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TOC Files 20: Stream of Time (1/2)

Title: Stream of Time
Series: The TOC Files
Word Count 5818
Summary Alan and Ryan decide to take their brother on a special trip for his birthday to Hamburg Germany in the early 1960s.

XX. Stream of Time

While floating down the stream of time
From life to life with me
Makes no difference where you are
Or where you'd like to be
George Harrison "It's All Too Much"

Shannon Flynn smiled as she thought of two of her best friends immersing themselves in the music and culture of the 1960's. What made it so amusing was that they hadn't been born until 400 years later! She still found it amazing that the music of the time--especially the Beatles--was still going strong in the 24th century. Shannon had become a fan of the music through her older siblings playing them when she was a child in Ireland. Through a strange quirk of fate, she met Alan Kelly, a time traveler, and returned with him to the future where she now lived. She shook her head in bewilderment as she left them singing She's a Woman.

Alan looked at his brother Ryan. "Okay, she's gone. Let's go see Gil." Gilbert Connor was a childhood friend and inventor of their time traveling devices.

"Do we have to keep it a secret from Shane?" Ryan asked. "It doesn't feel right."

"That sounds strange coming from you considering a big chunk of your past was based on secrets. No, this is meant to be a birthday surprise for Evan and the less people who know, the better. Besides, she won't stay here, she'd want to join in."

"You can be so cruel," remarked Ryan with a smile. "I thought that was my area of expertise."

"Yeah, well, I learned it from you."

The Kelly brothers made their way to the lab. Gil looked up when he saw them. His hair was tousled and he looked like he was asleep on his feet. "You two could have given me more notice."

"What? It's not ready?" questioned Alan.

"Of course it's ready. But if you had given me more notice I could have slept more than two hours a night." He stifled a yawn.

Ryan laughed. "Sorry about that. Thanks for doing it, though."

"Let me show you how it works. From what I understand, you want to be able to follow someone by dropping in ever few years, right?"

"That's the plan," said Ryan.

"Okay. So the main problem is age. After all, you can't still look like you're in your twenties when you're supposed to look forty. What I've done is create a miniature hologram projector and hooked it up to the chronometer so it can monitor the year and react accordingly. When you arrive at your first destination, you program the desired age and, for every ensuing stop, it will automatically adjust your age."

"That sounds fabulous. Gil, you are an absolute genius," Alan told him.

"I know." Gil stifled another yawn. "All I ask is that you bring back autographs."

Ryan gave his brother a quick look then turned to Gil. "You know where we're going?"

"It wasn't too hard to guess. Why else would you be singing songs from over 400 years ago non-stop?"

"Wonderful. I guess we're lucky Shane hasn't put two and two together," Alan remarked. "Do you have a machine for Evan?"

* * * *

The following morning Alan and Ryan knocked on their older brother's door. When Evan opened it they cried, "Happy Birthday!" and Ryan handed him a small present.

"I thought presents were being given tonight at Mom's."

"Yeah, well, we couldn't wait," said Alan.

"Besides, it's only part of our present," Ryan added. "Go on, open it."

Evan did as he was asked and found himself holding a time machine. "Hey, this is just like yours. What's the deal?"

"As Ryan said, it's only part of the present. Now strap it on and we'll be on our way." As Evan strapped the machine onto his wrist, Alan tied a blindfold over his eyes.

"What's going on here? What kind of present is this?"

"It's a surprise," said Ryan. "Trust us, you'll love it." He punched in the coordinates on his machine and then on Evan's. "All set."

"Okay. Off we go."

When they arrived, Alan and Ryan activated the holograms. The machine automatically changed their clothes to chino slacks, bright button-down shirts, and black leather jackets. "We're there," said Ryan.

"Good, then take this damn blindfold off."

Alan was about to oblige when he saw the name of the building. "We will when we get inside. Just put your hand on Ryan's shoulder and he'll lead you."

They made their way into the crowded, noisy, smoke-filled club. They noticed that a large number of the crowd were from British and American ships in port. Alan removed the blindfold and Evan blinked a few times to get used to the light--what there was of it. "Some surprise. You brought me to a bar. And a dive, at that."

