Disclaimer: I don't own School of Rock, EMI Records, Starbucks, Pop Crunch or My Chemical Romance. Trailer Trash is brought about by my imagination, as is Richard the sound technician. Now that I'm out of school and officially unemployed while I wait for my license to practice, it'd be even less worth the effort of suing me.
"School of Rock Drummer Freddy Jones: on a downward spiral after massive breakup with band manager!"
And if the bright red ink and block letters splashed on the front page of Trailer Trash weren't enough to get attention, a photo of one of the latest rock icons bent over a sidewalk on Main Street with a beer in one hand and apparently completely wasted should've done the trick. To the side of this incriminating photo was one of the drummer and the aforementioned band manager, the two of them seemingly upset in such a festive place.
Summer snatched a copy of the tabloid from the newsstand, threw ten dollars at the vendor and left without waiting for her change.
She scanned the article as she stomped toward her car, and seethed anew when phrases like "scandalous affair", "secret relationship" and "band manager" caught her eye.
This has gone far enough.
Summer wasn't sure how many times people assumed that she was Freddy Jones's girlfriend, but it happened often enough for her to take notice.
It wasn't an easy mistake to make, in her opinion. Why would anyone think that she and Jones would ever be in an intimate relationship? If she remembered correctly, they had absolutely nothing in common. Oh sure, they were in the same band, but Summer was into the politics and business side of School of Rock, Freddy was into the music. It wasn't much of a similarity.
Everybody knew they hated each other with a passion that can fuel New York City's night life, but even the vehement arguments and the shouting matches they had every band meeting didn't stop them from brewing up new gossip about their drummer and manager's non-existent trysts.
Girlfriend. Hah. Yeah right. Summer snorted, rolling her eyes at the obnoxious headline. She had no intentions of being one of Freddy's trophy girls, and he sure as hell didn't want her as his girlfriend. He told her so himself.
The first time she heard it was in the early days of the band. Eighth grade, to be precise. They were having their first major out-of-town show, and she had gone to each band member's house to officially ask for their parents' permission.
Freddy's parents were the first to make the mistake. Summer had arrived during dinner, and even as she tried to say that she'll come back at a more convenient time, she found herself being ushered into the Joneses' kitchen, where she sat down across Freddy and beside his elder sister.
It was a pleasant dinner, she had to admit, and she was mildly surprised that Freddy's family wasn't as stupendously annoying as Freddy was.
They were finishing up the main course when Freddy's father spoke.
"Pretty clever of you, Freddy, not letting that Finn guy ask for your permission," he said, chuckling. "I would've never let you go, but you've got a pretty persuasive girlfriend here."
Summer choked on her steak. From across the table, she heard Freddy burst into laughter.
The next time happened several years later, on the band's first tour. Dewey had retired from the band, opting instead to work on his after-school program. With his blessing, they signed with EMI records and got on the road.
The Las Vegas show was a huge success, and even before they got to LA, the tickets were already sold out. After spending the night in one of the cheaper Vegas motels, School of Rock's tour bus was packed up and ready to go.
"So why aren't we leaving?" she demanded from Frankie, a crew member and bus driver. He shrugged and gestured toward Katie.
"We can't find Freddy again," the bassist sighed, and looked imploringly at Summer. Summer glanced at Zack for help, but the guitarist and now lead singer shrugged and said
"You know you're the only one who can find him."
And find him she did, in an apartment two blocks down the motel, naked and in bed with another one of his blonde, leggy harlots. She burst into the room after picking the lock (a talent she acquired due to Freddy's continual nighttime disappearing acts), and pulled the curtains open.
"Summer, what the hell?!" Freddy groaned, squinting against the flood of light. He didn't even wonder how she got in. He learned not to question the master's ways.
"You have five minutes to get your ass in jeans and in my car," she said, not missing a beat. She did, however, pick up the jeans and shirt that littered the floor and threw them at the disgruntled drummer.
The bundle of sheets beside Freddy stirred, and a head peeked out from the pillows.
