He doesn’t consider himself a good person, really. At least, not in the traditional sense. Don’t get him wrong, Connor doesn’t commit arson or kick puppies or go out of his way to hurt kids’ feelings or whatever. But he’s no saint.
And just because he knew, doesn’t mean his fans did. In front of them he was sweet, calm, kind, and he could shred a guitar. They didn’t need to hear about his personal life, and Connor liked keeping it that way.
As far as anyone knew, the Connor Murphy from high school was dead. He cleaned up his act immediately once he hit the road. Now, very few people remember the angry, lonely kid that punched lockers and shoved anxious stuttering blonds who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Connor finished his set and smiled, brushing his wild brown hair off his slightly sweaty forehead. He stared over the cheering crowd and grabbed hold of the microphone. He gave his usual outro and swung his guitar around, so it rested on his back with a final kiss blown to the audience.
Waiting in the wings, was Jared Kleinman. He was the lead in a rival band, and he also happened to be one of the very few that remembered the real him and detested him for it. Jared’s eyes were icy, and Connor wouldn’t be surprised if he started foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog. Venue owners loved to put their bands after each other, just to cause more tension.
Connor smiled warmly and nodded at Jared as he passed. He knew he and his bandmates did amazing, so there was no need to worry. Jared seemed to be getting held back by his group. “Be careful Jared, you might pop a vein.” Connor commented with a false, sugary voice. Jared dug his teeth into his lip until it bled.
“You–!” Jared’s band was called to the stage and Connor smiled as he watched him get basically dragged away. It was incredibly annoying that they were put on tour at the same time to nearly the same venues, but Connor knew it was for the popularity. For some reason, the internet ate rivalries up. People either favored Connor or Jared exclusively, or they wanted them to date or just simply resolve their problems. Connor’s seen the tabs with fanfiction dedicated to them making up. It was kind of comical really, since people didn’t know just how far their arguments actually went.
“Connor,” A girl took ahold of his arm. She was wearing torn jeans and a black t-shirt that was purposefully bleached. Her name was Andrea, and Connor met her in college. “Don’t tell me you’re going to wait outside to fight Jared again.”
She was also effectively, his second mom.
“Oh, don’t worry. I’m just going to go to the bathroom.” Connor smiled and she didn’t seem convinced. Connor personally wouldn’t be, considering he comes back after every show with bruises and a smirk on his face.
“Be careful.” She repeated, helping collect their equipment. Their group was fairly small compared to some, but Connor liked to think they were close. There was himself as the lead and guitarist, Andrea, the drummer and singer, and Jamie, who dabbled in almost everything. Jamie always looked out of place, considering they don’t like dressing ‘trashy and emo’ like Connor and Andrea do. Jamie tends to wear light colors and sometimes cutesy frilly things, but they also had a talent for being able to scream louder and deeper than anyone Connor’s ever met.
Jamie smiled at Connor as they packed up and Connor returned it, stepping through the back door to wait behind the venue. Jared’s group would finish soon and then he’d be out for blood.
Connor couldn’t imagine Jared had performed perfectly considering Connor decided to give him that last jab before stepping away. He actually wouldn’t be surprised at all if Jared came out and throttled him for fucking with him right before going up.
Of course, that’s exactly what Jared does.
Connor is held against the wall, Jared’s hands on his shoulders, and a murderous look in the shorter man’s eyes. Connor smiled calmly back at him.
“Something the matter?” Connor asked with a grin and Jared scoffed, leaning closer. His glasses were close enough to almost stab Connor in the nose.
“Don’t play dumb, asshole. You know well and good you fucked up my performance.” Connor didn’t like giving Jared props, but when the brunet was relaxed, Jared was actually pretty talented. Not as talented as him obviously, but still enough for Connor to know Jared probably didn’t fuck up as much as he thought.
“Did I?” The cheeky grin Connor gave him got his head slammed against the wall and lips on his.
“You’re such a cunt, I don’t know why everyone likes you so much.” Jared growled against his mouth, lifting Connor’s legs off the floor. This wasn’t an unusual occurrence Connor had to admit. Sometimes they beat the shit out of each other to blow off steam, but most of the time they had weird angry make out sessions.
If their fans knew they’d lose their shit.
“Same goes for you, I don’t know how Evan can stand you.” Jared bit hard on his lip for that one and Connor smirked. Evan Hansen, the aforementioned anxious blond, had been Jared’s number one fan since before Jared got famous. He’s always been there for Jared, and Connor has a feeling that Jared is too much of a pussy to ask him out.
That or he doesn’t want to freak Evan out with fame.
Jared suddenly pulled away, wiping his mouth. “Alright, get lost. I have to help everyone pack up.”
Connor fixed up his clothes, rebuttoning his shirt while Jared checked his hair in his phone camera. Connor readjusted his pants and Jared laughed at him in a cruel mocking way.