They found a table near the stage and Evan got a better look at his surroundings. It took him some time to figure out when they were as fashion had a tendency to repeat itself. The country was easier to guess thanks to the posters on the walls and the main language of the patrons. "Why 1960's Germany?"

"You'll see," answered Ryan.

"And why do you look like you're twenty?"

Alan's only answer was a smile.

The crowd cheered when the band--a group of five--came onto the stage. They were dressed in black leather and their hair was slicked back a la Elvis. They seemed to be a favorite with the crowd. They launched into Rock and Roll Music. Evan was in shock. "It's the Beatles," he said in awe. "You brought me here to see the Beatles."

"Happy Birthday, Evan," said Ryan as he toasted his brother with his beer.

"This is marvelous! How long have you planned this?"

"A couple of weeks," answered Alan. "From the look on your face, I'd say we planned well."

Evan turned his eyes back to the stage. He noticed the bass player wore dark glasses and never faced the front. "That's Stu Sutcliffe. He could barely play, but joined because he was a friend of John's. And the drummer! That's Pete Best! He joined because they desperately needed a drummer and he had his own set."

"We know their history as well, Evan. You don't need to give a lecture," said Alan.

"Sorry, I just got carried away."

"Don't talk, listen," admonished Ryan.

* * * *

They stayed the night at a hostel and slept late--a luxury rarely indulged in. They changed into jeans and T-shirts but kept the leather jackets then went out and strolled the streets of Hamburg. They marveled at how inexpensive everything was. As they finished a quick meal, Ryan checked his watch and looked at Alan, who nodded. They paid and headed for the docks.

"What's going on?" asked Evan. "Where are we going?"

"What makes you think that we're going anywhere in particular?" asked Ryan.

"You're walking at a deliberate pace and you're acting as if you know exactly where you're going."

"Never could put one over on you," remarked Alan. "There's a place on the docks that acts like a 'home away from home' for British sailors. Ryan and I stopped in a couple of times and discovered that they sometimes stop by in the morning to read, play the piano, and just relax."

"There it is," said Ryan as he stopped in front of an imposing four-story building.

"The British Sailors' Society? You can't be serious."

"We are very." Ryan held the door open and Evan and Alan stepped in. One room was set up like a cafeteria and, next to that, a bar.

Alan led the way through the bar to a room where there was an old piano. He sat down and tested it. "How 'bout a song?"

"Where are they? You said we'd meet them here."

"Be patient, Evan, for God's sake. This is nothing for someone who was stranded for ten years. They'll be here. Besides, what better way to become friends with musicians than through music?"

A hefty man came in from the bar. "I thought I saw you lads come in. How've you been?"

"Oh, just fine, Mr. Hawke," replied Ryan. "This is our brother Evan. Evan, this is Jim Hawke, the manager."

Jim shook his hand. "Didn't know you boys were into music."

"Just a hobby."

"Go ahead and play, then. It's always nice to hear some music. Let me know if you want anything." With that, he left them alone.

Alan warmed up on the piano. "Shall we start with a little harmony?" He played an introduction and the three brothers began to sing.

I bless the day I found you
I want to stay around you
And so I beg you
Let it be me

Don't take this Heaven from one
If you must cling to someone
Now and forever
Let it be me

They continued the song, their voices melding like only brothers' can. When they were done, they heard clapping and looked to the doorway where a group of youths stood. "You were great," said one with a baby face and round eyes. "Do you have a band?"

"No," answered Alan. "We just fool around with it."

"You guys are pretty good. We saw you last night at the Kaiserkeller," said Ryan. "I didn't recognize a couple of the songs, though."

"Some of them were our own," answered the same youth.

"Those were your own?" asked Evan. "I thought they were obscure covers."

"John and I have been writing together for about four years now," he said with a nod towards a serious-looking youth. "My name's Paul. That's George."

"I'm Alan, and these are my brothers Evan and Ryan."

