Seven a.m. and the entire band piles into a van, the kind hotels use to shuttle guests to and from the airport. Elijah's not sure where Bernard got the thing, but it's fun-- him driving them around just like old times.
In the seat in front of Elijah, Dom's complaining about the time of day, that he has a hangover, that Billy's not being sympathetic enough and that Viggo smells like burnt garlic. All the way in the back, Orli's tucked against Sala and breathing steadily in a way that suggests he somehow got into the van without ever really waking up.
"Billy, didn't your contract specify you weren't allowed to bring him?" Viggo asks, pointing at Dom.
Billy nods, frowning. "Couldn't manage to shake him. If it's easier, maybe we can stow him in me suitcase?"
Elijah would normally chime in with his agreement to that plan, but the cup of coffee he bought on his way to the studio wound up all over Orli's sweater, so Elijah's not quite capable of keeping up with the games this morning. He should probably try to sleep until he can find more coffee, but Daisy's bony elbow is digging into Elijah's side and it's not even remotely comfortable. He shifts away just as they take a sharp left turn and ends up with his face pressed into Sean's chest, a grunt muffled against crisp cotton. From the seat closest to the driver, Elijah hears Karl shout "Where'd you learn to drive, you fuckwit?"
Yeah, just like old times.
By the time Elijah finally settles comfortably into his seat, they're pulling up to the airport. Sean says good-bye to Ali and snaps his phone shut, frowning. Elijah swats him on the shoulder. "Oh come on, like any kid wouldn't be glad to have their dad away from home. I'll bet she's already planning a kegger or something."
"My invitation came yesterday," Dom shouts as he jumps to the ground, the early hour and his hangover apparently forgotten. He turns to take his carry-on from Billy and looks back at Sean, winking. "Just one amongst a sea of boys, though."
Sean rolls his eyes, but he's smiling, so Elijah pushes him forward a little. "Move it."
Elijah follows everyone out, pulling his suitcase and a bag full of records with him. Outside, Sala's trying to convince Viggo that he really shouldn't try to carry his guitorgan, his flute and his accordian on the plane; that they'll really be safer in the cargo hold with the rest of their stuff; and "for fuck's sake, Vig, you're not gonna play 'em on the bloody plane." It's a losing battle, of course, just like the lecture Bernard's giving Dom about the appropriate uses for airline sickness bags and Lawrence's attempts to explain to Orli that he really can't just wander about by himself now that he's so famous. Elijah shakes his head, shares a laugh with Liv, and takes one of her bags as they head inside.
They're flying commercial, but first class, which is the compromise between the roughing-it camp headed by Viggo and the do-it-in-style camp headed by Daisy. Elijah's mostly fine with it, though he thinks it might be fun to have a plane of their own. Bernard takes care of getting them through check-in and security and they invade one corner of the waiting area just past the gate. Elijah takes the triple Americano Orli hands him, nods his thanks, and slumps down in a chair. He pulls out his iPod and clicks the wheel a few times. He's been working on a new song all week and it isn't quite what he wants; he figures he can listen to it a few times away from the studio and see if anything comes of it. Leaning back, he lets the beats wash over him and smiles at nothing in particular.
Dom and Billy are a few feet away, Billy stretched out on the thin carpet with his head against Dom's thigh. Liv's sitting two chairs away from Eliajh, knitting and laughing at whatever Dom and Billy are saying. Viggo's opened up his instrument cases, all four of them.
Elijah glances at Sala, eyebrows raised and pulls one side of his headphones off. "Four?"
Sala glares. "Apparently, I helped him realize that it just doesn't make sense to bring the guitorgan on the plane if he's not also bringing the mouthbow." Elijah laughs and Sala stands up. "I'm getting a drink."
Elijah doesn't mention that it's eight-thirty in the morning, just drops the headphones on again and listens. Three times through, following the twisting patterns of notes and air and Elijah finally finds what he was missing before. He turns his head to the row of seats behind him. "Karl, hey, do you have paper and a pen?"
Karl is lying across the entire row of seats. He opens one eye, slowly, and Elijah winces. "'Lij, Dominic and I didn't get in from the pub until," he pauses, lifts his arm and opens the other eye to check his watch. "Four hours ago."
