watched as Stefan, Demyan, and Drake escorted his two girls out to the trusted ride that Drake arranged for them to take back to the hotel.