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After All

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", for those of you that don't know us, we're The Altogether. We've been performing as a duo for just a few months now; we started with some covers online and it snowballed to this somehow. I'm Jonah-" You watched, slightly amused, as the scruffy-haired man gestured around his general self, "and this is Brian. We're working on some original songs..." You stopped listening, a smile adorning your face as the last man awkwardly grinned to the crowd. You knew Brian; he was the one that your dad had gotten in contact with about performing at the bar, and you'd been the one to listen to their music and give the final say on whether they would fit the bar's aesthetics and atmosphere. Your dad, bless his heart, was a little outdated in his music taste and very well aware of it, so he often found bands that he thought would be a hit, and then passed them onto you for the "Local Young Adult's Approval," as he liked to call it. As a result, you were quite aware that the slightly anxious young man was basically in charge of PR for the group, and that his closed-off demeanor was quite different from his performances onstage. On stage, he was lit up with energy, excited to be on the other side of the performance and happy to sing his heart out for anyone that would listen.


"In the meantime, we're gonna do a few covers tonight and hope that we get invited back to perform again? Maybe?" Brian's voice flooded your senses, and he looked to you with a joking expression. "I dunno, depends on if the crowd like you!" The trio onstage laughed at your quip, then Jonah started to play on his guitar. After a moment of confusion, you recognised it as the video your father first brought to you; their cover of Fat Lip by Sum 41. You couldn't help but feel nervous, especially since the song was somewhat popular in your area and the cover was so different from the original. You saw that the crowd wasn't quite sure how to react either, but after a verse, a couple of drunk college kids that were pretty regular to the bar got up and started to dance along, making you giggle into your hand as another regular waved you over to order another drink.


Brian, on the other hand, was fucking terrified. He had never performed for a crowd in this setting before, and he was worried that a drunk teenager that had stood up was about to throw her beer at him. When he saw the girl start to sway, he relaxed, realizing that he wasn't in danger of getting hit by a can of alcohol (at least, for now). He tried not to laugh, but when he looked up to the rest of the crowd, his eyes landed on you, hiding your smile in your palm, and he couldn't help but let out a little giggle between lines. He had definitely seen you before (hell, you were the one that had landed him and Jonah the gig), but he never noticed how pretty you looked, but seeing you happy, enjoying yourself as you mixed a drink for an older man at the bar, put the curl of your hair and the slight dimple of your cheek into a whole new light. You looked confident, at ease, in your element, and he found the look to be especially pretty.


The rest of the set passed quickly for you; they performed another cover, and a somewhat silly original song that was quite nice and also pulled more giggles out of you, and then it was over. Some of the crowd stayed for more drinks as the band packed, while others lingered in hopes of talking to the band members, and a few truly wasted folks took a seat by the door while your friend that worked in the kitchen called for a few cabs to take them home. You set down another glass of whiskey, and then Brian approached the bar, holding an instrument case in his hand. "Hey, how'd we do?" You smiled at him, pouring a couple of Styrofoam cups of soda out as you talked. "You did well, I was quite impressed. Some of the regulars looked like they were enjoying themselves, especially that one girl during the first set." You slid the cups over to him, and he set the case down to pull out his wallet. "No, no. It's on me; you boys earned it." He gave you a gracious smile, waving Jonah over to grab a cup as he picked up the case from the floor, other hand reaching for the second drink. "So, in all seriousness, when will we hear about if we get to do another set?" "Probably soon, especially with a performance like that. We don't get a whole lot of shows in here, especially ones that are actually good; usually it's just karaoke or people trying to half-ass the set for a few free drinks." He beamed with pride, and it took everything in you to not comment on how cute he looked. "That's nice to hear, I was quite nervous-"

"Brian, you done over there? We gotta head out soon, I still work tomorrow!" Jonah half-yelled from the door as he left, and Brian gave you an apologetic smile. "I gotta go, sorry-" "It's fine, someone'll be in touch soon about the next show. Have a good night!" He shrugged in goodbye as he left, and you noticed the extra cup that he left on the bar. You sighed, picking it up and taking a sip as the man next to you jokingly teased you about your "crush," and you barely disagreed enough to correct him as you set to work on his next drink.