Strongest Girl I Know
Fanfic by Hannah

Title: Strongest Girl I Know
Rating: G
Pairing: Joe/Demi

Summary: Joe watches from the sidelines as Demi gets emotional on the last show in South America.
A/N: This comes from watching Demi's very emotional "Don't Forget" in Chile


It was always hard watching her sing until her voice cracked and she couldn't sing anymore.
Until her emotions overwhelmed her. And this tour she'd been feeling it so much more.
Whenever she came off stage, tears in her eyes, she said it was because the fans knew the words to her songs.
Fans whose first language wasn't English sang along to all her songs. She claimed they were happy tears. Proud tears.

But tonight... The last show of the South America tour... I knew this one was special.
Because she had barely started singing her most emotional song before she stopped again, letting the large stadium sing it for her,
back to her. Even though she was smiling, the tears were rolling down her cheeks.

It was killing me.

She chimed in with a phrase or two, but generally let the audience sing her song.
Her song about heartbreak and someone forgetting her. Not that anyone could forget her. It was impossible.
But she had felt it, felt it enough to write about it, so some idiot must have gotten an anurism and forgotten her.
Bastard doesn't even deserve a song.

I felt a presence beside me and a hand on my shoulder. I knew Kevin was as proud as I was, but he was a different kind of proud,
I knew that too. He always said she felt like a daughter or a little sister to him. She could never be that to me. She was just so much *more*.

"It's different tonight."

I just nodded, what could I say? That's the only thought in my head. *It's different tonight.*

"She looks like she's going to break."

I nodded again, I could see that too. She was so strong, one of the stongest people I know,
but she was still a sixteen-year-old girl who had been through so much more than people twice her age.
Not necessarily bad things, but so much *more* things. And here she was, trying to be so strong on stage in front of thousands of people.

I need to get out there.

I think I must have said it out loud, because Kevin said he thought so too. But having us two - and Nick too,
because I'm sure he's back here somewhere feeling the same thing - coming on stage and giving her a big hug?
Yeah, that's not weird at all. Then it would be about us again, and not her. This was her time.

*But somewhere we went wrong,
our love is like a song,
but you won't sing along.*

I had to get out there, I knew I had to. She wasn't even pretending to be singing anymore.
The crowd was singing it for her anyway. The tears were freely rolling down her face, leaving black streaks of mascara behind.
I knew she would be embarrassed about that later, about having "racoon eyes" or whatever girls said it was called.
But for right now she was just feeling too much to care.

She needed someone, and I needed to be that someone.

I felt Kevin's hand grip my shoulder tightly, holding me back. I looked back at him for the first time, tearing my eyes away from her form.
How could he stop me? He saw how much she was hurting, how much she needed someone to hug, why would he stop me?

"Take off your jacket," he ordered.


"Take it off, it's too recognizeable."

I looked down on myself and realised I was in concert clothes. My usual concert jacket that fans knew from a mile away. *Duh.*

Quickly, I shrugged it off, handing it to Kevin, preparing to head out there again as the audience screamed
and her cracked voice trying to sing ("You've forgotten about us").
But again I felt Kevin's hand on my shoulder, keeping me from going on stage.

"Joe, take a breath. She won't crumble on stage, you know that. Besides, you need more cover," he said calmly.
"Here, take this and put the hood up. Don't face the crowd. Get in, hug her until she's fine again and then get back here.
She still has some more songs to do."

I nodded distractedly. I knew his words made sense, they were very logical actually,
but she was out there and apologizing to the fans, saying how much she loved them but that she needed a moment.
I grabbed the black sweatshirt Kevin held out for me, zipping it up.
I had barely time to pull the hood up before I was on stage again, my feet taking me closer to her.

"Thank you guys, you're amazing," she was saying, microphone in hand.

I sensed a crewmember to the side of me, having just taken her guitar from her, but I only had eyes for her.
And I could tell the exact moment she saw me on stage. Her brave face fell just a little and she took a step in my direction.

Her voice came over the speakers. "Excuse me."

And before I knew it, I had her in my arms, her face buried in my neck, hidden in the hood of my shirt.
Suddenly, I was thankful of Kevin's foresight. Not only was the sweatshirt good for hiding who I was,
but it was good for hiding her tears too. In the back of my mind I could hear the screams of thousands of fans behind me,
but all I could think about was her shaking body in my arms.

"Shh, you'll be fine," I said.

I would have whispered it, but she wouldn't've heard it.
So I said it out loud, knowing no one else would hear it.
Everything I said, everything she said, would forever only ever be heard by the two of us.
I don't know how much comfort that gave her, if she even thought about it, but it gave me strength.

"You're so amazing, you know that? You go out here, singing your heart out night after night, and you're so strong.
You're literally one of the strongest people I know, and I know some strong people let me tell you."

I felt her laugh against my neck and I couldn't help but smile too.

"All these people... They're here for you," I told her, the roar of the crowd filling my ears for a second.
"They love you. They know the words to your songs, they're singing them to you. How awesome is that?"
I didn't need her to say it, I knew she felt it.
"And right now they're screaming because they want to hear more.
They want to see Demi Lovato kick ass and take names. I know this is the last show here, but we'll be back."

"We will?"

I nodded, squeezing her just a little bit tighter. "Yeah we will. You, me, Kevin and Nick... We'll be back.
All four of us. Together. Headlining together. It'll be 'the Jonas and Lovato Show', okay? All of us.
We'll have Honour Society open for us and Miley will come in and sing with us and anyone you want. Okay?"

"And Selena?"

"Selena too. Anyone you want."

It took her a second to respond, but she did (a quiet "Okay") and she loosened her tight grip on my waist.
She pulled back to look at my face and I willed her to see the truth in my eyes. I wanted that for her, I would do anything for her.
My brothers and I... We wouldn't be here without her, not as happy and hungry. So why wouldn't we give her everything she wanted?
If she wanted a "Jonas and Lovato Show", that's what she would get. All her friends, all of ours... It would be the tour of the century.

"You good?"

She nodded, smiling. "Yeah, I'm good."


I let go of her and reached up to wipe the tears off her face.
I tried to wipe away most of the black makeup under her eyes and I could see the blush forming on her cheeks.
Her eyes looked away and I knew she was embarrassed. So I stepped back and smiled at her.

"Now go back, kick ass and then you and me are going to have a contest."

"A contest?"

I nodded. "Yep, a contest. You choose what. Just us. Mano y mano."

"Mano y womano, you mean."

Laughing, I agreed and she made a face at me before pulling the microphone to her face
and apologizing to the fans again for keeping them waiting. I stood watching her for second or two
before I realised I was still on stage and needed to get off, get backstage and start preparing for my own show.

Vaguely I heard her telling the audience that she was so emotional because it's the last stop of the tour
and they were being so amazing to her. And I couldn't help but smile.
This was the girl I knew, that incredibly strong girl who refused to let anything get to her.

"Whatever you said, man, good job."

I smiled at Kevin and unzipped my shirt. "Didn't say anything that wasn't true."

"Oh I know," he smirked, holding out my jacket for me to take.