Part 2

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Matty throws himself into touring, his performances on stage getting wilder with every stop. The band announce Part 02 of the At Their Very Best tour, and the schedule is unrelenting. Jack joins them for a few dates with the Bleachers band, and they record on the road, Matty's head a mess of lyrics and compositions.

His mother calls him every day after he reveals that Brittany left him. She questions what happened, and he gives her a line about touring and dating being "too hard". She doesn't believe him but doesn't push him further for the real answer.

(He's still not ready to admit his part in the downfall of his relationship with Britt. She left him, and its easier for her to be the villain in his narrative now.)

William returned as their driver for the USA stint, and their little tour family is reunited. Almost. The older man was visibly disappointed when he's introduced to their new Executive Tour Assistant, Ethan.

Matty supposes the guy was cool enough, jamming with them sometimes on the bus and singing along in the wrong key. Sometimes, when he lays in his bunk at night, he forgets that it isn't Britt typing away in the front booth. Or when he gets up in the morning, he forgets Ethan drinks coffee and mindlessly makes him a cup of tea with one sugar and a splash of milk.

He wonders how long it'll take before he forgets all the little things that remind him of her.

"Don't fall in love with this one," Ross jokes when Matty's caught staring towards the front booth again.

~~~

Britt spends the next few months touring Latin America with Taylor until she breaks for Christmas in December. Jamie tells her he's had glowing reviews from everyone he's spoken to. He even manages a pay raise for her next contract, the UK/Europe leg, and now she's making more money than she knows what to do with (not that she has the time to actually spend any of it).

For now she's got a month off and is heading back to the UK to apartment hunt. She'd never bothered looking for somewhere to live when she'd started at Dirty Hit, staying in a hotel during the few weeks leading up to the beginning of the At Their Very Best tour. During the long breaks, Britt had stayed at Matty's house with him or driving down to Cheshire. She supposes the UK wasn't really her home then, but neither was Australia. She floated in limbo, anchorless.

The first few days she spent in her hotel bed, catching up on sleep and recovering from the grueling hours of tour and international travel. The weight of her breakup with Matty had begun to rear its ugly head. No longer having any work to keep her mind occupied, she saw his face in every head of curly hair on the street and his brown eyes flashed in her mind with every puff of a cigarette in the pub.

Frustration mounted knowing he still hadn't activated his social accounts and that she couldn't stalk his profile to see what he was doing. George had dropped his name in conversation when they'd spoken on the phone, talking about the band recording bits of the new album with Jack in New York, but that didn't bring any satisfaction. Though, she wasn't sure anything she found out would.

She meets Charli in Soho when she's back across the pond. They wrap themselves in winter coats and wander around London, weighed down with shopping bags. Christmas lights sparkle in the streets, and the sidewalks are slippery with snow that melts as soon as it hits the ground.

Charli offers her one of the spare rooms in her flat after Britt described the horrors of the rental market. Since the end of covid, Charli wasn't around enough to maintain it, having booked back-to-back gigs across most weekends.

"I'd rather you be there to water my plants and get my mail and whatever over a service," Charli said over lunch. "You'd honestly be doing me a favor."

They'd clinked their glasses together, and Britt offered to move in that weekend.

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