March 18, 2010: Goodness gracious. I think I've babbled enough for one day, so I'll try to make this brief. O_O As noted, the third in the WDIG? set. For clarity's sake, I'm going to give you a timeline -- like the first in the set, this one skips an occasional chunk of time. O_O Prologue is set somewhere around early fall of 1984, Part 1 skips forward to somewhere around February of '85. From there on out, it's pretty straightforward. Part 2 is set about a month later in March and Part 3 and 4 are set in May. Part 4 is a direct continuation of three (set on the same day), but if I'd left them together, the part would have ended up too long. I think that's it...?
Disclaimer: Neither the musical nor the boys belong to me, if they did they'd be groping each other on sta--. *pause* *blinkblink* Huh. Look at that... they do. *eg* :D ((*coughs* For the record, because I never actually stated it in the disclaimer before, I'll state now that I do know that "Hair" was written in 1967 by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and with music by Galt MacDermot. Thank you very much.))
Word Count: 22,984 -- and even with all that, one of the two scenes I was most eager to write... decided it wanted to wait for the next fic. *falls over*; ~5500 per part, except for the prologue, which is 1,357.
Warnings: Still slash. ^_^ And apparently, when you hold off the angst bunnies too long... they explode all over your computer. And they get on *every*thing. :-P Ugh.
Let the Sun Shine In
Finally. It was finished. Jeanie's lips stretched up into a smile of grim satisfaction. All the things she'd written, all the stories she'd told... all along they'd been mere practice, preparation for the work she'd just finished. It was almost painful, seeing the words "The End" written at the bottom. She'd labored over this story for so long it had been like birthing a second child. She almost didn't know what to do now that it was finished.
A splotch of wetness dropped from her face to the paper and it was with no small amount of wonder that she realized she was crying. Raising a hand to her face, she gently wiped away the tears. The motion caught the attention of the table's other occupant. Face drawn in worry, her son reached out a hand to clasp hers, "You OK, mom?"
Jeanie grabbed tight hold of her son's hand and smiled, "I'm fine, Claude. Better than fine." Turning the stack of papers in front of her to face him, she let out a wet, little laugh, "I think... I think it's finished."
At those words, Cloud's hand reflexively tightened on hers, "Really, truly?"
Her laughter firming up at the joy and hope in her son's face, Jeanie brought his hand up and pressed a kiss across the knuckles, "Really, truly." At the immediate twitch in her son's fingers and the almost hungry look in his eyes, Jeanie laughed again, "I knew I should have waited until you finished your homework before telling you." With a heavy sigh, she pushed over the stack, "Now you'll never get it done."
With a wicked grin, Cloud grabbed the stack of typeset pages, gave Jeanie a kiss on the cheek and scampered off to hide in his room with the manuscript. He'd waited almost two years to read this story -- hell, in a way, he'd waited his whole life to read this story. He'd be damned if he was going to wait another second longer than he had to to get his hands on it.
Five hours later, Jeanie was nervously pacing her living room, jumping every time she thought she heard a door open. My G-d... It was worse than having a child. At least when you had a baby, you knew no one was going to walk up to you and tell you how ugly it was.
Wringing her hands, Jeanie glanced at the clock again. Five hours and five minutes. Damn it. So intent was she on the passage of time that she actually didn't hear the sound she'd been waiting 305 minutes to hear -- the sound of her son's door opening. So when he walked up behind her and touched her shoulder, she about jumped out of her skin. Whirling around, she took a good look at her son's face... and immediately wanted to bury her own, "No... was it really that bad, Claude? Really, truly?"
Taking a deep breath and frantically wiping his eyes, her son shook his head, "No, mom. It was that good. It's just... I guess I never..." Flinging one hand up helplessly, he continued, "There's so much that makes sense, now." His voice dropped into a harsh whisper for the last words, "I never realized what a charmed existence I've had. I don't think anyone my age really does. I can't even imagine..." His voice trailed off.