"You didn't tell me you had a girlfriend," she said sulkily. Freddy made no response, and Summer rolled her eyes, dutifully turning her back so Freddy can dress himself.
The third was due to a fistfight.
They were back in Manhattan and the band just finished playing the last show from their first tour. Everybody was supposed to go on a break before they started working on their next album.
Summer was watching a movie with the singers, Katie, Eleni and Michelle when she received a call. Something about Freddy, a scene and a bar.
"You're on break, Sum," Alicia told her, just when she was about to walk out the Allens' front door. "Let him be an idiot if he wants to be."
"He's my responsibility," Summer sighed. "All of you are."
The bar wasn't too far from Alicia's place, and she got there in no time. She found Freddy slumped on a barstool, passed out on the counter, with a swollen eye and a bleeding lip.
"You're Summer?" barked the bartender. "You were first on speed dial."
"Too much vodka, is what happened," the bartender said, casting a disapproving glance at Freddy's form. "He beat the hell out of one of my biggest patrons, stupid kid."
Not another one, Summer groaned inwardly. "I'm so sorry," she said, whipping out her checkbook. "Did he break anything? What are the damages?"
"One broken table, three chairs and a bottle of Absolut," the bartender listed for her. "And oh. Tell your boyfriend he ain't welcome here no more."
She left the signed check with the bartender and with the help of a bouncer she got Freddy into her car. She was pulling up into Frankie's driveway to drop Freddy off when the drummer lazily opened his good eye.
"Hey," he said, looking a little dazed. "You came. I knew you would."
She gave a tired sigh and was about to say that of course she would, who else would put up with his bullshit, when he promptly heaved and blew chunks all over her dashboard.
Fame and fortune wasn't without its downsides, and for Freddy Jones it came in the form of alcohol. Of course, Freddy had thought of this more as a bonus rather than as a downside…before he got so smashed that he crashed his car.
Summer had been the first to arrive at the emergency room, frantic and nearly in tears as she demanded to see him. They tried to tell her what happened, but she got lost between fractured leg and cephalhematoma, which only made her panic worse. Only when he got out of surgery hours later did they allow her to see him. He looked terrible, but Summer was glad to see him breathing.
Only four visitors at a time were allowed in the hospital suite, but Summer made clever use of School of Rock's fame this time. With a promise of autographed posters, the nurses were more than glad to let famous Freddy Jones have as many visitors as he wanted.
She stayed outside the hospital room under the guise of making calls to cancel their next few gigs, to let Freddy have his time with the band. They'd come immediately after she called to tell them what happened. Now that he's safely in recovery, she made herself scarce. He didn't need her hovering above him like a worried grandmother. Which is why she was flattered when Zack came to get her.
"Hey Tink?" Zack said, poking his head through a crack in the doorway. "Freddy's been looking for you."
The band left not long after, to go to a signing. Summer was about to leave with them when Freddy grabbed her hand.
"Tink," was all his raspy voice could utter, but it was enough to make Summer stop and stay.
"Some things are going to have to change, Freddy," she said quietly, her hand still in his. "You can't keep doing this to yourself."
"You'll help me won't you?" he croaked, searching her face even though his eyes were almost closing from tiredness. She had wanted to yell at him, tell him off again for not listening to the many arguments they had about his drinking problem, but looking at him now as he pleaded with his eyes for her to stay, she just couldn't. She nodded, smiling. "Then I'll be fine."
Freddy stayed for a full week in the hospital, and Summer came to see him everyday. She always stayed an hour longer than the other band members, sometimes even past visiting hours, at his request. She always protested, saying she had better things to do, but she never really minded.
It was during one of those visits that she heard it a fourth time. She had said goodbye and was on her way out when Freddy's nurse came in to check up on him.
"It's rare to find someone who would care for you as much as she does, Mr. Jones," the nurse said conversationally as she checked Freddy's IV. Summer could hear the smile in her voice and she couldn't help lingering for a moment by the door. "You're very lucky with your girl."
