The Line Up

From the author that brought you The Line, Keeping In Line, and is currently bringing you A Fine Line…the continuing adventures of (ta da) Bronwyn Flueger.

(Stretching) Couldn't stay away from Bronwyn's senior year…I might get back to her junior year, but I think we can all assume that it was normal. She and Drew successfully keep dating from the end of Keeping through Drew's departure to his first year of school and all the way until the Spring of Bronwyn's junior year. Billy does a good job as Captain and decides to march Captain as a Quints player (not unprecedented, but certainly not usual at BHS), which leaves Thomas as snare Lieutenant (another unusual position). The story of Bronwyn's junior year is currently being sketched out through another characters eyes and POV. It's tentatively titled The Guard and I'm very excited about it (!). I will be contributing, but another (extremely talented) writer will officially author the season. Which is good, because it will be a much more realistic depiction of that section.

30.6.2010 - So, I'm in the middle of a MONSTER edit of The Line Up and have been making some pretty major changes to the story. The ending will be the same, but getting there will be very different. I'm proud to see how far I've come since originally finishing this story in 2006. Look for drabbles and short stories for clues to the changes.


Chapter 1: The Set-up

Bronwyn looked down the crowded hallway and smiled at the preparations for Drum Line auditions. Almost two years ago exactly, she had been a contradiction of feelings: petrified, but confident. Sacred, but prepared. Naïve, but skilled. She hadn't dreamt of getting snare…okay, she had of course dreamt about it, but never thought it would be a reality for her sophomore season. The time had flown by and now it was close to the start of her senior year. There was only one thing standing between her and a perfect senior year. Tony Clarke. Her fellow rising senior had been on the snare line almost as long as she had. True, things between them had definitely improved since the beginning of their acquaintance, but with the position of Captain in the balance, they had both reverted to their former relationship of basically ignoring each other.

If that wasn't enough to make things complicated, the instructor of the Brookwood High School Drum Line had changed. Henry had bid everyone a fond farewell at the end of last season and had ushered in the new instructor and former Captain, Spence. The Line of the current season had thrown a surprise going away party for him and many former members had shown up. Henry had been working with Spence for much of the previous season, so the transition was going to be a little easier on everyone, but Bronwyn wished Henry could've held out for one more season.

Still, do you think Spence is going to choose you as Captain?

Why shouldn't he? I'm definitely the best player.

When it came down to sheer mechanics, there was no question that Bronwyn was the better percussionist. She had been first in the state last year. No one could argue that fact.

However, Drum Line was another beast entirely. Although she and Tony were both in the highest level band class, ever since the date of Drum Line auditions had been released, they had started avoiding each other.

Which is too bad really…

Why is that?

Uh, I never thought I would say it, but he's actually a friend.

Bronwyn couldn't put a finger on it, but somewhere during the last season, she and Tony had actually become real honest-to-goodness friends. Once in awhile they even actually went out and did things together.

He was there for you when Drew broke things off…

Bronwyn winced. She still didn't like to think about her recent break up. She and Drew had beat the odds by dating almost all the way through her junior year, but eventually they grew apart.

Is that what we're calling cheating these days?

Bronwyn wasn't one hundred percent sure that Drew had technically cheated on her while he was at school, but it helped her feel a little bit better.

Just think, you've gotten that whole 'first love' thing out of the way and now you have time to concentrate on your last season on the Line.

That's one way of looking at things.

If only he hadn't broken up with me before Prom…

Bronwyn thought about the upcoming dance and how excited all her friends were to be going. The redhead was looking forward to a night of possibly going up to hang out with Lucy Karate, one of her good friends and a sophomore (almost junior) in college. Now that Bronwyn had acquired her driver's license, it definitely had improved their friendship. Bronwyn was amazed that they had remained friends through the years.

I guess it's pretty interesting what technology can do.

Her thoughts drifted back towards the big event on any junior or senior's calendar.

What about Geoff? You could always give him a call.

Bronwyn had been surprised that she remained in touch with the former cutie Brass Captain, even if their entire relationship existed in cyberspace.

Yeah, because everyone in college wants to go to a high school Prom.

Bronwyn's thought were interrupted when she continued looking down the hall and was beyond frustrated to see none other than Dana Berman at the end of it.

What in the f is she doing auditioning?

Uh, it's a free country. Anyway, it's not like she's got some mad percussive skills.

Bronwyn clenched her teeth.

