Author: Kouryou Sanomi PM
It all started because Pepper's mother didn't want her to travel with the rest of the band. [Themcentric][Warning: Slash!] Also featuring groupie!Crowley. Just kidding. Maybe.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,027 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 12-03-06 - Published: 08-26-06 - id: 3125556
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It all started because Pepper's mother didn't want her to travel with the rest of the band. (eventually: Adam/Pep, Wensley/Brian, Aziraphale/Crowley, Greasy/Pollution)
Them-centric. Adam is the lead singer and occasionally plays second guitar. Brian plays lead guitar and Wensleydale the keyboard; they both are back-up singers as well. Pepper can't sing a note but she's a wicked drum player. (I perhaps put a lot more thought into this than necessary.) Also featuring groupie!Crowley. Just kidding. Maybe.
Unbeta'd, though I don't think there are any mistakes, but if anyone would like the job... :D
Part One of Eight
In Which There Is A Hemp Doily
Pepper stalked back and forth across the chalk quarry, swearing and gesturing furiously.
"You're starting to repeat yourself," Adam said absently. He was chewing on a grass stem as he lounged on a handy milk crate. She turned to face him, fists clenched.
Wensleydale saw the fight coming and moved quickly to head it off. Some things never changed. "How could she do this to us, though?"
Pepper frowned at him but after a moment relaxed her fists. She plopped down onto a crate next to Adam with a sigh. "I dunno. Mum comes up with strange ideas sometimes." She, Adam, and Wensleydale all shuddered, remembering the time with the tofu turkey.
"We can't perform without you, Pep!" Adam complained. "Doesn't she know that?"
Leaning against the rough wall of the quarry, Wensleydale shifted and crossed his arms. "She said she liked our music. Shouldn't she be happy we're getting paid gigs?"
"Yeah, she's supposed to be proud and supportive," Adam said. "Moms always are. It's the dads that think having a band is a waste of time," he added morosely.
"If my dad changed his mind, then yours will, too," Wensleydale reminded him.
"But mum was always supportive about this before!" Pepper said, exasperated. "I don't know what's gotten into her. It's not the band. For some reason she doesn't trust me to go to London with the rest of you." She gave an annoyed huff. "I'm old enough to go out of town unchaperoned!"
"I think... I know why she doesn't want you to go."
The other three looked at Brian in surprise. It was the first time he'd spoken more than two words all day.
"What is it, then?" Pepper asked impatiently.
Brian didn't seem to hear. He unfolded his lanky body from where he was sitting on the ground and shoved his hands into his jean pockets. "I'd better go talk to her."
"You?" Pepper snorted.
"Are you crazy?" Adam said.
"Or suicidal?" added Wensleydale.
At this Brian seemed to wake up from the daze he had been in. "Your confidence is overwhelming," he said, giving them a dirty look and turned to head out of the chalk quarry. The other three Them gaped after him.
"Good afternoon, Missus Cupier." Brian smiled nervously.
"Brian," she replied with a stiff nod. Pepper looked a great deal like her mother: red hair, freckles, hazel eyes, and a stubborn chin. She was also very petite, although you often forgot that with the force of her personality-- again, like her daughter.
"Um... can I come in?"
She lifted an eyebrow and cooly looked him over.
Brian had tried to dress somewhat decently that day, anticipating a confrontation. He was wearing a freshly washed blue button-up shirt and jeans, though the jeans had chalk all down the back and the shirt was somehow stained with a bit of mustard near the hem. Still. The attempt had been made. He managed to pull it off better now that his light brown hair had grown out long enough to tie back.
"I suppose so," she answered reluctantly.
"Not even in self-defense?"
"But that wouldn't be murder."
"Sure it would."
"Look, you two aren't making me any less worried."
"You worry all the time, Wensley."
"I think I've got good reason this time. Brian's been different lately."
"What do you mean 'different'?"
"I dunno. Different."
"D'you think maybe he'd murder your mum?"
"At least then I could go to London."
"We couldn't perform with Brian in prison, you know."
"Maybe you'd better go after him, Pepper?"
They were both seated at the kitchen table. Brian fidgeted with his glass of lemonade. "Pepper said that you didn't approve of her going to London with us."
"More or less, yes." She smoothed a wrinkle on the hemp doily that decorated the table.
