Chapter 1- What A Guy Wants
Brick lay in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering for about the millionth time since he had hit puberty what had induced him and his brothers to move to the Town of Cityville in the first place. Sure, the crime was easy and there was always some bad boy hungry girls to chase after them but, as much as he hated to admit it, he was bored. They still went to school. It was the one thing he had insisted upon, he said they needed the mental stimulation and, after all, who could stop them. He liked the challenge. Shock caused him to sit upright in bed. That was what he needed, a challenge!
A vision of long hair wafted into his mind, and why would she not; there was enough of her plastered all over his bedroom walls. He liked to keep current. That was what he kept telling himself. It was way past time he admitted to himself that what had started out as an angry hobby had ended in obsession. Not even obsession fuelled by hatred at that! Over the years, for some reason or another, he had stopped hating her and started lusting. That thought actually had him laughing out loud. He was lusting after Blossom! Lusting after Red, a girl he knew he could never have, a girl who would never go for him.
All he had to do was think about her and mouth went dry. If he so much as glanced a picture of her at a newsstand, he reduced himself to petty thievery just to have it. There was just something about her, something about all that cascading red hair that she still grew far too long, that taunted him, dared him, dared him to touch it, or maybe it was her tiny waist that did him in, or was it her eyes that were still too large, still too innocent and her lips that were so lush and glossy that he just wanted to taste them that took his breath away. Maybe it was all of those things. Maybe it was just that he knew he couldn't have her.
It was time to go back. Brick couldn't remember the last time being a criminal was any fun. It was time for it to be fun again. His brothers would go back to The City of Townsville with him. Butch would go, if only for the opportunity to hit new things, and Boomer would go because he had been bitching for months about losing his inspiration, his will to draw, or some crap like that, the pussy. He chuckled to himself. Boomer got more girls than Brick and Butch combined, even though he clearly was not interested in any of them. He probably still believed that girls had cooties, Brick thought with a smirk. He was right; it was time to go back to Townsville. All he had to do was run it past Butch first.
The head-splitting beats that almost shoved him back into his room signaled him that Butch was at home; at least Brick didn't have to hunt him down this time. Sound-proofing, it was probably the only thing Brick and Boomer agreed on, that they knew of at least. Butch was fond of disturbing the peace; he wasn't a bad drummer or anything, far from it, his drumming put Brick and Boomer's guitar playing to shame. It was the ninety amps that did it. It took music and created noise so earsplitting that Boomer usually left the moment Butch walked in the door saying things like he had to find more mellow surroundings, or that he couldn't stay where his inner core's atmosphere was constantly disrupted. Artistic junk like that.
Brick swung in Butch's door, his mind reeling at the way his brother lived in chaos. He leaned against the door jamb, as he always did; refusing to set foot in Butch's self imposed dumpster. Leaning inward, he removed the barely visible plug from the socket next to the door, abruptly killing the noise.
"Pack up your shit. We're moving back to Townsville."
Butch looked at him as though he had sprouted a tail and horns and was asking him to climb Everest without his powers. Then, after a few moments of staring at him, Butch broke into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, until he noticed that Brick wasn't joining him.
"You can't be freaking serious!" Butch exclaimed.
"It's boring here. We both know it. Its time to move on." Brick replied reasonably.
"What the hell Brick! Have you been drinking acid again?" Butch said on a laugh.
"First of all, I never drank acid," Brick rebutted on a chuckle, "that was Boomer. He said it gave him the buzz he needed to create. Secondly, if you don't want to go nobody, not even me, is going to force you. But I'm going."
Butch looked at his brother in utter amazement, placing his drumsticks aside and coming to stand in front of Brick, all the while stroking the goatee he was trying to grow.
"I'm going," Butch said gravely, "after all, it's not like I have anything better to do."
The way he looked at Brick made him realize that Butch was just as frustrated in Cityville as he was. It made him smile, if somewhat rakishly as he pushed away from the door, causing Butch to view him with suspicion because of it.