At that, Summer shut the door behind her and hurried down the corridor, cheeks flaming. She didn't hear if Freddy replied, and she doubted she would want to hear what he had to say.
She wouldn't have found out about the fifth if he hadn't told her about it.
It was her twenty-first birthday. Eleni and Michelle had a surprise party planned out for her. Billy named one of his creations after her and Dewey, Zack, Katie, Lawrence and the singers were all chipping in to buy her a new iPhone. They'd asked if Freddy wanted to join them (they could use another person to split the two hundred dollar purchase with), but he said no.
A year ago, he would've tossed his credit card to Zack, not caring what they got for Summer as long as they put his name on the Happy Birthday card. But after the accident and rehab, it didn't seem fair to Summer if Freddy got her something so impersonal. They were actually friends now, closer than anybody else in the band. It was only right that he got her something that he actually thought of.
He had settled for a bunch of sunflowers and a birthday cake. Not the most original of ideas, and he nearly got stampeded out of the bakery (damn baker. Did she have to yell to everyone that Freddy Jones from School of Rock was there?), but they still made Summer's smile blindingly bright. She hugged Freddy, thanking him profusely.
"You know, the florist thought I was getting these for a 'special someone'," he told her, drawing quotation marks in the air.
Summer raised an eyebrow, pursing her lips to keep from laughing. "Oh? And what did you say?"
"Nothing. Let her think what she wants to," Freddy shrugged, grinning. "And besides, they are for someone special. Who can be more special than my band manager, right?"
Summer's smile flickered for a split second, before it came back full blast. "Right."
The latest just a week ago during their second album's release party, and it wasn't one of Summer's more pleasant memories.
She was with Katie and the rest of the girls, talking to Frank Iero and Gerard Way about a School of Rock possibly collaborating with My Chemical Romance when Zack came to get her.
"I tried to stop him. He wouldn't listen to me," Zack said, leading the way through the crowd to get to Freddy. Summer saw him, laughing boisterously as he downed four flaming shots in a row. She stepped forward, grabbing Freddy by the elbow and tried to drag him away.
"Come on, Freddy we talked about this," Summer said in his ear.
"So that's how you got so famous," one of the guys Freddy was drinking with called from behind them. "You sleep with your manager!"
A dark look passed over Freddy's face before he turned to Summer.
"Leave me alone, Summer," he said. "You're not my girlfriend. I don't owe you anything."
Summer's throat constricted and the backs of her eyes burned, but she managed to lift her chin and say "Fine."
That was the time she got sick of being mistaken as Freddy's girlfriend. She left the party and her friendship with Freddy at the door. She hasn't spoken to him since.
But it seemed that this silent treatment only strengthened the rumors of her so-called involvement with the drummer. He didn't exactly help quash the rumors either, what with him trying to get her alone all the time and sending her all those apology cards. (The cards were all dumped unceremoniously in a garbage bag under her table.)
And now, she held the tabloid in her hands, another one that spoke of Freddy's misadventures as she stormed up to the studio where the band was recording their latest single. Only Freddy was in the soundproof room at the moment to record the drum segment of the song. The rest of the band was in the control room.
Richard, the sound technician looked up when she walked in.
"Can we take five?" Summer said, more as a command than a request, glaring at Freddy through the glass window of the recording studio. Like everyone else, Richard knew not to cross Summer when she got like this. He got on the mic and told Freddy to take five.
Freddy was getting on his feet when Summer entered the studio.
Summer made no preliminaries and held the tabloid up. "What the hell is this?"
Freddy took the paper from Summer and skimmed the article. "Geez," he said after a while. "The way they put it, you'd think I was snorting coke, not having a beer."
"Weren't you?" Summer's tone was accusatory, as were her eyes. "After you worked so hard to get back on your feet Freddy! You know you're not supposed to drink anymore!"
"You're overreacting," Freddy tossed the paper aside and crossed his arms over his chest. "You aren't mad, by any chance, about the girlfriend rumor, are you?"
