a self made ready while we sleep

Spencer is never, ever late. He makes a point of scheduling multiple alarms on his Sidekick so that he will always be where he’s supposed to be on time, barring Ryan’s make-up emergencies or Brendon’s constant game of forgetting things on the bus.

Of course, multiple alarms really only work if you remember to plug your fucking phone in so that it’s charged and won’t die in the middle of the night.

Spencer wakes in his bunk, the muzzy haze of filtered sunlight creeping through the rings on his bunk’s curtain. His hair is falling in his face, and he pushes it out of the way, blinking and trying to figure out why he woke up when his alarm didn’t go off.

The bus is weirdly quiet, devoid of the normal sounds of the guys puttering around the lounge or moaning about getting up, and it feels empty in a way that is unsettling after months of living on top of each other.There’s a faint trace of stale coffee, the Starbucks morning blend that Jon somehow cons every Starbucks manager in every town they stop at into giving him for free. Spencer fumbles around for his Sidekick, and his eyes widen when he sees it’s dark, dead screen. “Fuck,” he mutters under his breath. “Fuck fuck fuck FUCK.”

Of course, as soon as he realizes just how late he probably is, there’s a pounding on the bus’s door and the muffled shout from the security guy sounds distinctly like, “Spencer, get your ass out here!”

“Fuck,” Spencer says again, just for good measure. He nearly falls out of the bunk trying to get untangled from his sheets, and squints blearily while pushing his hair out of his face a-fucking-gain. Someday he’s going to do exactly like he’s threatened to Ryan for the last two years and just buzz all the shit off. Ryan’s horrified little gasp, and ability to use styling products, has kept Spencer from drastic measures so far, but someday he’s going to do it just to see what happens in the blogs.

He opens the door at it has to be, like, noon or something, which means he’s missed the radio interview they were supposed to do at eight a.m., not to mention the lunch meeting with Adam. Soundcheck’s in three hours, and Spencer’s still in one of Jon’s overwashed white t-shirts and stripey pajama bottoms. Jamie, one of their security guys for this leg of the tour, does not look impressed.

“Spencer, you need to be in the conference room like fifteen minutes ago,” Jamie tells Spencer with one eyebrow raised.

“Yeah,” Spencer croaks, clearing his throat. “I kinda get that.” He looks down at himself and sighs. “Gimme five.” Jamie nods and Spencer moves to shut the door, but catches himself and asks, “Where are the other guys?”

If Spencer wasn’t still half-asleep, he would swear Jamie was laughing at him with his eyes. “They’re already there, dude,” Jamie drawls. “They piled out of here at, like, seven in the morning.”

Spencer scowls. “Yeah. Okay. Five minutes.” He shuts the door and pads back to the bunks, shedding his shirt and stepping out of his pants, throwing the useless excuse for technological wonder on his bunk. He grabs the first shirt his hand reaches, and pulls on his jeans from yesterday, which thankfully aren’t too wrinkled and still have his favorite white belt in them. He runs a hand through his hair, giving up on any thought of styling today, and spends a frantic few seconds searching for his shoes, finally abandoning the notion of wearing his favorite DC high tops for a convenient pair of Jon’s flip-flops. Brendon swears up and down that Jon owns ten pairs of the same set of flip-flops, and Spencer thinks that’s probably true because there’s always a couple stuck in random places. If you’re in need of footwear, Jon Walker’s spare flip-flops are your best and most readily available option.

He slides them on and trots back out to the lounge where, thankfully, he had enough sense to put his computer to sleep and shove it in the carrying case; he throws this over his shoulders and looks around frantically for a couple minutes before he spots the Sidekick chargers in the corner, where, if some freaking deity loves him, there will be a spare battery.

Thank fuck, there is one, and he grabs it, tossing it in the computer case before zipping the case up. In one long reach he has his Sidekick in hand, sliding it into his back pocket even though it digs uncomfortably into his ass. He spares a brief second to look in the mirror, groaning a little when he realizes he has on one of Ryan’s fucking t-shirts. He thought it was a little too tight in the chest. Whatever, it’s too late now. He grabs his keys from the former muffin basket they use as a holder, clipping them onto his jeans, and then he’s out the door. As soon as the sun hits him, he realizes he’s forgotten his sunglasses. “Fuck,” he says. Who needs a word-a-day calendar, anyway?

Jamie seems to have brought a friend, and they’re chatting about something Spencer doesn’t catch as he starts walking quickly towards the venue. “Not bad, Spencer,” Jamie says, glancing at his watch. “That was, like, three minutes and forty-five seconds.”

Spencer just grunts in response; usually he tries to be nice, even when things have gone to shit like this morning, but Jamie knows him well enough by now to forgive the before-coffee attitude.

They come into the venue, and Spencer is pushing his hair out of his eyes and wishing desperately for a fucking bobby pin, or even a damn barette, when Jon comes out of the conference room where the lunch meeting is being held. Jon smiles when he sees Spencer, and Spencer tries to resist the urge to shout in his face.

“Sleep well?” Jon asks, travel mug in hand. Spencer unashamedly steals it. “Why didn’t you wake me up?” he says over the rim of the mug, but it comes out more like “Whyntwakep?”

Jon seems to understand, because he throws a companionable arm around Spencer’s shoulders and Spencer just can’t work up the energy to glare. “You looked like you needed the sleep,” Jon says oh-so-reasonably. “You dealt with the last five reporters, Spence, we figured we’d let you sleep on this one.”

“Oh,” Spencer says, straightening a little. “Um. Thanks.”

Jon’s smile is as bright as the noon sun outside as he tugs Spencer into the conference room. “You’re welcome. Hey, there’s more coffee inside, and Adam’s running late, so I think we can even score you a bagel. With schmear!” he says with that little lisp he always gets when he tries to say Yiddish words.

“Okay,” says Spencer, letting himself get dragged along, pushing his hair out of the way again. A small smile curves his face, and he hides in the mug of coffee.