The tanned man groaned and rolled over, momentarily forgetting in his drowsy state that he was in a bus, lying on a small couch with his head in his boyfriend's lap and rolling over tended to end in, well, the floor.
A massive roar of laughter came up from everyone around; even Jon was cracking a smile when he finally opened his eyes to glare at his supposed friends. CC was down on the ground himself, clutching at the carpet, tears rolling down his cheeks. Ashley swatted him.
"It wasn't that funny!" he snapped.
"Dude," he gasped between choked barking laughs. "Dude, it so was!"
Ashley didn't reply, just made a disgusted noise and looked back up at Andy, who was laughing almost as hard as the drummer, clutching his ribs and hooting.
"I think you re-cracked them!" he managed to force out, before he relapsed, the others joining in even louder than before.
A dark expression came over Ashley's face and he sat back down beside Andy in a huff. Andy managed to regain his composure enough to see that his boyfriend was annoyed, and decided that obviously the best course of action would to be to pout and rest his head on her shoulder. Ashley shot another fierce look down at him. "What?"
"Aww come on, don't be so moody!" Andy exclaimed. "Cheer up grumpy butt!"
Ashley did no such thing. "You shouldn't have laughed! You're my boyfriend, at least act like you care."
"I do care," Andy looked shocked. "I can't help it if I found it funny…"
"What did you want anyway?" Ashley grumbled, not at all mollified.
"Oh you don't want to know now…" Andy looked down, an expression of sheepish amusement colouring his face.
Ashley, worried by this, glanced at the others. Chris was no longer weeping, but he was in no way stable, biting his bottom lip to keep himself from breaking down again. Jake was only slightly more in control, shoulders shaking a little as he tried to steady them by holding onto CC's, grinning like a hyena. Jinxx, older and more sensible, wasn't as bad as those too, but even so he was smirking to himself as though he anticipated something hilarious. Ashley gave the guitarist a suspicious look, which Jinxx just returned with a wider smile, before turning back to Andy, who was now giggling quietly to himself.
"Spit it out Biersack, you guys are starting to worry me," he said slowly.
"Well ok…" Andy turned in his place so he could face his boyfriend directly, placing a very serious expression on his face, which was pointless because it immediately lost its effect due to the fact he had been so obviously amused up until that point. "Ash, I've got to ask…Are you Mexican?"
"What?!" Ashley yelled, both confused and affronted. "No I am not Mex-"
At this point Jake shoved a square mirror between him and Andy. It took a second for him to focus in on it in his surprise but when he did he found that a thick, black, crudely drawn moustache had been painted onto his face while he slept in Andy's lap. His eyes bulged and filled with a fiery anger.
"Uh oh," Jake saw the warning signs and dropped the mirror. "Code red guys! Take evasive action!"
Evasive action consisted of Jake sprinting off the bus, making an action movie leap out of the doors. He was followed next by a far too experienced bus driver, a Jinxx regretting his choices in life and a Jon just glad that Ashley Purdy tantrums were the worse things that happened on this tour bus (they were far less numerous than Andy tantrums, but held far more power); he could only imagine what might be going on in All Time Low's bus right now…
Christian Coma's action plan in this situation was to dive out the window. Luckily it was open (this time).
Andy was left alone with an irate Mr Purdy in a sticky situation. His path to the door was blocked by a red faced man with marker all over his upper lip and cheeks and he did not at all trust himself to be able to get out the window, plus his attempts to fly had never turned out well before.
The bunks were his only hope.
Jumping up, he started to run towards the back of the bus, hoping against hope he could reach the sleeping quarters, which had both a lockable door and a route to second exit, before his doom could catch him. For once his unruly gazelle legs did not fail him and he got to the door, grabbing the handle and turning…and turning…and turning…and shaking and shaking and tugging and kicking and…blast it! It was locked! Who the hell had locked it?!
No time to play the blame game though because suddenly Ashley was on him. Strong hands grabbed him by his hips and threw him to the ground. It wasn't anything new, but there was no tenderness there this time. Andy was shaking with terror and alarm as his petrified baby blues stared up into the terrible honey brown ones. Hot anger was in them as Ashley drew back his right hand…and produced a black sharpie from his back pocket!
Realisation dawned on Andy too late when rage was replaced by joviality in Ashley's whole being as he pinned his boyfriend down, though his attempts at escape were now only half hearted, and uncapped the felt pen.
About ten minutes later the rest of the guys deemed it safe to renter the bus. Jon had gone to talk to the venue manager and the bus driver wasn't as brave as the guitarists and drummer and was therefore was locating the nearest bar so only the three other band members remained. Jinxx entered first, his whole stance of Mission: Impossible level tentativeness, followed closely by his backup of Chris and Jake, who was still incredulously asking "how the fuck did you get through that window?"
It was Jinxx, therefore, who spotted the couple first, and burst out again into peals of laughter. When Chris and Jake peered around him and saw what he had seen, they joined in.
