Disclaimer: I still don’t own Camp Rock in any shape or form and I doubt that I ever will.

AN: So I officially love all of you. You make me smile with your reviews, really you do and I thank you for taking the time out to review. Hope you enjoy this chapter, it’s been one of my favorites to write thus far. And as always, thanks to my lovely beta-angel! I heart you mucho much my dear.

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Shane watched as Mitchie settled herself on the raft, looking at him expectantly and for once Shane wasn’t feeling like he should be on the defensive. Normally when he was around people, especially ones he didn’t know, he put up a wall. He knew that was probably half of what made him a jerk, but he found it necessary because in his experience, most of those people were out to get something. They were either out for information to leak to the tabloids, or they wanted to get in on his fame. He never knew who he could trust, so he got defensive when people asked him personal questions.

Surprisingly with Mitchie, he didn’t feel the defensiveness that usually came out. Surprisingly, for the first time in a long time he felt like he could tell her anything. After all, she’d told him almost everything about her life with very little hesitation and even when she’d paused, she’d let him grill her for the answers. It was hours later from when they’d first gotten here and he felt like he knew her inside out. He knew the basics about her of course, but after hours of questioning he knew more than that. He knew that she loved the color red, that her favorite flowers were pink roses, and that she really did have a reason for being so self conscious.

He felt bad that she was a nobody where she came from because he really did believe that she had talent, and hearing her just randomly strum on the guitar had really confirmed that for him. He knew that she’d done it to cope with a hard question, but it was amazing hearing her do it. Not only could the girl before him sing, write amazing songs, and play piano, she could play guitar as well. That was talent, pure talent and Shane was determined to help her crack her shell. He would get her to sing more, and hopefully help her get some confidence. Before he could even start on that, he supposed that he owed her some answers of her own. After all, he’d put her through the ringer with questions; it was only fair that she get to do the same with him.

“Shane, you alright?” He jumped at the sound of her soft voice cutting into his thoughts. He looked up to find her staring at him, concern flashing across her face and he felt his heart race at the look in her eyes. He didn’t know exactly what was happening between them but he definitely felt something; especially when he’d touched her hand earlier. That had been a moment where he’d actually felt sparks fly between them; he just didn’t know exactly what they represented. All he did know was that she’d definitely felt something too, whatever it was, and it was definitely something. A good something.

“Shane?” Her voice cut through his thoughts again, and this time it sounded more distressed. He looked at her and smiled, trying to calm her down.

“Sorry, got caught up in my thoughts,” he told her softly, and his heart leapt when she smiled and smiled.

“It’s ok, I do that all the time,” she told him and he smiled at the reassurance.

“But let me guess, you still want to get to know me right?” He asked with a grin, thinking that she was adorable when she blushed at the question.

“I’d like to. I mean you know so much about me and I only know about what I read in magazines.” Her blush increased at her confession and he laughed.

“So you’re a fan of the band then?” He asked the one question he’d forgotten to ask her in all of his earlier questioning. It had really just slipped his mind during the music part of his inquiry to get to know her better.

“I thought it was my turn to ask questions,” she grumbled. “But to answer your question-yes I am a fan. Yes, I have Connect 3 songs on my iPod. And I do have a poster of you guys in my room.”

“Oh, really?” he asked. “Why is that? I mean I don’t see the point in posters of celebrities on walls.”

“Because, it’s a way to show support and a way to be close to famous people that you’re never going to meet. And don’t you start feeling all special. You’re poster is on my door. Johnny Depp is right by my bed.” The smugness of her voice had him laughing loudly and soon she was joining him in that laughter. He grinned at the sound of her laughter: it was so melodic, so soft and sweet, making him love it.

“Ok Pop Star,” she said, finally managing to stop her laughter. “How about some answers?” He smiled at the question and nodded, but before he could start telling her anything, he needed something to keep himself occupied, just in case they encountered one of those awkward pauses.

“Sure, but, do you think I can have my guitar back?” he asked softly and she smiled at him and nodded. He loved how he didn’t have to explain it to her, that she just seemed to get that he needed the guitar there as a comfort to him in much the same way she had just done. Mitchie sat up and held the guitar out to him, and Shane took it without another word.

He sighed with relief when it was in his hands and situated comfortably in his lap. He smiled when he felt the warmth of Mitchie’s hands on the wood and pressed his hands to where hers had just been.

“What did you want to know again?” he asked, looking up at her to find her looking at him with a soft smile on her face. “What?” he asked confused as to why she was smiling.