"No wonder you harmonize like that," said John. "How well do you rock?" he challenged.

The brothers conferred at the piano and then Ryan sat on the bench. He played a few random chords to get warmed up then he began.

The best things in life are free
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Now give me money
That's what I want

When they were done, John held out his hand in acceptance. George, the youngest, upon seeing John's approval, greeted them as well. They spent the next few hours playing and talking about music. They Kelly brothers even got to listen to John and Paul work out a few songs.

When they were leaving, John told them to come by the Kaiserkeller that night. "We'll introduce you to the others."

"Sure thing," said Evan. "What time?"

"Around 10:00," said Paul.

"Till tonight, then."

* * * *

Alan and his brothers passed the day by doing a little sightseeing and shopping. After a quick dinner, they changed clothes for a night out drinking and carousing. As it was still somewhat early, the Kaiserkeller wasn't too full and they were able to snag a table. Evan ordered a pitcher of beer and looked around the club for their new friends. "Looks like they're making good use of their break," he remarked.

"At least they can see us from the stage," said Ryan. "They won't think we stood them up."

Alan looked at his watch. "They should be going on soon. It's almost 10:00."

A few minutes later, the Beatles came out from a back room and the crowd went wild. George spotted them and gave a little wave before they launched into Kansas City. The crowd screamed in appreciation. The band's performance was fueled not only by beer and "Prellys", but also by the crowd screaming "Mak shau!"

"God, can you imagine performing like that for 41/2 to 6 hours?" questioned Ryan as he watched them jump around the stage, singing at the top of their lungs. It seemed that only Pete and Stu were immune. "I don't think I could last."

Evan nodded to a nearby table where a young woman dressed in black was tapping her fingers on the table. He hair was cropped short, and her features--what they could see from their angle--were very fine. "That's Astrid, Stu's girlfriend."

The band finished their set and joined the Kellys at their table. "Glad you could make it," said John, his voice rough.

"We said we would," said Ryan defensively.

"You sound like you didn't expect us to," remarked Alan. "Maybe you thought our singing was too much competition and you asked us just to be polite."

John stopped wiping the sweat from his face. "You sound sure of yourself. Sure, you can sing to an audience of three, but could you perform every night like we just did?"

"Maybe, if motivated," Alan answered with a smile.

John laughed, sat down, and poured himself a glass of beer.

Paul and George made the introductions. "These three gentlemen were at the Sailors' Society. They put on a little performance for us. Let me see if I can match the names to the faces." He pointed as he called out the names. "Alan, Evan, and...Ryan Kelly. This brooding lad here is Pete Best, and the one over there with the dark glasses is Stu Sutcliffe." Stu seemed to hear his name and turned to face them. With his black clothes, pale face, and dark glasses, Stu reminded Alan very much of James Dean. It probably was that mysterious air that attracted Astrid. He gave a little wave then Stu returned his gaze to Astrid.

"Not much of a talker, is he?" asked Ryan.

"Astrid gets his undivided attention when she's around," muttered John as he lit up a cigarette.

Seeing that things were touchy, Evan changed the subject. He nodded towards the stage and the band. "Who are they?"

"Rory Storm and the Hurricanes," answered George. "Another band from Liverpool."

"They're pretty good," remarked Evan.

"'Pretty good?' They're one of the best bands in Liverpool," said Paul.

"Oh, they can play, but they don't have the same rapport with the audience that you do." He looked up at the stage. "The drummer seems to go against their image, what, with the beard and sideburns."

"That's Ringo," said Pete with the tone of one who knew the competition.

"'Ringo'? What kind of name is that?" asked Ryan.

"Memorable," remarked Alan.

"His real name is Richard, but because he likes to wear rings, he goes by Ringo," explained George.

They talked more about music and soon it was time for the Beatles to re-take the stage. Astrid made her way to their table. "You are friends of theirs?"

"I'd like to think so," said Evan, rising to greet her. His brothers followed suit. "We only met them today. I'm Evan Kelly, by the way, and these are my brothers Ryan and Alan."