Tony looked at her face and laughed, "If you stay like that long enough, your face will freeze."

Bronwyn crossed her arms, "I can't believe she's auditioning."

Tony followed the redhead's eye line, "I don't think you have to worry about anything."

"It's just the nerve of her even being here. I mean come on, she's not going to march on my Line."

"So sure it's going to be your Line?" Tony's eyebrows were raised.

"Uh-huh. Why? You thought it was going to be yours?"

Tony's eyes hardened, then softened, "Can we not worry about that right now?"

Bronwyn shrugged and said nonchalantly, "You're going to have to accept it eventually."

"Well, I came here to talk about something else entirely, but if that's what you want to talk about…"

Bronwyn looked at her friend, glad he was talking to her again. Tony had curly dark brown hair and looked completely different than the skinny, dorky 6th grader she sometimes remembered him as. In those six years, he had grown probably a foot, his shoulders had broadened considerably and, Wait, am I checking Tony out?

Bronwyn could see how some girls were attracted to her fellow snare. She looked at his yellow-brown eyes and asked, "What did you want to talk about?"

"Well, Prom is coming up."

"Don't remind me."

"Flueger, we only get two of them and since you're not going with anyone and neither am I…well, I thought we could go as friends."

Did Tony just ask me to Prom?

Sounds like it.

Don't leave him hanging, sister. You'd better give him an answer.

Which would be?

What do you have to lose?

Things could get weird.

Or, you could go to Prom instead of sitting alone at home.

True.

Tony was looking at her strangely, "Uh, Bronwyn, you could maybe give me an answer here."

Bronwyn replied, "Well, if it's just as friends, then I don't see why not."

"Cool."

"Cool."

Any further formal dance discussions were interrupted as Spence walked out of the band room, "Just the two I was looking for. Come with me."

Bronwyn and Tony shrugged and followed Spence into the band room.

Bronwyn asked, "What's up?"

Spence chewed his lip a moment before saying, "So, obviously, I don't have to ask if both of you are interested in being Captain next season?"

Both juniors shook their heads.

"That's what I thought. Well, I want to start my first season out the right way, so I'm not going to rush into any decision. I'm going to watch you both during Warm Up Week with the 8th graders and give you each a chance to be Captain. At the end of that week, I will decide who is going to be Captain of the Drum Line next season. Does that sound fair?"

Tony and Bronwyn both nodded.

Spence continued, "Before we start anything, please accept whatever decision I make. If you get all bent because I didn't pick you, then you might as well quit the Line. I know that I'm not Henry, but I need to know that you respect my opinion. Is that understood?"

Bronwyn and Tony both nodded.

"That's all for now. I'll see you guys next week. Oh, and good luck at auditions."

The pair walked out of the room.

Tony commented, "I guess that's fair."

"May the best one win."

"Do you really mean that?"

Bronwyn squinted her eyes. She couldn't picture her senior year without the gold braid of the Captain. Couldn't picture herself not leading the warm-ups in class. Couldn't picture herself not calling the cadences. Couldn't picture herself not going out on the field to accept the High Percussion caption they were going to win.

She replied, "No. I really want it."

"Me too."

Stalemate.

Tony grinned, "So, pick you up around seven next Saturday?"

"That's what friends are for."


Bronwyn went to the mall that night with Megan and Meredith in search of the perfect Prom dress. Her two friends were still confused at her snap decision to go to such an important dance with a friend (and former enemy).

Megan asked, "Are you sure this is such a good idea?"

Bronwyn responded, "Why wouldn't it be? I mean, it's not like anything is going to happen."

Megan shrugged, "You say that now, but that's what I was saying when I went to Homecoming with Tyler and you know how that turned out."

Meredith interrupted their discussion, "How about this one?"

She held up a beautiful navy dress. Actually, it was more like a gown. Bronwyn's breath was momentarily taken away.

Megan commented, "That's a lot of dress to be wasting on just Tony."

Bronwyn said, "Maybe I'll just keep it for next year then."

In the dressing room, Bronwyn felt like a million bucks. Walking out, the expressions on her friends faces cemented her decision.

"I am so getting this."

Meredith cracked, "Tony's not going to know what hit him."


AN: Bronwyn started complaining when I got going with Lucy, so I had to get started on B's senior year. Now, no complaints, but it may be awhile before I update...consider this more of a teaser chapter, but I will try my best to keep up with it. What do you think?