“It’s nothing, you just look so happy when you have the guitar in your hands. And I heard you playing earlier, it was really good. Why don’t you play more in the band?”

“Because the label kind of assigned us roles when we were signed. I know how to play guitar but they just like me to stand up front and sing because I’m most comfortable going crazy on stage,” he explained. “Nate’s the more serious one and Jason just loves rocking out on his guitar.”

“Well I’m sure you could go crazy with a guitar in your hands, you should play more.” He smiled as she brought her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them.

“I’ll take that into consideration when I see my bandmates again,” he told her and she smiled at him.

“So, before I ask you more about being so famous and music, can I please know the basics? Like your full name, age, where you’re from?” He laughed when she giggled and nodded.

“My full name is Shane Michael Grey. I’m eighteen, and I was born in New York but right now I live in Los Angeles with Nate and Jason, though most of my family is still back in New York. “

“I’ve never been to New York; I’ve heard it’s great.”

“It is, when you get used to the craziness of the city that is,” he told her with a laugh.

“Tell me more,” she said.

“Like what?” he asked and smiled when she gave him a devilish grin, it seemed like Mitchie was finally learning that she could be comfortable around him and he was so glad that it was happening. He wanted her to be comfortable with him because he was already so comfortable with her.

“How about everything?” He laughed when she asked it and nodded.

“You asked for it,” he told her in a singsong voice, repeating her earlier phrase and she giggled and settled herself onto the raft.

“I can handle it,” she told him. He grinned when she said that and with his guitar in hand and Mitchie beside him providing and encouraging smile, he started to tell her everything about him.

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It was some time later, in fact it was starting to get dark, but Shane Grey still found himself telling Mitchie everything about himself. He told her about growing up in the suburbs of New York, about living in his family, about his favorite things. He really told her everything and he didn’t hesitate to talk more when she asked questions. And to his surprise, Mitchie had asked a lot of questions about his life, especially his family and he really hadn’t minded elaborating and talking. After they’d talked about the basics they’d moved onto music, a topic they’d been on for quite some time and once again Shane found that he didn’t mind telling her everything.

“I can’t believe that you like Paramore as much as I do,” she said and he grinned.

“Of course I like them, they’ve got this great sound and they don’t take any crap from anyone,” he told her and she nodded.

“You know Shane; I didn’t expect us to have such similar tastes in music.” He nodded at that, not really expecting them to like almost all the same bands and styles of music, but as he thought about it, he realized that he shouldn’t be surprised. After all, she played the kind of music he used to like to play, so why shouldn’t they have similar music tastes?

“Is that a bad thing?” he asked and she shook her head.

“No, I like it. Sierra doesn’t really listen to music so I have no one to talk to about it.”

“Well, talk to me anytime you like Mitch. It’s good having another person who likes what I do. I love Nate and Jason like brothers but our musical tastes can definitely be different. “

“You know, you talk about Nate and Jason a lot and I get that you’re like brothers but don’t you have other friends?”

He tensed at the question; that was one he really wasn’t sure he wanted to talk about because it was just so hard to think about. Silence echoed throughout the forest as he tried to think of a way to answer her question. Without even realizing it, his fingers started moving across the strings of the guitar in his hand. He was playing the melody of the song that he’d been working on earlier, soothing himself with the music, and calming his mind down in order to answer her.

He just listened to the music as his fingers moved, his eyes looking away from Mitchie’s in the process. He never noticed her tentative movements forward, nor did he notice how close she got to him as he played the guitar. Shane never noticed as Mitchie’s hand tentatively reached out towards his until he felt her warm hand covering his own.

He felt the sparks all over again as his eyes snapped up and met hers and he saw that she felt it too; the spark, the life, that special something when their hands touched. She squeezed his moving hand once and he stopped moving it, but she didn’t remove her hand and he was grateful. Shane realized what she was trying to do, comfort him as he’d done with her earlier and he smiled.

“Thanks,” he whispered.

“Anytime Pop Star. You don’t have to tell me you know, I can understand if it hurts too much.”

“It’s just hard to talk about. Being famous; there is a downside,” he started to tell her. “When we got the record deal, Nate, Jason, and I were so happy. Then said record did really well, and again we were happy. But we lost a lot of our old ‘friends’ along the way: the ones we’d made here at Camp, the ones from our homes because we got what they wanted.”

“Oh Shane, I’m-” He silenced her with one look.

