Mike isn't even stoned or drunk, so he really has no excuse to be watching JONAS with Bill and Gabe.
He's not even really sure why they're watching it, considering that Bill and Gabe are sort of aimlessly making out, and really, this is like when Mary Ann McLuskey would come babysit him and her boyfriend would come over maybe five minutes after his mom was gone.
That being said, he has no idea where the remote is and this isn't the worst thing he's ever watched. (That dubious distinction goes to Ryan Ross and Brendon Urie playing gay chicken.)
Because really, he can take or leave the rest of it- leave- but the sister is pretty hot.
Apparently it's a fucking marathon or something, and the summation of four hours worth of his life is that Katie Jonas needs to ditch her little brothers and go into the hotpants business.
Mike is pretty sure that's the end of that- they're still on tour, everyone knows weird shit happens on tour, and no one counts that shit against you. He's pretty settled in that until he finds the Tiger Beat in his bunk.
10 THINGS KATIE JONAS CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT is one of the terrible all-caps hooks on the cover- along with JOE AND NICK TALK ABOUT GIRLS and DEMI'S DREAM DATE- and-
And one of the motherfuckers he's in a band with has written in silver sharpie: MIKEY CARDEN~ <3.
Just under the LIVE WITHOUT.
Mike considers it a sign of personal growth that there are only three twitter updates on SHITCARDENSAYS stemming out of the resulting beatings.
SHITCARDENSAYS: fuck you guys i don't read tiger beat
SHITCARDENSAYS: fuck off about goddamn jonas
SHITCARDENSAYS: ill kick everyones ass in this room
It's more or less forgotten until the VMAs- when Bill- fucking Bill- appears at Mike's elbow and goes, "Michael, I've mentioned Demi to you before, haven't I? Oh, and this is her bosom companion, Miss Katherine Jonas."
And there she is.
She's taller than he thought she'd be, although that could be the insane heels she has on, but she's just as pretty as she is in tv, dark, flat-ironed hair, pink cheeks and hazel eyes. Mike's obscurely pleased that her scarf is appalling, though, because it gives him something positive to focus on.
"Hi," she says nervously, and seriously, Mike's watched her get shot in the face with a nerf dart by a ten year old, he cannot be actually concerned about talking to her. She can't focus when there are baby animals around, for god's sake.
"Hey," Mike manages. Bill beams at him like Mike is saving mankind by talking to Katie Jonas.
"William said you were a fan of the show?" Katie squeaks after a long moment. Mike wonders if he can pay some kid on the internet to make a website accusing Bill of being a child pornographer.
"I've seen it a couple of times," Mike admits and Katie's bright grin fades, just a little.
"Oh, thanks," Katie says slowly, her eyes darting slightly back and forth, like she's looking for escape routes, which is when both of them realize Demi and Bill are nowhere to be seen. Between Bill not being there, and Mike's complete inability to filter, he finds himself saying,
"Your brother's cooler, though," and Katie slaps this ridiculous smile on, fake as hell.
"Oh, well, yeah, Joe's always been-" Katie starts and Mike snorts, loudly. Katie breaks off, puzzled.
"Not Joe, Frankie," Mike explains, because that kid is such a little shit in the making. Katie bursts out laughing, and jesus christ, it's like puppies are sliding down rainbows, what the fuck.
"Frankie got all the coolness," Katie confesses, leaning in close, like she's telling a secret. Mike finds out that she smells like bubble gum.
Mike- jesus fuck- wants to just sort of lean into her, but one of her ladybrothers shows up and looks constipated at him. After a long moment, Mike realizes he's attempting to be menacing.
"Katie, we've got to get backstage," On further contemplation, Mike supposes this one's Nick- he takes Katie by the elbow. Katie smiles at Mike, blinding white and Mike wonders when he turned 15 again, because he sort of wants to pass her a note asking her to go steady with him.
"It was nice to meet you, Mike," and it should sound fake, but Katie looks like she means it, like she's glad Bill abused his vague connection to Demi Lovato to introduce them. Mike is too, but he's never fucking telling Bill that.
Nick drags her off, but she turns around too look back- and waves at him.