Ashley was still mounting Andy, a wide grin plastered under his fake facial hair. Andy was lying on his back, smiling up at his band mates, now sporting a curling moustache of his own, with a matching goatee under his pouty bottom lip.
Ashley leaned down and pecked at this. "I think you suit the Handlebar and Chin Puff."
Andy grimaced. "I really wish I could say the same for your Winnfield."
"Watch it," Ashley stuck out his tongue.
"Enjoy it while you can ladies," Jinxx shook his head. "That's the most facial hair you'll ever grow."
"Very funny," Andy groaned good-naturedly, smile obvious in his eyes and voice if not on his lips.
"Sound check's about to start," Jake said, gesturing towards the venue. "Are you guys going to shave beforehand?"
"Oh god yes!" Ashley yelled, desperation obvious, dragging Andy towards the bathroom.
"You don't know how much déjà vu I have right now…or maybe you do!" Andy winked.
Ashley locked the door once they were inside and started messing around with soap and facecloths. It was a small bathroom, really not big enough for two people unless one was holed up in the shower. It would've been hard enough to function if Andy were behaving himself, but of course he wasn't, instead he had wrapped his long arms around his boyfriend's waist and they were now snaking their way up his shirt. Ashley slapped the hands away for once, far more concerned with the horror facing him in the mirror. "You pick the worst times to get horny, I swear to god…"
A couple of minutes later though, he realised his little slut of a boyfriend and his little friend weren't the only problem.
"Andy…what did you draw this on with?" he asked slowly.
"Uh…just a marker, why?"
"Because it won't come off."
Genuine surprise settled on Andy's face before being replaced why realisation and shifty guilt. In the mirror, Ashley watched this procession and realised what it meant.
"YOU USED PERMANENT MARKER?!"
"Maybe?" If Andy Biersack had been an emoticon he would've been caret-period-caret-apostrophe. "It was an accident!"
"That doesn't get the freaking moustache off my face!" Ashley screamed, and then buried his head in Andy's chest, the embarrassment to come settling over him. He'd have to go weeks with big black scribbles all over his face. His face! "It's fine for you," he mumbled. "Yours will come off…"
Andy wrapped his baby up in a strong embrace, kissing the top of his head. He felt really bad; he hadn't meant it to be done in permanent ink. He tried to think of a way for him to make this better, even a little bit.
"Ashy…" he said soothingly. "You know your stage make up will cover it up, don't you?"
"What about now though?" Ashley's voice was still muffled by Andy's t-shirt, but an alarming shake was still audible in it. "There's a whole army of fans out there…and people from the venue…and crew and…the other bands…what're they going to think?"
Andy sighed, stroking the soft dark hair, making some strands stick up, tickling his nose. "They'll think we're silly kids messing around. They'll think it's funny. They'll be more worried about me wearing a white t-shirt than out new facial features."
Ashley looked up, warm brown eyes sparkling with the threat of his upset. "Our?"
"How much of a bitch would I be if I let you face the moustache persecutors alone?" Andy laughed. "This baby isn't coming off until yours does. I'll redraw it constantly if I have to. It's ok-it makes me look pretty fucking good." He gazed at himself in the mirror, pretending to stroke his beard and admire it from the best lights.
Ashley giggled and hugged Andy back hard. "Thank you."
Andy didn't reply, just grinned and took a hold of his Ashley's calloused hand in his own soft one and lead him off the bus. The other three were gone; they'd probably already done the crowd circuit and headed in to practise for tonight's gig. Andy opened the bus doors and the two stepped hand in hand into a wave of screams.
The sun blinded them and security hassled them and fans begged them to come over. To the last, they obliged.
The Army members laughed when they saw the faces of the two, but it wasn't cruel, a couple even complimented their styles. It was the joined hands that got the most attention. There was a large cry of "Andley!" from one group of girls and the cry was taken up elsewhere along the queue and a lot of excited people, among the very confused, jostled forward to see what exactly had sparked this reaction. Frenzy was created.
Ashley blushed and bowed his head, fumbling for a pair of sunglasses in his jacket pocket, but Andy trapped his free hand before he could. That perfect smile on those ruby lips calmed him so that when one hand went onto his back and they came forward to meet his own, he did nothing to resist. Pink met red and fireworks seemed to explode all around. A thousand flash photographs were taken at any rate. Ashley's foot even popped up as though he were in some terrible romantic black and white movie. There were dreamy sighs and gasps and screams and wolf whistles all around, but he didn't care. Neither did.
When that perfect kiss was done, sooner than either would've liked but there were minors about, they began to sign things and chat to the fans. Neither really paid attention though, they were floating on a cloud in seventh heaven. They were public now, and it wasn't the big scary thing they'd dreaded. It was fun, it was beautiful and it had been perfect.
As they headed into the venue, Ashley turned to Andy and said "you're fine with being public then?"
"Couldn't be happier! You?"
"Likewise…but…you're not worried about a messy public break up, are you?"
"Of course not," Andy grinned. "If a permanent ink moustache on your face can't break us up I doubt much else stands a chance."