She sat down. "A pleasure. My name is Astrid Kirschner."

Alan noticed her camera. "You're a photographer?"

She smiled. "Yes. I am still studying, however."

"Of course. There are always new techniques and experimentation going on," agreed Alan. "I think it the same with most artistic fields."

"It gives me a way to express myself," said Astrid. "Just as Stuart has his painting and John and Paul have their songwriting."

On stage the band had finished a song and John was speaking. "We met some friends today who are pretty good singers. We invited them without thinking they'd show. One said we thought of them as competition. When I asked if he thought they could perform, he said, 'if motivated'."

"Now you've done it," remarked Evan.

"So let's motivate the Kelly brothers," said John pointing to where they sat. The crowd, curious to hear these new singers, applauded and cheered. The three brothers stood and walked to the stage.

"Trying to put me in my place?" Alan asked John.

"No, just resting my voice."

"All right, so what do we sing?" asked Ryan.

"Rave On by Buddy Holly," said Evan.

Instruments were traded and Alan took the lead. "Sorry about the delay. This was rather unexpected." He stepped back, looked at the musicians, counted to three, and then started.

Well, the little things you say and do
Make me want to be with you
Rave on, this crazy feeling
I know it's got me reeling
When you say 'I love you'
Rave on

The Beatles joined in singing the backing vocals. Alan felt such an adrenaline rush that he could understand why some people just had to perform. The crowd cheered when they were done. They prepared to leave and returned the instruments, but the Beatles invited them to stay and sing some more vocals. When the shift was over, they collapsed at their table.

"That was fun!" said Ryan.

"But exhausting," added Evan.

"It was great," admitted Alan, "but I don't think I could do it every night."

They stayed until a little after 2:00 when the Beatles finished their last session. Plans were made for them to roam the city the next day. They slept in, grabbed a quick breakfast, before meeting the others.

They had a great time but made their excuses for returning to England. "Yeah, we just need to go home and touch base with everyone," said Ryan.

"Plus we need to get a fresh supply of clothes," added Alan. "These are getting so worn and thin."

"Our contract runs through a few more months," said Paul, "so we won't be there for some time."

"We might make it back while you're here," said Evan. "If not here, maybe we'll catch you in Liverpool or London."

"You do that," said John. "Could be fun."

They shook hands and made their good-byes--the brothers taking extra time with Stu--then went their separate ways.

"You guys, this has been the best birthday present," declared Evan as Alan programmed his machine for him.

"This was just the appetizer," said Ryan. "You think we'd only let you see them once?"

"What are you talking about?"

"You'll see," said Alan as he motioned for Evan to push the button that would activate the machine.

* * * *

They arrived in a quiet neighborhood street and Evan looked around in surprise. Ryan checked the street signs and led the way down Grove End Road.
"Will you two tell me what's going on? Where are we?"

"London," answered Alan. "You ask too many questions. Don't you want to be surprised?"

"Sometimes I wonder." As they came to a bend in the road, a second road intersected and Evan saw the street sign and smiled. This quiet neighborhood would soon be a musical Mecca: Abbey Road. "What are we doing here now? They're probably in Liverpool."

"No, they're recording Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You today then head back to Liverpool to play the Cavern tomorrow night," answered Alan.

"And I think that's them coming out of the studio now," said Ryan.

The band that walked down the steps of E.M.I. Studios had changed from the one they had seen two years ago in Hamburg. For one thing, there were four instead of five members. Their hair had changed from the slicked-back to a more natural, though longer look, one the brothers recognized from the art crowd in Hamburg. They were also wearing suits and ties! Ryan crossed the street and, cupping his hands around his mouth, called, "Mak shau! Mak shau!"

George looked around but didn't see them. He thought he was hearing things for who in London knew what had been yelled at them in Germany?

Alan and Evan caught up with him. "Let me try," said Alan. "They're just running from the competition!" he called.

John heard that voice and knew who it was. He walked to the gateway and laughed when he saw them. "What are you doing here?"

"We should be asking you that," said Evan as he shook John's hand.

