Best Thing In Town, chapter 1

And so it was that touring was complete. No more dates on the roster, no more venues or hotel rooms. No more hectic schedule for a while. But being a trio who required some form of chaos in their lives, be it organized or spontaneous, Green Day would find some way to keep themselves busy in their down time. There was always the ever popular option to go to a party or see some unheard of band play in the Bay area. Hell, they could even go across the country to see a band play at CBGB and spend the night at a fan's house. Fifteen years into their careers -- 10 years of it in fame -- and they still enjoyed crashing at a fan's house from time to time. And of course there was their children. Billie Joe's boys Joey and Jakob, Tre's Ramona and Frankito, and Mike's little hero, his daughter Estelle.

The plane ride back from the UK was almost over. They'd be landing at JFK International Airport in about a half hour according to the captain. Unfortunately they'd have an hour layover until they could catch their next flight to the San Francisco International Airport.

Billie Joe sat to the right of Mike, listening to his iPod with his eyes closed. The bassist wasn't exactly sure whether or not his friend was asleep or not, but Tre, however, was a different story. He knew Tre was asleep because the drummer had his head leaning on Mike's shoulder, mouth open, and snoring subtly yet annoyingly. Mike tipped his head back. He wanted to get up and walk around, but he didn't have to use the bathroom. Then again, he could use that as an excuse to get Tre the fuck off of him.

Shrugging his shoulder, Mike pushed Tre in the opposite direction; the drummer stirring awake with a jolt and looking at Mike as he wiped his mouth. "Did we land?"

"No. I gotta piss," Mike replied as he stood up. "Move your leg."

Tre swiveled his legs to the side as much as he could as Mike brushed by and stepped out into the aisle. Heading toward the bathroom, he noticed one passenger that sat in first class with him and the guys looked up at him and smiled, acknowledging the fact that they knew who he was. He smiled back. Within a few seconds he reached the bathroom only to find a young woman stepping through the class dividing curtain to wait outside the bathroom just as he did.

She looked up at him and smiled and looked at the bathroom door that held and occupied sign. She groaned. "I think everyone decided to use the bathroom at the same moment," she muttered.

"Why's that?" he asked, noticing that, although the flight they were on had headed out of the UK, her accent was American.

"All the bathrooms back in Economy class are full. The flight attendant said I could use this one. But you're clearly a First class passenger, so I suppose you have first dibs," she smiled goofily at him.

"Naw, that's okay. I really don't have to go. I just needed an excuse to get up and get the circulation flowing in my legs. They were kinda falling asleep."

A moment of silence fell over them as their attention fell back on the door.

"Damn. I wonder if they fell in," Mike commented, gesturing to the door.

The woman laughed. "Probably. God, I hope it doesn't smell," she added in a whisper.

Sure enough, the OCCUPIED signed switched over to VACANT and an overweight, middle aged man stepped out, grumbling about this or that and pushing past both Mike and the woman, staggering back to his seat behind Tre, ironically. And the smell that wafted out was enough to kill a thousand bulls in three seconds flat.

Mike just started laughing and took a step back, touching her arm. "Ladies first."

"Uh...no...I insist," she laughed as well, shaking her head. "I think I'm just gonna go back to Economy and see if the other bathrooms are open now."

"Sounds like a plan. I mean, like I said, I didn't really have to go in the first place."

"Okay...uh, see ya..." Pushing the curtain out of her way, the young woman disappeared back toward her end of the plane and Mike turned around and headed for his seat, but not before looking down at the man that came out of the bathroom. "Ever hear of a courtesy flush, man?"

Taking his seat once again, the captain came over the PA and announced that they'd be landing at JFK in about ten minutes. Billie Joe had turned off his iPod and was sitting up straight but Tre was back to being out cold.

Mike just waited for the plane's descent.


* * *

The plane touched down without any problem and the guys were led off the plane first along with the others in First class. They headed to the VIP waiting room until their next flight departed. But, again, Mike grew antsy. He didn't feel like sitting around. And Billie Joe didn't seem to either. Tre was the only one who seemed to opt for sitting still, which, in itself, was a rarity. Tre decided to stay in the lounge talking to his daughter Ramona on his cell phone while Mike and Billie Joe slipped out and headed for the closest bar or restaurant in the massive airport.

Billie Joe, the more noticeable member of their band, had put on a maroon baseball cap that he lowered over his eyes as they walked side by side.

"I can't wait to get home," he muttered.

"Same here," Mike agreed. "Though you gotta admit; never a dull moment on the road with us."

Billie Joe grinned and chuckled at that. "Damn straight."

They reached the closest bar and slinked up the bartender as discreetly as possible, ordering a glass of vodka and tonic each. They turned around so that their backs leaned up against the bar counter as they watched everyone inside interacting with each other or watching sports on the TVs that were suspended from the ceiling on opposite sides of the establishment. The two string players got talking about this and that when Mike's eyes wandered over toward the other end of the bar where a young woman with light brown hair sat hunched over some sort of mixed drink.

"Hey, I'll be right back," he muttered to Billie Joe. His friend said okay and watched after him as Mike walked up to the woman. "Long time, no see."

She looked up. "Poor Circulation Guy," she smiled when she remembered him.

"Economy Class," he remarked, gesturing to her with his glass.

She tilted her head a smiled again with her lips pressed firmly together. "Yeah..."

He smiled back and then found the silence that fell over them a little awkward. So he sat down in the empty stool beside her and tried to make conversation. "So, um, I'm Mike." He offered his free hand in hopes that a simple shake would be okay.

She took his hand in hers and shook it lightly. "Audrey."

"Pretty name."

"I guess so..."

Mike nodded. Shit. Ackward silence again. Say something, SAY SOMETHING! "So...do you have a layover, too?"

"Yeah. And I hate it. I just wanna get home."

"Where's home? If you don't mind me asking, that is."

"Buffalo. You?"

"Oakland."

"I thought you were a bit of a West Coast boy," she winked. "I mean, you're tan, for one."

He smirked and took note of her drink being almost gone as he bit his lip before adjusting how he was sitting on the stool. "Could I buy you another drink?"

"No, I'm fine, thanks."

He looked down at his own glass and saw that it was nearing empty so he flagged down the bartender to refill his glass when Billie Joe walked over and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Mike, I'm gonna head back to the lounge. I can't get reception in here with my cell."

Mike bobbed his head in a nod. "Alright, I'll see ya in a bit." He looked over his shoulder, watching Billie Joe tipping his hat once again as he ducked out of the bar. When he turned his attention back to where Audrey was sitting he couldn't find her anywhere. Her stool was empty, her drink glass was left on the counter and a white napkin with a water ring around it.

Mike sighed, and turned on his stool, stood up and paid his tab. Giving the bartender a smile, he tapped the counter with the palm of his hand and left the bar, heading for the VIP lounge, wondering what happened to Audrey.
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