"No. This is about you, and your career, and why you're so damn insistent on bringing yourself down to the ground with your stupidity," Summer spat, and Freddy had the decency to look ashamed. "All I want is for you to have the best, and if these rumors are going to be good for your career then by all means, milk it for what its worth, but for the love of god please, don't try to destroy everything you've built. It's all you've got."
Summer was glaring at Freddy with so much venom, but the tears in her eyes somehow lessened the effect.
"I know I'm your band manager, but I'm getting tired of this," she whispered. There was no anger in her voice anymore, just sadness and the sound of giving up. She was talking about something else altogether now, she knew, and so did Freddy.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean what I said." Freddy tried to catch her eye but she wouldn't look at him.
"Stop it," she shook her head. "Don't apologize. You said it yourself, you don't owe anything to me."
"I was wrong," he held her chin in his hand and tipped her head up so he could see her face. "I owe everything to you Summer Hathaway. You're the only one who can find me, the only one who would put up with my shit. Only you can set me straight. I want you to."
"You know I can't keep cleaning up after you Freddy," Summer told him, even though her head was still spinning from his words. "I'm not your girlfriend."
"Then I guess I'll just have to change that," Freddy said, smiling.
And in an instant, Freddy had his hands on her shoulders and his lips on hers, silencing whatever scathing remark Summer had to say. Summer was aware that everybody else was listening in and that this was going to start another set of rumors, but she couldn't bring herself to care.
"Be my girlfriend already, would you?" Freddy asked as soon as he pulled away. One look at the expression of Freddy's face told Summer that he was serious. "Everybody thinks you already are anyway, and I think they should be right. You might as well be."
He said it so callously that Summer didn't know whether to punch him or kiss him again.
"Well," Summer said, a little breathless, but obviously happier than she'd been all week. "If it's going to set the rumors straight…why not?"
"Oh, it will," Richard's voice echoed in the soundproof room through the mic from the control booth. Summer heard cheering noises in the background. "We have it all on record."
Exactly a year later, Summer sat in a booth in Starbucks with a coffee in one hand and another issue of Trailer Trash in the other. An old snapshot of Freddy and Summer were in the front cover again, with the word Hitched? scrawled across in bold letters.
Beneath the photo was a footnote: Sources claim that Freddy Jones, drummer of School of Rock is engaged to band manager, Summer Hathaway. Full story on page 17.
"Those little weasels," Summer muttered. "No sense of privacy whatsoever."
"So, Miss Manager," Freddy said, grinning as Summer put the magazine aside. "I've already been asked by two baristas, a fifteen-year-old fan girl and a reporter from Pop Crunch. Are we confirming or not?"
Summer lifted her coffee mug, the diamond platinum band on her ring finger twinkling under the café's lighting. She grinned as well when she caught two hipster kids with frappuccinos staring at it while they whispered to each other.
"Nah," she shrugged, holding Freddy's hand under the table. "Let them have something to gossip about."
A/N: I'm experiencing a terrific craving of Frummer goodness, but big surprise, the fandom is lacking new material! So I came up with something myself, even though I'm still stuck in a major rut, just to try to get people interested in the pairing again. This was supposed to be a light read, but it turned out to be a little heavier than I planned.
And again, I'm seeing a lack of appreciation of some of the better, new stories here. (Waste Your Time by Gothic Ghost, Scandalous by Lady Anatui, New Wisdom by Exalted Brielle, and one shots by ThePrincessTigerLily and lilyflowr33 among others.)
So please, I speak for every author here in FFnet, especially this fandom, when I say: if you liked something you read, or even if you didn't like it, try to leave a review. It's the only consolation they get for their efforts.
Also, someone made a fanvideo of Freddy and Summer! I was so psyched to see that. Go to YouTube channel, hilaryth, if you want to watch it.
AND! Have you heard? There's going to be a School of Rock 2!
Okay enough. Now, review me please? Mucho thanks!\m/