“There’s more,” he said with a sad smile. “When you ‘make it’, a lot of people just want to use you for what you have access to and what you get. That’s what happened to the three of us as a band. We got used to it at first and then well….all three of us kind of shut ourselves off from making friends in the industry. It’s too hard to differentiate so we just keep to ourselves and make music.”

He smiled at her then. “So, to answer your question, yes, Nate and Jason are my only friends and at this point, I just consider them like my brothers. So I guess that I really don’t have any real ‘friends’. I just have people that I know. It’s easier to not have them.”

There was silence after his confession, but Shane found himself alright with that. It was comfortable because Mitchie’s hand was on his again, her thumb rubbing the back of his hand. The warmth of her skin seemed to warm him inside as well as out, making the silence bearable.

“I’m sorry.” Her soft voice jolted him and he felt confusion wash over him. Why should she be sorry? She hadn’t done anything to him.

“Why? You’re not doing anything wrong.” He watched a blush creep onto her face and he felt himself smiling. He thought it was adorable when she did that, even if the impending darkness was making it harder for him to see it.

“Because-I didn’t realize how hard it has to be in the limelight. I thought you guys just loved performing and that it was all glitz and glam. I didn’t know it was so hard.”

“How could you?” he asked. “No one sees the behind the scenes shit that goes down. You had no way of knowing,” he told her softly. “But for the record, we do love performing. We love being able to live our dreams and to make music, we just have to sacrifice some normalcy for it. It’s usually not so bad, we don’t think about it and I have Nate and Jason. We’re a family.”

Once again, there was silence, just Mitchie looking at him, the fading sunlight illuminating her body and comforting him in ways that words could not. He’d confessed one of his deepest pains to her, and he knew that he should be panicking because he never talked to anyone about it, but he wasn’t. He actually felt alright that Mitchie knew about it. She wasn’t trying to dig deeper, not trying to uncover more pain, she was just here for him right now. It was odd; he hadn’t been able to have someone just be there for him in years. Of course he had Nate and Jason but with being with Mitchie was different. She was normal, but when he looked into her eyes ,he saw kindness and understanding. It was a comfort and sparked something quite confusing within him. He’d analyze it later, be with Mitchie now.

“Shane?” Her soft voice cut through his thoughts once more and he smiled at her.

“Yes?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Mitch-why do you keep saying that? You don’t have to be-” He shut himself up when she gave him a look.

“I know that, but sometimes people just need to hear it. I’m sorry that you and Nate and Jason have to deal with so much. That you feel like you can’t trust anyone, that you don’t have many ‘real’ friends but-” She paused to take a breath and rubbed her thumb against his skin once more. “I want you to know that you can trust me, that you can talk to me and I’ll listen, and I wouldn’t betray that trust. I can be your friend-if you want me to be,” she added quickly at the end before turning her gaze away from. Though he could barely tell in the rapidly disappearing daylight-he was sure she was blushing.

He was silent for a few seconds, processing what she’d just offered him and what he already knew he wanted. In fact he couldn’t remember the last time he’d wanted something this much. Shane Grey wanted to have a friendship with Mitchie Torres because she was not only beautiful on the outside; but on the inside as well. He’d seen into her earlier during their song and he was really starting to know who and what she was about. She got him. How could he not want to have her as his friend? How could he not want more?

“Shane-if you don’t want to be friends it’s alright. I completely understand. I mean I’m just so normal and I’m not special and you’re well-you aren’t and-” Shane silenced her with a smile and a quick movement of his hand under hers so that it was now covering her own on the guitar.

“Mitch-I want nothing more than to be friends with you. You’re nice, you listen, and I’m sorry for not answering right away. You had me thinking,” he explained and he felt her tense hand relax in his. “And I’ll keep saying it until you believe this-you are special. You’ve got amazing talent. You’re special.”

“I still don’t believe you,” she told him and he rolled his eyes. Of course she didn’t believe him; she lacked confidence that she was going to need to succeed in the music business. He was going to have to help her build that before the summer ended.

“You will soon enough Mitch,” he said, confidence in his voice.

“Sure, whatever you say Pop Star,” came the retort, making him smile at the obvious eye roll he heard in her voice. “So..friends?” she asked.

“Friends,” he said, gently rubbing his thumb across the back of her hand. He felt her shiver against the movement and he frowned. With the sun gone the temperature dropped as the night wore on and it was still reasonably early but he supposed that Mitchie was wearing less than him-so of course she would be cold right now. Without even thinking about it he was handing his guitar over to her once more and shrugging off his now trademark leather jacket.

