Howdy, all! This story is for christianrockstar, whose list of ideas inspired me to write this! This will eventually turn out to be some of her ideas combined, mixed up, and rematched to make an epic tale of life, love, and heartaches that will capture audiences worldwide and make you laugh, cry, and tell those you love exactly how you feel… or not. We'll see how it goes. So tell me what you like and what you hate, but please don't flame me (you all are too nice for that anyways!)

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Doogie Howser, M.D.! And I don't own anything except my old 1993 Chevy Cavalier with a clutch that only works sometimes, and a few textbooks (The Elements of Music, A Complete Guide to Brass, and Canons for Sight Singing), so don't sue me, please!

P.S. I used to watch this show when it was on TV, but I was like 5 years old when it first started, and during the last season, I was only 8, so I don't remember much about it. But I have seen the first season on DVD, so most of this is taken from what I've observed on the first season!

P.P.S. Some of you might be wondering about Janine after the end of this… well, since Vinnie and Janine were on again, off again until the end of the first season, let's just pretend like this is during an off-again part… Janine is still friends with Wanda and everything, but just not dating Vinnie!

Prologue: The Atomic Nachos

Lex Aidan stood up angrily, her big blue eyes shooting daggers towards the woman in front of her. "No!" she said. "They're counting on me! I've got to be there!" With that, she knelt down, scooping up her guitar case. She marched towards the front door.

"Don't youdare, Alexa Nicole!" Bethany Aidan shouted after her daughter.

Lex opened the door and stomped through it, slamming it shut behind her. She dashed towards the car waiting at the end of the driveway. "Go, Gavin," she said to the driver as she slid into the passenger seat. "Let's go!"

"But your--"

"Don't worry about her," Lex said, speaking of the short, thin woman yelling at her from the front door of the house. "Let's just go. We're already ten minutes late, it's probably safe to say that the boys are sufficiently pissed off."

"Shit, Lex, why does your mother do this every time?" Gavin Andrews asked as his car screeched out onto the deserted road of the development.

Lex shrugged as she leaned back in the bucket seat. "Dunno," she muttered as she tossed her guitar into the back seat. She turned to look at the guy in the driver's seat. Though it was dark outside and she couldn't see well, she stopped short. "Gavin?"

"Yo," he said.

"What did you freakin' do to your hair?"

Gavin smiled widely and managed a quick gander at Lex before going back to the road in front of him. "You like?" he asked.

"It looks like a porcupine attacked your head," Lex said of the short spikes.

Gavin turned to glare at Lex. Shaking his head in disgust, he said, "Oh, bite me."

Lex rolled her eyes. "Just drive, Gavin."

"You're the one that brought it up!" Gavin argued as he merged onto the highway.

Lex didn't justify this with an answer; instead, she leaned down and busied herself with smoothing out her jeans.

They reached their destination five minutes later. Lex jumped out of the car, grabbing her guitar as Gavin hurried to her and grabbed her arm.

"Hm," said Gavin as he and Lex stood side-by-side, staring at the building in front of them.

"Gav?"

"Yo," Gavin said, using his favorite line.

"I think there's more space here than what's in your brain," Lex commented, the complex rising up in front of her.

"I'll have to say, it's the biggest bar I've ever seen," Gavin said, not realizing Lex's insult to him.

Lex took a breath, then let it out. "All right, let's do it."

The two headed towards the front door, where a huge bouncer was checking IDs. Lex and Gavin pushed their ways to the front of the pack of people standing in line. "We're with the band," Gavin said matter-of-factly to the large man.

"Go ahead," the bouncer grunted, and Lex and Gavin slipped inside.

"There's the stage," Lex said, pointing towards the far side of the large room they were in. The duo rounded the bar counter in the center and headed towards it.

"What the freak, man? Where were you two?" Fox McLeod was standing in the center of the stage, hooking up an amp to his bass guitar.

"Mrs. Aidan," Gavin said, jumping up to stand next to Fox and extending his hand to Lex, who put her guitar down on the wooden floor of the stage and joined the two.

"Jeez, Lex, again? When's your mom ever gonna figure out that you're a big girl?"

"Maybe when I'm forty," Lex said hopefully, carrying her guitar to the keyboard set up stage right.

Fox tossed the cord he was holding to the ground. "Well, I'm glad you're here. You shoulda heard Shane about five minutes ago, you've thoroughly pissed him off… again."

"See, didn't I tell you?" Lex said as she opened her guitar case and pulled her shiny acoustic guitar out.

"Yeah, but whose fault is that?" Gavin called from the drum set at the back of the stage, where he was testing out the chair height. "Good job setting this up, Fox," he added.

Lex rolled her eyes.

