When morning arrived and Mitch was alone in his bunk with a splitting headache, he welcomed it. Being dumb the night before earned him this, and although Louis’ bedside manner was pleasant, he lacked caretaker experience. Neither water nor asprin were provided, and it left Mitch with a nice cross to carry. At the very least, he could better sell the food poisoning lie.
There were several texts awaiting him as well: Jodie checked in, Darius reported that he and Basil would be arriving together in the next hour or so, and there was something from Avi. Mitch didn’t bother to read the latter, and opted to only respond to Jodie’s message, letting her know that he survived the night.
As Mitch battled a mild hangover while racing through soundcheck on an empty stomach, he couldn’t shake the bad vibes that plagued him. He had a hunch that encountering Avi was unavoidable, especially when he wanted nothing to do with him. And when Avi did arrive as predicted, he came armed with a coffee and a greasy brown paper bag. Mitch eyed him from his peripheral vision without offering a greeting, both curious as to why he didn’t sip from the cup while silently praying that something wasn’t about to happen.
“Got these for you,” Avi finally approached after hovering around in the background for a short while, as if he waited to be acknowledged that entire time and finally gave up.
“Thanks,” Mitch mumbled, his eyes fixed on his pink guitar since he was physically incapable of eye contact. He didn’t reach out to accept them, so Avi set the bag and the cup down on the shoddily constructed stage that Mitch perched on the edge of.
“I’ll leave these here?” Avi suggested, and Mitch nodded sharply.
“Great, yeah. Thanks.”
“Uh, I also-” clearing his throat, Avi continued with, “I have the wig that-“
“Don’t worry about it.” That got Mitch to look up. He was ready to snap that he was busy until he spotted Avi’s smile falter. It put his heart into a vice, and he relented. “I’ll grab it later,” he said softly, then dug through the bag as a truce. Pulling out a garlic bagel -his absolute favorite- he silently cursed while moving the wax paper out of the way to take a small bite. It was a little cold, but still good. He didn’t have the first clue as to where Avi even managed to obtain it since the closest place that made them was over in Wickburg, and it would be insane to go all that way for just a bagel.
“So…Jodie said your band’s gonna be playing?” Aw fuck, they were still conversing. How did Avi not get the hint that he wanted to be left alone?
“Yup. I’m going to do my best to not embarrass them.” Mitch plucked at a few strings, then continued to discreetly fidget by continuing to tune the strings.
“You won’t,” snorted Avi. “You’re too good.”
“You’re very sweet to say that,” sighed Mitch, needing to take a break due to how his heart palpated out of control. He also needed to be alone so that he didn’t say anything he’d regret later. “Mind if I ask you to scram so that I can focus?”
“Oh! Of course, I’m sorry.” With his head ducked in embarrassment, Avi at last took his leave. Although Mitch swore that he wouldn’t watch, his eyes never left Avi’s backside.
The night before had no significance. Neither did the very specific bagel at his side, despite the amount of times that he put over that bakery in the past.
Appetite thoroughly killed, he left the breakfast offering alone and did his best to ignore playful comments about how it was too early in the day to be tinkering with the sound equipment. “I’m a professional!” he eventually snapped with far more tension in his voice and body than intended, but it seemed to be the trick to keep everyone away from him for the time being.
He needed a goddamn cigarette.