"Jesus fucking christ," Mike mutters, and- typically- Bill appears back at his elbow.
"So you don't want her number?" Bill asks sweetly.
"Fuck," Mike says fervently, but passes his phone to Bill.
Mike sort of thinks that'll be the end of that- it's not- he's not going to call her. But there's a stupid sort of thrill when he scrolls past Jonas in his phone and-
Hi, it's Katie
Uh, Demi gave me your number, I hope that's okay :)
Mike's sort of frozen for a moment.
as long as she doesn't give it to nick he texts back.
He sees her giggling on the Jumbotron and that's- that's pretty good.
Mike's still more than a little bemused about the whole thing, but he gets a picture the next morning- Nick, asleep on a couch, drooling, with MORON written across his forehead in raspberry pink lipgloss.
To tweet or not to tweet! Katie sends.
you mean to sell to tmz or not to selll to tmz. he writes back.
Mike doesn't realize he's smiling until Chiz narrows his eyes at him.
The fact that that doesn't turn him off is a really bad sign.
The merciless shit giving starts early.
Bill drapes himself over Mike, clinging like an octopus with separation anxiety.
"Michael, how is your lady love, the beautiful Katherine?" Bill purrs at him. Mike shoves him off his lap.
The Butcher slips him a piece of paper across lounge table.
Mike raises an eyebrow at him- it's-
It's a heart with an arrow through it, with a banner across it reading "KATIE".
"Think about it," Butcher says wisely. Mike crumples it up and nearly makes him eat it, but Sisky sneaks up on him and catches him in a sleeperhold.
"I drew that for you with love," the Butcher says mournfully.
Mike seriously contemplates calling fucking Crawford and thinking up the meanest prank he can manage by himself.
Sometimes I really wish I wasn't touring with my brothers >:( Katie sends him, later that afternoon, while Mike is still contemplating giving them all food poisoning.
sometimes i wish i could kill my bandmates Mike sends back, but it's a little harder to maintain his 'Jesus Christ, Carden, you look like a mass-murderer' face.
That's sort of what I mean... Katie texts him immediately, and Mike is surprised enough that he laughs, loud and surprised.
Katie's actually cool.
Okay, that's a huge fucking lie- she tweets about like, baking cookies, videos of puppies falling over, and uses correct capitalization and grammar in her texts- Katie is emphatically not cool. But she's pretty upfront about it and that's cool enough.
Mike's getting offstage when his phone starts ringing.
"Is this a bad time?" Katie asks, and it's loud but he can hear a weird shake to her voice, and Mike bolts back to one of the weird, creepy hallways in the venue.
"Are you okay?" Mike demands and Katie takes a deep, uneven breath.
"Yeah, yeah. It was just a weird day." Katie says, and to her credit, she sounds a little more steady. But Mike's willing to bet that's bullshit.
"Katie," Mike tries, because she hasn't sounded this upset since that time she didn't sleep for two days and then watched a NatGeo special about deep water fishing.
"I broke up with my fiancee," Katie blurts out, and she sounds like she's trying not to cry and what the fuck.
"What happened?" Mike says, because "I didn't even know you had a fiancee" probably isn't the right thing to say, and only sort of because Mike is really selfishly happy she doesn't, not any more.
"Daniel is great, he, I just- everything was happening really fast and I couldn't, Mike, I couldn't," she sobs out. Mike presses the heel of his hand to his forehead. Jesus fucking Christ. Bill appears at the end of the hall, but- and for all that Bill is a godless motherfucker when he wants to be, Bill just nods and walks away.
"Katie, I'm-" Mike chokes on 'sorry'. "That blows."
"And Joe and Nick won't stop watching me, I had to lock myself in the bathroom, and oh my God, how am I going to tell my parents?" Katie's voice catches and Mike has never felt so completely useless before.
"Your parents love you, they won't care," Mike tries, and Katie sobs even harder- terrible, body-shaking gasps.
"Mike, what am I going to say?" Katie whispers. Mike wants to swear under his breath, but where Katie normally tsks, but with this quiet huff, like she wants to laugh, she wouldn't laugh now. "What am I going to tell everyone?"