"Guys, we've got a dressing room right off the stage, first room on the right," Fox said. "I'll tell the others you're here." He headed offstage.

"I'll come with you," Gavin said, and he followed Fox.

Lex set to work, quickly tuning her guitar to the keyboard. Then she set it on its stand and headed towards the dressing room she knew the boys would be in.

"Heya, Lex," Cole Rockwell said as she entered, turning from the mirror where he was combing his longish bob of brown hair.

"Hey, Cole. Hi, Parker. What's up, Shane?" she said to the guys scattered throughout the room.

"Fashionably late again, I see," Parker Whitlock commented from the couch in the center where he and Gavin were paging through a guitar magazine.

"I wouldn't call it fashionable," Shane English said from where he and Fox were restringing Fox's bass guitar on the couch at the far end of the room.

"Chill out, Shane," Lex said, flopping down next to Gavin on the couch. "I coulda just not shown up at all."

"Under normal circumstances, Alexa, I would argue with you, but there's no time, we're on in ten minutes, and Fox's damn guitar isn't cooperating," Shane growled.

Lex stood and headed towards Shane and Fox. Taking the guitar, she had the string on in no time. "Show time, boys," she said with a smile. "This is why you keep me around."

All five boys groaned in unison at Lex as they headed towards the stage.

Lex didn't think twice as she stepped out onto the platform. She grabbed her guitar from next to the keyboard and headed towards centerstage, not even blinking at the bright lights shining in her face. This was nothing new to her; she had been performing with the band for over a year now, and this was just another gig. She glanced at Cole, who was standing next to her as she strapped on her guitar, and then glanced behind her to see Shane strapping on his electric guitar next to Parker on keyboards. Gavin on drums and Fox on bass, with lead singer Cole and second singer/acoustic guitarist Lex rounded out the group.

The crowd was cheering, not wildly or anything, but cheering. Lex grinned and looked to Cole again, who pulled his microphone off its stand. "Thank you!" he said. "We're the Atomic Nachos, and we're here to party! Kick it, Gav!"

And they were off. It was a heck of a concert, and Lex loved every minute of it. The band exited a couple of hours later after two rounds and a brief intermission. Lex was smiling like an idiot as she toted her guitar into the dressing room. She collapsed happily onto the couch, her grin never leaving her face as she sighed with glee. This was what she lived for. Whether it was playing guitar in the Atomic Nachos, or singing her solo at the top of her lungs with the gospel choir, or playing French horn in the orchestra, this was her life.

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"Hey, thanks for the lift, Gav," she called as she jumped out of the car.

"Yeah, dude, no prob," Gavin said back as Lex shut the car door. He pulled the car into the street, and Lex started up the front walk. In her mind, she was formulating the excuse that she would give to her mother.

"Mom?" she called as she entered the house, closing the door behind her. "Mom?" The living room was dark, so she hit the switch by the door and put her bag on the table next to it. She walked through the living room towards the stairs, pulling her shoes off with her feet and letting them randomly lie on the carpet. She ascended the stairs, figuring her mother had probably already gone to bed. When she reached the top, she noticed that the hall light was on. "Weird," she whispered, making her way towards her bedroom. On the way, she passed her mother's room. She was beginning to feel bad about the way she had treated her mother earlier that evening, so she stopped outside the door and knocked. "Mom?"

There was no answer. Lex figured Beth was sleeping, but she was itching to make things right with her mother, so she twisted the knob of the door. It swung open with a creak. By the light of the chandelier in the hallway, Lex could make out the shape of the queen bed and her mother's dresser. "Mom? Mom, can we talk?" She entered softly. "Mom?"

Suddenly, an eerie feeling of dread entered her heart. She couldn't explain it, but something felt very wrong. She flipped the light switch by the door, flooding the room with a yellow glow. What she saw made her heart fall to her feet.

"Mom!" she yelled, dashing into the room. "Mom! Mom! Are you okay?" She dropped to her knees by the bed, where her mother was splayed, unconscious. "Mom!"

If you were to ask her later about how exactly events transpired that night, she would tell you that she wasn't sure. Somehow she managed to call 911 from the phone next to the bed, and somehow she managed to sit next to her mother, holding her hand. To Lex, it seemed like eternity, but it was only a matter of minutes before she heard the paramedics in the hallway, calling out for Lex.

"In here," Lex found herself saying, her voice unbelievably steady for what was happening. "She's in here. Please, help her." No tears fell from her baby blues; she was surprising herself by how put-together she was staying.

Two men scurried into the bedroom, and Lex was quickly pushed away from her mother. Before she knew it, they were carrying her mother out on the stretcher.

And still, no tears fell from her eyes. Instead, Lex Aidan stood forlornly in her mother's bedroom, her heart empty, not sure what to do next.