"We've got ourselves a recording contract," remarked Paul as he and the others came over.

"What are you recording?" asked Ryan. "Any songs we know?"

"I don't think so," answered John. He noticed the Kellys were trying not to stare at Ringo. He knew they needed explanations. "You remember Ringo from Hamburg. He was with the Hurricanes,"

"Oh, yeah, the band that rotated with you," said Alan. "What happened to Pete? And where's Stu?"

"This really isn't the best place to talk, in the street like this," said Evan. "Why don't we go somewhere we can sit down?"

"Let's go to our place," said Ryan. "It's not too far away."

"Our place?" questioned Evan.

"Our Uncle Gilbert left us his house in Kilburn and we're not really used to it yet," explained Alan as much as for Evan's benefit as that of the band.

The seven walked up Abbey Road and headed for Hillgrove Road and chatted about Hamburg and what happened after they left. Ringo was much more outgoing than Pete had been and had a very dry sense of humor and the Kellys took an immediate liking to him.

Ryan stopped in front of a three-story house with a seven-foot wall around it. The top two floors were red brick and the ground floor was painted white. Alan opened the gate and let the others in. Evan stopped. "When were you going to tell me about this?"

"We needed a base to work from, and since we'd only be here time-to-time, buying a house seemed more practical than renting."

"But why say it was part of an inheritance?"

"Because they think we're more the bohemian type. If they thought we were privileged, I doubt if they'd give us the time of day."

"I guess you're right. We'd better go in before Ryan has them bored to tears."

While Ryan tried to put together some tea, the others reminisced about "old times" and Alan created stories about their travels. When Ryan returned with the tea, Evan broached the subject of their line-up.

"Stu stayed in Hamburg after our second trip last year in order to go to art college and because he was engaged to Astrid," said John.

"That's great!" exclaimed Ryan. "When's the wedding?"

"Stu died in April of a brain hemorrhage the day before we returned."

"My God! I'm sorry," said Alan. "I know you were close friends."

John didn't say anything.

"And Pete?" prompted Evan.

"He's left the group," said George after a moment's pause.

"He quit just like that?" asked Ryan. "But you were going along so well."

"Let's just put it down to creative differences," said Paul diplomatically.

"We realized he was only a mediocre drummer," stated John bluntly.

"So you fired him," said Evan.

"We weren't the only ones who thought so," put in George. "Our producer felt the same."

"He even had a session drummer there," remarked Ringo, sounding somewhat hurt.

"Well, he didn't know about you, did he?" said Paul. "He was expecting Pete."

"What happened?" asked Alan.

"Oh, the session guy sat in for a couple of takes and then I played," answered Ringo. "He wasn't that great."

"That's probably why he's only a session musician," said Ryan.

"Do you think we could hear them?" asked Evan. "The songs you did today?"

They hesitated. "You don't have to," said Ryan, "and we realize it won't be how the finished product will sound."

"I guess so," said John.

"Good. Right through here." Ryan led them to a room at the back of the house. It was large with a high ceiling and was arranged like a recording studio complete with a piano, drums, and a selection of guitars. "I hope this will do."

"It's great," said Paul. "But why?"

"How do you think we learned to play?" questioned Alan. "Uncle Gil was a bit eccentric and indulged us by letting us play here when he was out of town."

The band members selected and tested their instruments. The brothers stood to the side and waited for them to get ready. Alan pushed a button that acted as a remote to a recorder that would catch the Beatles in this informal session. John pulled out his harmonica and started Love Me Do, which they followed with P.S. I Love You.

"That was fantastic!" declared Evan. "You wrote those?"

"You know, I think it's great that they let you put out your own songs for your début single," remarked Alan. "I would have thought they'd make you do a cover."

"They did give us one song, but it just wasn't us," said George.

"We tried to tell them so, and even re-arranged it," said Paul.

"They finally realized what we knew from the beginning," added John.

Paul looked at his watch. "We'd better get going. I bet Brian's wondering where we are."