"You're up to something," Butch said when he turned to leave, "I don't know what it is but you're up to something."
"Pack up your shit!" Brick demanded a little too harshly, "I won't tell you again."
With that he walked away. It irritated him that his brother could still read him so easily. It had been years since they had even worked together and suddenly, Brick was glad for their separation because otherwise Butch would have guessed exactly what was going on with him, Boomer probably would, but then he had a knack. Sometimes, it was scary the things Boomer just understood, it was like he had the power to go into people's minds and extract the information that they even hid from themselves. He meandered into the kitchen to find himself a snack. He was still lingering over a sandwich when Boomer walked in.
Before he could unwrap his mouth from the salami, ham, cheese, pastrami, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich (he hadn't wanted to overdo it), Boomer sat at the table, directly opposite him, the sketch pad that seemed to have grown out of his arm effectively obscuring their view of each other.
"We're moving to Townsville." Boomer informed him, as though the whole thing had been his idea.
"Yeah we are. It-"
"It's been long coming. You're bored here, so is Butch. You have no excuse to plan anything anymore and Butch has run out of things to hit blah, blah, blah. So, are you going to admit that this is about a girl?"
Brick almost choked.
"What girl?" he said in shock.
He felt, rather than saw Boomer lift his brow theatrically but he answered seriously enough.
"You know which girl. The one who got away. You really think you can get her interest."
Brick scoffed loudly.
"You've lost it Boomer. That last part was completely wrong," he hedged, "what are you, guessing?"
"No. I'm not actually," Brick could hear the smile in his voice, "I can tell. The drawings never lie."
Boomer angled the sketch pad so that Brick could see what he had been drawing. He grudgingly admitted, to himself, that the drawing was actually an exceptional copy of his likeness but, more shocking than that was the fact that Boomer's eyes were closed.
"How can you do that?" Brick asked, amazed.
Finally Boomer opened his eyes and smirked at his brother.
"A true artist sees with more than just his eyes. I'll be packing," Boomer said as he got up to leave, "oh by the way," he said, pausing when he got to the doorway, "you can relax. I won't tell Butch, not that he'd get it even if I told him."
Brick could not help but smile as he turned back to his sandwich. It was at times like that he remembered that good guys finished last and he had to laugh. He was no good guy. That was probably why he always came out of everything ahead of everyone else. He was the bad guy who always finished first. He would have Red. Chances were, she would not even see it coming. Then, maybe after he got her out of his system, he would finally be able to think straight again. Man, he could sure use a glass of Boomer's acid right then; but that was beside the point. He had plans to make and packing to do. Somehow, if it was possible, he could already feel some of his restlessness leaving him.
The next day at school, surprisingly, Butch and Boomer were in the office when Brick went in to 'talk' the principal into transferring them to Townsville High.
"What is this," Brick said on a chuckle as he walked up to them, "a gangbanging?"
"You hold him, I'll hit him." Butch replied smugly, cracking his knuckles and smirking.
"I'm just here to watch." Boomer put in excitedly, giggling like a fool, "Should be fun"
For some reason their being there made him feel excited too, more ready for anything that might happen. It felt good. He had forgotten how amazing it had felt to know he had backup. He shook himself and had to remind himself that he was not kid anymore. He did not need backup. He probably never would again.
"You have class," he reminded them, as sternly as he could manage, "and I work alone now. We all agreed on that. Now go back to class before I change my mind about being so nice."
In days past Brick would have had to deal with Boomer's puppy dog stare(it was a good one) and fight off Butch before he could get them to leave his side. In days gone by Brick had been a criminal mastermind, but he had had rules then, he had changed. He knew that he had grown up to be, at times, a very evil SOB. Even his brothers would not dare to mess with him as he was. He watched as they sulked out of the office before he pushed open the principal's door.
"Ramon (he always called their principal by his given name), you're going to transfer me and my brothers to Townsville High," he smiled nastily at the principal's startled face, "or I'm going to find very creative ways to convince you to do so."