"I've been thinking why that might be, you see. I mean, there's the first thing that comes to mind, that you don't trust Pepper-- Pippin, that is." He noticed her automatically open her mouth to defend her daughter, but then decide to stay silent. Brian continued. "But that's rotters. Pep has more sense than anyone I know. She does get into trouble a bit," he had to add, "but it's always for a good reason."
Missus Cupier nodded proudly, mother to the core.
At her expression Brian smiled wanly. He wished his parents were as supportive. "So we both know it's not that one. The next thing that comes to mind as that you don't trust the rest of us."
Pepper's mother shifted ever so slightly in her seat and he knew he had guessed correctly. "Oh?" she said.
"Yeah. Wensleydale, Adam, and me."
Brian took a drink of the lemonade and blinked. It was really good lemonade. He hadn't thought she'd waste good lemonade on him.
She tapped her fingers on the tabletop impatiently, and Brian quickly continued. "Pepper's definitely not in any danger from Wensleydale."
They both tried to imagine Wensleydale threatening anyone but their brains just couldn't wrap around the idea.
"And, Adam, well... Adam's Adam." That's all there was to it. He wasn't about to do something the easy way even if the other road was long and difficult. Very long and very difficult. He'd even been talking about asking Missus Cupier's permission to court her daughter, knowing full well that Pepper would cream him if she found out about that.
"That leaves me." Against his better judgement, Brian looked up from the glass to Pepper's mother. She was staring at the table and that was somehow worse than if she had been yelling at him. He was used to yelling.
"I know I've got a bad reputation, Missus Cupier. In my defense, it's mostly based on rumour and you know how full of lies rumour can be." He took a deep breath. "I have smoked marijuana," that seemed safe enough to admit considering her past, "but not often and not recently. I don't do the harder stuff. Anyone at the auto shop can tell you I'm a good employee. I show up on time and do good work." She still wasn't making eye contact. He knew it would have to come to this, but he'd hoped otherwise.
"Missus Cupier, I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I've no intentions toward your daughter except as a friend."
Now she met his eyes, raising an eyebrow.
Brian was looking at her rainbow tablecloth.
It was well known but never spoken about amongst Them that Adam could do things that no one else could. He often had to work hard at not doing anything. Some people would give in and make the world what they wanted to be with that power. Adam could do that if he wanted to. But he didn't. The more he might want to Do Something the harder he would hold on to Not Doing Anything.
Adam was like that.
Then they heard the sounds of an argument, surprisingly cheerful considering one of the two involved was Pepper. She and Brian appeared at the edge of the quarry and scrabbled down the tiny chalky cliff. Pep's beaming face told the other two everything.
Adam and Wensleydale gave Brian a look bordering on awe. To change Missus Cupier's decision on anything was a near miracle (and they had seen some miraculous things in their day).
"He was amazing!" Pepper said.
Brian grinned nervously. "Er. Yeah. What she said."
"How did you do it?" Adam asked.
"Um. Well, she didn't want Pepper to come with us 'cause she thought I would molest her or something."
The other two boys stared at him.
"Well..." Wensleydale said finally, "there were a some rumors..."
"'Bout Maggie, yeah." Adam shook his head in disbelief. "But you never touched her. It was just some dumb rumor she started because you turned her down."
"And I still can't believe my own mother would believe rumor over me!" Pepper interrupted.
"But you convinced her it wasn't true?" Wenselydale wondered why Brian looked so nervous.
"Um. Yeah. I told her I was queer."
"And she believed you?" Wensley grinned in relief. The way Brian had been acting he'd been afraid that Brian had killed her after all.
"Why shouldn't she? It's true."
There was a sudden silence in the quarry. Brian seemed to find his chalk covered trainers fascinating.
Wensleydale tried to process what he'd heard. "You..."
"So you're a...?"
"Homo," Brian supplied, still looking at his shoes.
"That's no big deal," Adam said.
"Of course not!" Pepper glared at Wensleydale, daring him to say another word.
"It's not like you'd molest us any more than you would Pepper, right?" Adam grinned.
Brian grinned in return, relieved. "I only molest the willing."
"Then there's no problem... right, Wensley?" Adam gave Wensleydale a significant look that on anyone else might have been called a glare.
"Er. Right. Yeah. No problem."
"So everything's cool." Adam smiled and suddenly they were all one big happy family.
Except Wensleydale couldn't look Brian in the eye. And Brian noticed.
To Be Continued...