"It was good seeing you again," said Evan. "Why don't we give you the phone number so you can call when you're in town. Lord only knows if we'll be here, but it couldn't hurt."

"Good idea," agreed Ryan. He jotted down the number and address and handed it to John.

"Are you guys doing anything tomorrow night?" asked John.

"No, nothing really."

"If you want, we're performing in Liverpool at the Cavern Club. Maybe you can join us again."

"We'd love to," accepted Alan. "See you then."

"How are you going to get to your hotel?" asked Evan.

"The tube should be okay," said Ringo.

"The nearest stop is Finchley Road on the Jubilee Line." Ryan gave them directions.

"See you tomorrow night, then," said Paul.

After the Beatles had gone, the brothers collapsed onto the nearest furniture. "God, this is fantastic!" said Alan.

"They actually asked us to visit them at the Cavern. We must have made an impression if they want us to jaunt up to Liverpool," remarked Evan. "Are we going the conventional way?"

"We could be there now if we felt like it," said Ryan.

"Since there's a chance we'll be playing with them, we should bring our own instruments, and we'd look silly carting them all around."

"I think we can get up there with the instruments and tell them we took a train and then a taxi," put in Alan.

"Now that we've decided how we're going to get there, what are we going to do when we arrive?" asked Evan.

Ryan looked at him. "Do you always have to have everything planned out? You can't just 'go with the flow'?"

"I like to have a general outline."

"I take it you want to know what songs we'd do if they ask us onstage," remarked Alan. "I guess we could try some Elvis, Roy Orbison, maybe even a little Motown."

"Well, let's play a little and decide," said Ryan as he headed for the music room. "Whatever we sing, we'd better do a good job of it."

* * * *

They arrived the following evening just down the street from the Cavern Club. As they turned into Matthew Street, they saw a line of fans--mostly girls--waiting to get in. The brothers joined the queue and waited their turn. They received a few curious stares as they were carrying their guitars, but no one said anything. Once inside, they made their way down stone steps into the damp cellar. The club was divided into three arched brick tunnels, the stage located in the middle. The Beatles were playing Some Other Guy.

Alan saw a spot close to the stage next to the wall. He threaded through the crowd, Ryan and Evan following. Ryan set his guitar against the wall and looked around. "This is definitely one happening place."

"Yeah, too bad they had to tear it down," remarked Alan as he watched the band onstage. When the song was done, Paul nodded in greeting. Alan returned the gesture. As John introduced the next song, Paul spoke to someone off to the side of the stage.

"Do you see any empty tables?" asked Evan. "I can't tell."

"I don't think that there's any need for that," said Ryan as a tall, thin, studious-looking man approached them.

"You are the Kelly brothers?" he asked. Ryan nodded. "I'm Neil Aspinall and I've been asked to take you backstage."

"Thanks," said Evan as they picked up their guitars and followed.

There really wasn't much of a backstage, just a narrow spot where they could stand unseen by the crowd. From their vantage point, the Kellys had a very envied view of the Beatles in concert. Not many people would be allowed such a prime spot.

When they had finished Hello Little Girl, Paul stepped up to the microphone. "Thank you!" He laughed as the crowd called out requests. "Right now, we'd like to introduce some friends of ours who performed with us in Hamburg. The Kelly Brothers!"

Alan, Evan, and Ryan walked on and shook hands with the band, who then left the stage. Alan smiled at the crowd, trying to win them over with his charm. "I know you weren't expecting this, and we don't plan to play long, just a few songs. We hope you enjoy them."

He looked at his brothers then started with a lesser-known tune by Elvis.

Won't you wear my ring
Up around your neck
To tell the world
I'm yours, by heck.
Let them know, I love you so
And let them know by the ring around your neck.

The customers danced and sang along, cheering when the song was over. "Thank you," said Alan, a little out of breath. "Now we'd like to slow things down a bit."
Evan took center-stage and Alan backed up.

I was all right for a while
I could smile for a while
When I saw you last night
You held my hand so tight
As we stopped to say 'Hello'.
Though you wished me well
You couldn't tell
That I'd been crying over you...