“What’s wrong Murphy? Are your skinny jeans feeling a little too tight?”
Connor scoffed, “As if, you suck at kissing.”
Jared rolled his eyes, “Yeah sure, I’m the one that sucks. At least I don’t drool like a fucking dog.”
Connor got off the wall, brushing his hair out of his face. “See you in LA, douchebag.”
Connor made his way into the tour bus and Jamie looked at him knowingly. “Did Jared punch you in the mouth again?” They asked with a teasing glint in their eyes. Connor blushed and scoffed. It certainly felt like a punch since Jared likes to channel his hatred into every kiss.
“Sure, punched, let’s go with that.” Connor got behind the wheel and Andrea sat in the passenger seat after shutting the doors and locking up. Once they left the windows open and that didn’t go terribly well considering fans were always on the lookout for their bus.
“Are you feeling alright?”
Connor turned to Andrea with a slightly forced smile. “Course! Why?” She sighed and pointed at his jeans. Connor bit the inside of his cheek. “I am a grown ass man; I’m allowed to fuck.”
“I’d be completely alright with that if it wasn’t Jared Kleinman that you were fucking. What if this got out, huh? All of Jared’s friends know, what if they told someone?”
It was common knowledge that Connor got along with every member of Jared’s band except the lead himself. In fact, Jamie seemed to be dating one of them, though Connor wasn’t sure which. Maybe it was Christine? The girl was peppy and upbeat like Jamie was, and she also tended to look out of place. It would make sense, but Connor couldn’t remember for the life of him.
“They’re not gonna do jack shit because that would fuck up their image as well.” Connor said, pointedly not looking at her to avoid her eyes. She had the ability to scold Connor with a simple look and Connor wasn’t in the mood for the chill that went down his spine.
“Whatever you say, but if this comes back to bite you in the ass, it’s all on you. I’m not going to answer any interviews on it.” She said definitively taking out her phone to post a story on Instagram. She was very keen on keeping up a social platform, while Connor was the opposite. He didn’t even have a Facebook.
Jamie leaned over his seat and wrapped their arms around Connor’s neck. “Hey, what motel are we staying at this time?” They asked, peering down at the map resting over the brunet’s legs.
“Probably motel 6, but honestly I’m sick of people finding us and trying to stalk our room.” They had to leave early on some trips because of some crazed fans that saw their tour bus parked behind the motel. It wasn’t huge because there were only three of them, and it wasn’t painted or anything like that either, though they could certainly afford it. Connor liked keeping everything lowkey, but that just made people want to find them more.
It honestly kept him awake most nights. Sometimes he worried that he’d get murdered, because it wasn’t that uncommon.
“We could always stop at a different one.” Jamie suggested, yawning through their answer. Connor looked at them and noticed their eyeshadow was smudged.
“I guess.” Connor stopped to check his own makeup and yeah, his eyeliner was more smudged than it was supposed to be, and his lipstick got fucked up from Jared smashing their lips together. It was all smeared across his mouth, and he’s kind of annoyed that no one told him.
“I’ll check online for anything open. I think tonight will be fine though, there weren’t that many people at the show.” Andrea was right, because well, she was always right, but Connor was still paranoid. He couldn’t wait until this tour was over.
He can’t remember the last time he visited home or got a decent night’s sleep. And… that probably wasn’t good for his illness. Nothing bad has happened yet, but he has accidentally skipped his meds a few times.
Andrea finds an open Days Inn and they head inside. It was easy checking in but unpacking and making sure the bus went unnoticed was always the hard part. Andrea and Connor grabbed the bags, and while Jamie went to park the bus, someone across the parking lot met eyes with the taller man.
“No fucking way.” Jared fucking Kleinman was standing there, his own bag in hand with an arm around Evan Hansen’s waist. The rest of his group were gone for some reason, and Connor stared at him in surprise.
“Can’t get enough of me, huh Jared?” Connor taunted, one hand on his hip. Evan looked incredibly nervous, blushing bright red and averting his eyes.
“Oh my god, you think I picked this place because you’re here? I knew you were full of yourself but this is kind of a new level, huh?” Jared scowled and Connor knew he was getting under his skin. Jamie came back with the room key and sighed when they saw Jared and Connor standing far apart and arguing like gun-slingers.
“Whatever, stay the fuck away from me, creep.” Jared turned away and so did Connor, who immediately met the wrath of Jamie Rodriguez.
“Did you have to start shit in the parking lot, Connie? Do you want people to find us?” They asked, hands on their hips. Connor smiled and it fell flat when he saw the dark look in Jamie’s eyes.
“Hey, I didn’t start anything I just– OW” Jamie grabbed Connor by the ear and pulled him to the motel room, key in hand.
Connor glanced over and saw Jared opening the door to the room right next to them. Both men groaned.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”