“Here,” Shane said, quickly holding it out to her. “You need it more than I do.”

“Shane…”

“Mitchie..take it. Seriously. I’m not cold, you are. Wear it while we’re here because I’m taking it back the second we’re out of the forest.” She laughed at his serious tone of voice and took the jacket being offered. Shane took his guitar back and could make out her figure putting on the all too big jacket.

“Mmm it’s warm,” she giggled.

“I’m glad; don’t need you to freeze out here,” he said with a laugh. The two lapsed into a comfortable silence, the darkness shrouding them from the world as they just sat on the decrepit old deck with each other. Shane was perfectly content in the silence, so much so that he started playing random notes on the guitar to add something to the mood.

“Shane..”Mitchie said timidly after a few minutes.

“Yes?” he asked once more.

“Can I ask you another question? Please.” He chuckled at her added afterthought and nodded, before quickly realizing that she probably couldn’t see him in the darkness.

“Of course.”

“What’s it like to be on stage? To sing in front of thousands of people? What’s it like to live your dream?” She asked quietly and he felt himself smiling softly at the want he heard in her voice. She’d told him that music was her life and he was quite sure that after hearing her earlier that was what she was meant to do. Here she was quietly admitting her dreams to him without even really saying it.

“Amazing,” he told her simply. “It’s the most amazing feeling in the entire world. I love being able to share music with the world. I love the fans that support all three of us and I just love it Mitchie. It’s so hard to describe but I just do. Music is in my blood you know? It’s my heart, my soul.”

“Your everything?” He smiled at her and edged closer, he wanted her to be able to at least make out his facial expressions in the darkness.

“Exactly. So getting to do it as my life is wonderful,” he told her. “Mitch..why did you ask me those questions? Is it because that’s what you want to do?”

“Yes,” she said in a soft voice. “I said it earlier remember? I want to do something with my music.” “

“I remember,” he replied. How could he forget their earlier meeting?

“Well I want to do what you do. I want to bring people my music because I just-”

“You want them to connect through it.”

“Exactly. But I don’t know if I’m good enough,” she confessed and Shane was instantly leaning closer to her, his hand lightly squeezing hers along the way.

“You are Mitch. Trust me. You got through my thick head. We just need to get you some confidence and we will. I promise. It’s what friends do right? Help each other out?” She giggled and it was music to his ears. He loved hearing her make any sound that equaled joy in his mind.

“Yes, it’s what they do. At least that’s what I’m told they do. Sierra never really has problems soo-”

“We’ll figure it out together then.” He said it with confidence and he actually felt like they could. After all if they didn’t have much experience in friendship they could learn together. He felt her shift in front of him and was surprised to find her leaning in towards him even more.

“Shane, one more question.”

“Shoot.”

“What were you playing earlier? I liked it. A lot.” Shane felt the blush rise in his cheeks and as much as he wanted to play the song for the beauty in front of him, he couldn’t. It wasn’t done yet and he wasn’t sure what she would think. He didn’t want to screw up this friendship thing before they ever had a chance to properly start.

“Can I play it for you some other time? It’s still really rough and I want to finish it first and it’s getting kinda late so I should probably get you back to Camp,” he rambled on, searching desperately for a way out of this situation. He heard her sigh and he almost let out a noise of disapproval when she took her hand from within his.

“You’re right, it’s getting late. We need to go back,” she sounded sad and he hated it. “I was having fun,” she said softly as she stood up and held a hand out to him.

“I was too. We can come back again tomorrow if you want,” he said quickly as he put his guitar back in its case and gathered his things, taking her hand to stand up when he was done. “Same time? By the Docks?”

“I wouldn’t miss it,” she said, and he breathed a sigh of relief when he heard the happiness in her voice,

“Come on Mitch, we’ve gotta head back before it gets too late. Brown will kill me.”

“And my mom will be worried sick if I’m not back to our cabin soon. Lead the way Pop Star.”

“Take my hand,” he said softly. “Don’t want to get separated now do we?” he asked, though it was really only a decoy reason. Honestly, Shane just wanted to hold Mitchie’s hand all over again and she seemed to have no issues with that. Without hesitation her fingers intertwined with his and he smiled as they set off towards Camp Rock. What had started out as an absolutely horrible day had turned into an amazing one. Shane had a feeling that this summer was bound to be interesting with Mitchie be his side.

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So let me know what you think. OH, I’m starting a new project for Camp Rock soon, and I hope you wonderful authors will be interested in taking part in it. I’ll have more information soon. Thanks for reading!