Evan sang with such a plaintive voice that made Alan think that most of the girls in the crowd would be teary-eyed.

Ryan came forward from the drums and the three gathered around one microphone. With a simple count, they started Let It Be Me, the Everly Brothers song they had been singing when the Beatles first heard them. They had decided to sing songs that showcased each of them plus one they could harmonize. When they were done, Alan moved to the drums and Ryan took a seat at the piano where he would have his vocal.

With a smile, he pounded the keyboards and sang.
You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain
Your kind of love drives a man insane
You broke my will, but what a thrill
Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!

Ryan may not have been as flamboyant as Jerry Lee Lewis, but he definitely had a lot of energy. A little out of breath, he thanked the crowd for being so tolerant. "For our last song, we want to do a number that most bands cover at some point or another, and we'd like to ask our friends to join us."

The three brothers gathered at the front and began to sing a cappella. "Dom dom dom dom dom, dom-bi-du-bi-dom" Alan took the first lead.

Well, I love you darling,
Come and go with me
Come on with me, way beyond the sea
I need you darling,
So come go with me

The Beatles came out to sing backing vocals and take turns on the lead. Even though the song was old and most of the audience had heard it before, they cheered and sang along. When it was done, the Kellys took their bows and left the stage.

"Man, I could do with a shower," remarked Ryan as he pulled his sweat-soaked shirt away from his skin. "I must have lost at least ten pounds."

"You wouldn't trade the experience for anything, would you?" asked Evan.

"Lord, no!"

They found themselves a table where they could sit and watch the rest of the Beatles' performance. "Did anybody think to bring a camera?" asked Ryan. "To have our own pics of Them at the Cavern would be fantastic."

"Sorry, I didn't know about this trip," remarked Evan.

Ryan looked at his twin. "I thought you were bringing it," Alan replied. "After we leave here, why don't you pop back and get it."

"Okay. Remind me."

When the Beatles had finished, Alan picked up his guitar and headed for the back. "Where are you going?" asked Evan.

"You don't expect them to come out here and get mobbed, do you? C'mon." They Kellys made their way to the back of the club where they found the band wiping themselves down with towels and unwinding.

"Good to see you didn't leave," said John.

"That wouldn't be very kind after you let us go onstage," said Evan.

"You guys have definitely improved since Hamburg," said Paul.

"The same could be said about you," said Ryan.

Alan noticed a well-dressed man of about thirty standing off to the side, listening to the banter with a small smile on his face. George saw the look and knew introductions were in order. "Brian, these are friends we met in Hamburg; Ryan, Evan, and Alan Kelly. This is Brian Epstein, our manager."

Alan shook his hand. "So you're the one who gets credit for polishing them up."

"I just made them a bit more presentable."

"Clothes make the man, don't they?" added Ryan.

"Do you have plans?" asked John.

"For now?" asked Evan. John nodded. "Nothing really. Why?"

"I've got some photos from Hamburg at my house that I want you to see."

Ryan looked at Alan, waiting for his lead. Alan knew hat the others were leaving the decision up to him. It would give them the opportunity to meet Cynthia, John's wife, as well as his Aunt Mimi. Besides, when would they get asked again? "Sure," he said. "We won't be disturbing anything, will we?"

"Would I have asked?"

* * * *

The following day, after a restful night at a hotel, the Kellys met the Beatles at the Cavern for lunch where they caught them in a concert. When the performance was over, the brothers went to the back to say good-bye.

"Are you sure you can't stay a little longer?" asked George.

"We'd love to, but we have to get back to London. You've got our phone number and address if you want to get in touch," said Ryan.

"We may not always be there, but we'll get a message," added Alan.

"We had a wonderful time," put in Evan. "Thanks for letting us perform."

"And the photographs," inserted Ryan.

Evan smiled. "Just don't forget us when you become stars."

"As long as you keep in touch," said Paul as they all shook hands.

With smiles, the brothers left the club and headed down Matthew Street until they were out of sight then disappeared.

Part Two.


SPN Dean Writing

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