"Screw them," he says viciously. "It's your business. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise." Katie takes a stuttering breath.
"But-" Katie starts. Mike shakes his head, suddenly angry.
"I get that you'll have to tell your parents. But they want you to do what will make you happiest. And if that means not marrying Daniel, that's that. Nick and Joe are worried about you, not about anything else. Don't worry about what anyone else has to say." Mike tells her, and holy crap, that might be the most sentences he's ever said to her at one time.
"You're right," Katie finally says, with a brave little sniff, audibly collecting herself.
"Of course I am, Jonas," Mike agrees, snorting just a little. "You're going to be fine. And in the meantime, maybe watch the Puppy Bowl from last year." Katie makes this weird little hiccup that sounds like it might have tried to be a laugh.
"I don't know what I'd do without you, Mike," she says and it's painfully sincere and Mike can't breathe for a moment. "I couldn't talk to anyone else."
"Yeah, well," he manages, feeling sort of elated and shitty at the same time.
"I've got to go call my parents," she says, already sounding a little more muted and Mike realizes she called him before she called her parents. "Thank you, though. Really."
"Any time," Mike finds himself saying, and he really means it.
He's so, so fucked.
Mike's still sort of of dazed by the realization that's he's totally in love with Katie Jonas when he wanders out of the hall to find Bill waiting for him, a respectable, un-eavesdroppable distance away.
"Is she alright?" Bill asks, unusually somber, and Mike's not even going to ask how Bill knew he was talking to Katie.
"She just broke up with her fiancee," Mike admits. Bill frowns.
"But I thought you were dating," Bill says, honestly confused and Mike just buries his face in his hands.
"Ass," he mutters, with extreme feeling and prejudice. "This is totally ass."
He programs a Google Alert for "Katie Jonas" and his email blows up over the next 24 hours as the news hits.
At least only twenty percent of it suggests that Katie's sleeping with someone else and possibly pregnant with their love child, but he doesn't really think that's going to make her feel any better.
He's somewhere driving across Minnesota, and he checks the timezone to make sure it's not too early before he texts her.
you holding up he sends, belatedly figuring he should have put a question mark in there somehow.
He bites at his thumbnail almost the entirety of the ten minutes before he gets a response, and the rest of the time he spitefully puts cigarette butts in Bill's half-empty coffee cup.
It could be worse, right? Like in an alternate universe where MTV news is streamed directly into your brain?
Mike snorts, oddly relieved.
i'm pretty sure that thats this universe theyre assholes Mike texts back quickly.
At least no one's suggested it's because I'm sleeping with Justin Bieber Katie sends and before Mike can even formulate an answer to that, he gets his mom would kill me
Mike laughs out loud and he thinks she'll be just fine.
"I'm thinking about moving out," Katie tells him, about a week after the news hits, the story totally eclipsed by one of the teen moms attempting to bleach their baby's teeth or something. "Getting an apartment of my own."
"Yeah?" Mike asks, because he's pretty sure Katie's never lived on her own, ever. He's not sure she'd be suited to it. She actually likes her brothers and her family being too close for comfort, 98% of the time.
"You don't think I should?" she asks, tentative and weirdly deferential and Mike snorts.
"I'm just thinking about whether you'll get those tour bunks put in, instead of a bed," Mike blurts out and he really tries to avoid letting Katie know how well he apparently absorbed the stupid tv show she was on, but he's sort of terrible at it. But Katie just laughs, like it's the greatest and Mike feels equal parts idiotic and vindicated.
"Mike, you don't even know," she says, still laughing. "They were so uncomfortable, they were worse than actual tour bunks. The worst was the Halloween episode when Chelsea and Joe and I were all crammed in one of them- Joe kept poking Chelsea and they kept ruining takes and I wanted to die."
So he looks at a bunch of apartments in LA listed on Craigslist that Katie sends with comments like "NICE FLOORS" and "BUT NO DOGS?!???!!". He has no idea what Katie is doing, trawling Craigslist, because the moment her parents and Big Rob realize she's intending to flee the nest, they're going to find a real estate agent and a lawyer or something, but he thinks Katie's dipping her toes in the waters of being a fuckup twentysomething, and Craigslist is a start, always.