"Right then, I'll ask Liv."
"You do that," Karl says and closes both eyes.
Elijah finally gets the pen and paper from Bernard, as usual, and jots down some notes about the song. He stuffs the paper into his bag and does the same with the iPod and headphones. Just in front of him, Daisy's sitting against a wall, braiding what Elijah thinks are cornrows into a bright blue wig and humming under his breath.
"Daisy, what's that?" Elijah waves his empty coffee cup in a way that's supposed to indicate the song.
Daisy stops humming and tilts his head, considering. He grins. "'Me and the girls are gonna shake the room.'" He stops abruptly. "It's in my new act. Or, the one I was doing just before we started up again."
"Christina?" Liv asks, wrinkling her nose a little, silver needles clicking and flashing between her hands.
Daisy shrugs, "Drag queen." He holds up the wig.
"No, mate, I like that song. The rap part's brilliant," Dom says, sitting up and forcing Billy to do the same. Dom raps a few lines and then Daisy joins in again for the girl's part.
Eventually, Liv is harmonizing and Elijah's doing something he likes to think of as beatboxing or at least vocal percussion, while Sean taps a rhythm on the top of the chair he's standing near. Viggo uses the flute to add a high, thin accompaniment that makes Elijah think of melting ice. Billy and Dom provide the back-up, standing to execute a few questionable dance moves. When Elijah turns his head he can even see Karl moving his hands in a way that makes Elijah think he might be working out a mandolin part.
They finish the song, all of them short of breath from singing and laughing. Sala wanders back and shakes his head at the scene, rolling his eyes at Lawrence in a way Elijah chooses to call affectionate. A man sitting across the rows of chairs shakes his head with something not even the most optimistic person could call affection, but the rest of the people waiting clap and laugh along with them.
Elijah hadn't even noticed that anyone else was there. Dom gives a mock bow and gestures towards Daisy. "Miss Daisy, ladies and gentlemen."
Viggo puts his flute back in its red case and stares at Daisy, considering. "How do you think the acoustic version of 'Dirrty''ll go over in Berlin?"
"Alarm schlagen!" Dom shouts, leaping onto Billy's back. Billy stumbles only a little before catching Dom's legs at the knees and straightening. "I'm for it," Dom adds, wrapping his arms loosely around Billy's neck.
Billy nods his agreement before moving to give Dom a piggyback ride around one of the banks of chairs. Elijah's still laughing, so he doesn't even try to say they might have a few too many covers this tour or that he's pretty sure someone else has covered the song already and by the time he has his breath back, Bernard's handing out boarding passes.
"Okay, lads, gather the troops, pretend this is the St. Crispin's speech and make sure you have all your various belongings."
Billy dumps Dom on a chair and heads to gather their bags. Karl finally sits up and blinks a few times before standing. Elijah swings his bag over his shoulder and wheels his suitcase towards the attendant waiting for their passes.
"Where's Orlando?" Sean asks.
Elijah looks behind him and does a quick survey. No Orlando to be found.
Lawrence is helping Sala try to steal Viggo's instruments to have them checked at the gate. "Bugger! I told him not to wander off."
Lawrence drops the guitorgan and looks around. Viggo glares at Sala and picks up the case, as well as the one Sala had already passed to the attendant. "He's in the bathroom," Viggo says, tossing a crooked smile over his shoulder as he moves to board.
Karl and Liv follow Viggo onto the plane and Sean takes the opportunity to make one more call to Christine. Five minutes later, Lawrence is back from the bathroom, Orli trailing behind him. He has what Elijah decides is a bite mark on his neck and his hair seems more tousled than usual.
Orli turns back and waves to the barista watching him from the Starbucks kiosk nearby, the ties of his apron dangling to the ground. "Cheers!" he shouts. "Send your name to our manager and I'll get you tickets to the L.A. show." Elijah looks more closely and it's clear that the barista's apron is on inside out. Orli passes Elijah, grinning and not the least bit embarrassed.
Elijah laughs again and follows Dom and Billy onto the plane, Dom teaching Billy how to say 'posh British whore' in German. If they can make it through the flight, they'll be in Berlin before the day's out. Or, it might be night there. Elijah's really not sure.