Jeanie plucked at her son's shirtsleeve, feeling suddenly and inexplicably shy, "So... you liked it?"
"Mom, 'like' is too mild a word. It's a wonderful play..." He cut off the words with a blush.
Poking his shoulder, Jeanie assumed a mock-stern expression, "I sense a 'but' there, young man."
Cloud winced, "I don't want to step on your toes, mom, and G-d do I love the ending you wrote... but you've gotta change it."
The mock-stern expression quickly became real and Jeanie crossed her arms over her chest. She'd lived with this story for so long in her head just begging to be written... now that she finally had it on paper, the last thing she wanted to do was change one of her favorite parts. Still... her son did have an eye for those sorts of things, and he was planning on studying theatre in college next year... Sighing, Jeanie gestured at him, "Well, go on, then. Explain."
With another apologetic look, he handed her a few pieces of handwritten loose-leaf, "I figured it would be easier to just show you."
Jeanie threw both hands in the air then grabbed the papers and grumbled herself over to the couch to sit down and read them. Twenty minutes later, once over the initial shock enough to reread her son's alterations, she grudgingly had to admit that what he'd written was good. It was very good. But that didn't mean she had to like it. Turning to face her son, she shook the papers at him, "It can't end like this! Claude, it just can't. It's not true and it's too sad!"
Cloud shook his head as he settled down next to her on the couch, "But mom... it has to. You lose the entire impact of the tragedy you've built if you give it a happy ending. And I know it didn't happen that way in real life... but this isn't a biography or a history text. It's a play. It doesn't matter." With an impish grin, he added, "Haven't you ever heard of artistic license?"
Frowning, Jeanie clung to the one thing she knew he couldnt shoot down, "But it can't end this sad. It's OK for everyone to leave the theatre with something to think about... it's not OK for them to leave depressed."
Cloud sat and thoughtfully tapped his chin for a moment, then smiled broadly, "OK, I got it. Bring him back out in the original costume at the end, throw in encores of some of the more upbeat songs and then invite the audience up on stage to dance with the actors!" Seeing his mother about to spew out a thousand reasons why they couldn't do that, he held up a hand, "No, really! It'll work. You've already broken down the fourth wall -- multiple times and very skillfully done, I might add -- so by doing this, you can have your tragic ending for the audience to go home and think about, yet still have your taste of cheer at the end so they leave happy. Right?" Seeing his mother ready to cave in, he grinned, "And it'll be unique. I can't think of any other show that does something like this. It'll help yours stand out."
Jeanie turned her eyes back to the papers in her hand, giving them a thoughtful frown as she skimmed back through them. Finally she nodded, a small smile starting at the corner of her lips, "I... like it." At her son's incredulous look, her smile widened, "Really, truly, Claude. You're right. I don't want to admit it, but you're right. It'll lose too much impact if I end it the other way. There's only one problem..."
Cloud raised an eyebrow as he leaned forward, "Oh? I thought we tackled all the big ones. What could possibly be left?"
Jeanie winced as she took the rest of the manuscript back, "If I end it this way... he's gonna kill me."
Cloud met her eyes for a moment, then broke up into laughter. When he finally sobered, all he had to say was, "Yeah... good luck with that. How about you warn me before you tell him, so I can be somewhere else... like Australia."
Jeanie covered her face with her hands and let out a small moan, "Only if I can join you there." At least she still had edits to do... and her agent still had to find someone willing to fund and produce the damned thing... If she was lucky and played her cards right, she might not have to tell him for another year or two! Maybe by then she'd have figured out how to do it. But Australia wasn't a bad back-up plan... just in case.
I know that wasn't much to start you off with. Part 1 is on the way, don't worry. ^_^
Coming Soon: An unwelcome situation at school leaves Claude feeling trapped and more than a little panicked. Berger sees it coming and goes to Crissy for help... and that action backfires in more ways than one.