MIKE MIKE I FOUND IT IT'S LIKE A *SECRET GARDEN* flashes up on his phone at 1 am and Mike hipchecks Chizzy out of the way to get back into the bunks and his computer, all the while wondering what the fuck he's doing.
It's a spectacularly ridiculous hipster cottage in Silverlake and Mike is in so over his head, but he just texts back the backyard looks like jurassic park
MICHAEL INSERT MIDDLE NAME CARDEN IF THERE ARE DINOSAURS THAT'S A SIGNING BONUS
There are four dates left on tour- winding them back toward Chicago, toward home, another week on the road, and Mike has never felt so antsy in his life. Bill is saccharine sweet around him, which mostly just makes Mike want to punch him in the kidney, but they're doing sound check somewhere in Pennsylvania and Sisky looks at him thoughtfully, eventually slumping down to the ground.
"I'm just saying, bro. I'm pretty sure if you breath on her wrong, you have to marry her." Sisky says, staying just out of throttling range.
"She doesn't want to get married," Mike says, reflexive and that's not what he'd meant to say, at all. Sisky just screws his face up at Mike in a mockery of thoughtfulness and doesn't say anything else. Mike wonders what is it about Katie that turns him into this soft touch marshmallow who doesn't delete her texts.
Victory is mine- but there are no dinosaurs yet, I feel like you raised my hopes Katie texts him, still gleeful beyond reason about her- jesus- house. She's been texting him all sorts of photos- mostly Nick and Joe staggering under the weight of her couch, which is both endearing and baffling, because they could afford to hire movers, or Mike's pretty sure that, as top tier Disney stars, they can make the Mousketeers or something do it.
When they wrap up in Chicago, Mike sleeps for practically a day straight, goes to the laundromat and sort of wonders what he's still doing here.
it's so quiet Katie sends and Mike can't figure out if that's good or bad, so instead he buys a plane ticket and takes a cab to Silverlake before he can talk himself out of it.
From the street, the cottage is all sub-tropical greenery, and Mike thinks it would be ridiculous to stop now, so he climbs the slightly uneven staircase up to the garden gate door that looks just like the slightly blurry phone pic Katie sent him two weeks ago.
He knocks on the door, and he has no idea what's about to happen.
"Hold on, two seconds," Katie calls from somewhere inside, and there's a soft click and then the door opens.
Mike is rendered completely and utterly speechless.
Katie is shower damp and warm looking, cheeks flushed even more pink, wearing just a pair of boxers and a tank top. But her hair isn't perfectly straight, it's riotously curly and trailing over her shoulders and she's blinking at him in confusion.
"I thought you were in Chicago," Katie says, her head cocked to the side, and Mike's probably about to blow everything, but jesus christ.
"I'm not," he says. "I'm going to kiss you." Katie sucks in this deep breath and leans in just a fraction of a inch and Mike's slipping a hand into her hair and kissing her. Katie is soft and pliant under his hands, surprised murmurs and mumbled pleased noises that make Mike want to kiss her until they pass out.
"Mike, Mike," Katie moans- fucking moans- into his mouth and he seriously can't handle this. He breaks away, just enough so he can look at her- she's beaming at him.
"I've wanted you to kiss me for forever," she tells him, tucking her fingers under the strap of the duffel he forgot he was carrying. "What took you so long?" Mike stares at her for a moment, because he's never been so totally right about something this important.
"Well, we haven't been in the same state for more than two hours since we met," Mike suggests. Katie rolls her eyes, but then pauses and gives him this thoughtful look.
"You've been keeping track of where we're on tour," Katie says slowly, and there's something happy curled in her tone and she's biting at her lower lip like she's trying not to smile. Mike resists the urge to slap at his forehead, because he's an obvious insane stalker.
"You kinda like me," she accuses him, but she's smiling so widely that he thinks her face might break.
"I kinda do," he admits, because they're clearly both about four years old.
"Come find dinosaurs in the back yard with me," Katie says finally, taking his hand and dragging him into the house.
He buys her an entire set of plastic dinosaurs and she puts them all through the garden.