61 - Reunited: Day One Hundred Twenty

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After their day off, the tour schedule was back in full swing. The mornings were filled with interviews and photoshoots with the big performances taking place most evenings. They were back to playing the large venues with Melanie fully comfortable performing in front of large audiences. Simon and Sam had spent weeks scheduling performances the venues that had been canceled following the accident, which ended up extending the tour by a few months. The tour was originally meant to be over in mid-November, but there were so many venues that needed to be rebooked and neither of the bands wanted to disappoint the fans, that the plan was to continue until mid-December, go home for Christmas, then reconvene in January to finish the tour.

It was still obvious Melanie didn't enjoy doing the interviews for the most part. She tended not to participate much unless prompted, but she went along without complaining. She'd gotten used to lip syncing performances for certain show, singing along regardless of whether her mic was turned on or not. Her personality and behaviours were very much the same as how she used to be. There were times when her friends almost couldn't tell the difference from how she was before. Apart from not knowing anything about her life before and a few little quirks that popped up from time to time, Melanie was herself again.

After a quick lunch break, the boys and the girls were gathered into a hotel room where a backdrop and lights had been set up. A few different media outlets had been scheduled to interview the two bands in thirty minute segments. The first on the list was the Sun with Andy Coulson. After being denied the interview he really wanted, he'd bargained with Simon to get another one with the guarantee Melanie would be in attendance.

The musicians were herded into the room where Andy was sitting and eagerly waiting their arrival. The moment Melanie realized who was in the room, she slowed her pace and hung back from the group. She was immediately on her guard as she watched him greet her friends. Everything about him seemed fake and forced. He came off too eager and aggressive and her instincts were telling her to stay away from him, similar to the feelings she'd had with Tod.

She quickly tried to think of how she could get out of doing the interview with him and she turned back to Simon.

"Simon, I don't feel good," she whimpered. Simon looked from Coulson to Melanie and nodded. She had done the same thing a few times over the past week. When she would get tired of doing interviews, she would pretend to be ill so she wouldn't have to do them, then would miraculously be feeling well enough to perform afterwards. He hadn't caught on right away, not until about the third time she had done it. Not wanting her new tactic to become a habit, Simon had devised a plan for when she tried it again.

"Ok," he said softly. "You and I will head over to the hospital to make sure nothing's wrong. I'll have the girls cover for you." He was certain she wouldn't be up for a hospital visit, knowing she would then be caught in a lie. She stiffened and she looked at Simon anxiously.

"I don't need to see a doctor," she replied softly. "I think I just need to go lay down for a bit."

"No, you've been feeling off for a few days now. I want to get it checked out," said Simon, pretending to look through his phone for a hospital to take her to. "If it keeps happening, then there must be something going on and we shouldn't leave it to get worse."

Melanie's body drooped and she looked back at Coulson who was watching her expectantly.

"Simon," she whimpered. "We don't need to go to hospital."

"Why don't you do this interview and we'll see how you're feeling afterwards?" Simon suggested. "If you're still feeling poorly, you and I will go. Maybe if you give it a few minutes, you'll start feeling better." Melanie looked at him, silently pleading with him to let her off the hook, but he wasn't going to give in. He knew in this case she was worried about Coulson after their last encounter. He wrapped his arm around her and slowly guided her toward the set. "Think of it like pulling off a plaster," he whispered. "Do it quick and it'll be over with." He placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her forward toward Coulson.

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