A/N: Response to a challenge community on livejournal. Prompt was: I'd burn this city down to show you the light. From their selection, I chose this picture for reference: .com/albums/ac330/burn_this_city/challenge%20001/normal_

Rock This Town

It was the 80s. You know, all big hair and rock'n'roll. I mean, you can't imagine the rush of playing to a full bar of people who understood your music and really just jammed. Back then it was really about the music - it was the soul of it all. You didn't have pyrotechnics or crazy back up dancers. Not if you're good.

No, we didn't need all that back then. People came for the music and when we played live, it wasn't like anything else. It's like the crowd could feel the energy coming from the steel strings and I was leading them... Of course, your Uncle Pat on the drums too. He knew all about the vibe. Even Aerosmith jammed with us a few times. We were going to make it big.

"Hey Rufus, gig tomorrow, be on top shape, all right?" Pat's girlfriend, our manager, was phenomenal. She always had gigs lined up, people lined up, and she had quite a few connections too.

"Yea, all right Mins."

"I'm serious! The rep from Universal said we're pretty much in if we can kill it for him tomorrow night. Shit, we're going to be rockstars! I'm talking trashing hotel rooms, breaking guitars and being able to pay for a new one, a shit ton of groupies, we'll burn this fucking city down with our shit."

"We, Mins?"

"Hey, manager gets credit too, all right? Don't forget the little people when you're playing at the Garden. Now go get some sleep. And don't forget to not wash your hair!"

"Dan, can you hand me the salt?"

"Sure, smells good, Dad." He flips me the mermaid salt shaker his mother left behind and it sprinkles over the counter before I catch it. "Oh hey, watch it snow."

"You better plow that up." This chili is a masterpiece. A piece of art, really.

"Dad, your little girl is starving. When can we eat?" I should really say something about Jenny's posture. I don't want to be uncool though. My own dad used to nag me about the way I stood and sat. Then I went out and decided to be a musician.

Maybe I won't say anything.

"As soon as you toss that salad and bring it over, we'll be all set. Dan, can you set the table? There's a pitcher of punch in the fridge." My little elves with my nose and her mother's hair go straight to work.

"A pitcher of punch? Fancy. Let me get my vest."

"Dan! Stop messing around, I want to eat!"

"Yes, Jenny, you're going to starve like the children in Africa while I put this thing on." Dan works in slow motion as he gets an arm through a sleeveless hole.

"Dad! Say something!"

"Dan, don't tease the starving animal."


"So this is it?"

"...Yea." I felt a little bad. We've come such a long way, but...

"You're sure. There's no turning back on this. I mean, no pressure and we get it, but..."

"I know, Mins. I'm sorry Pat, we've been through a lot together, man, but this really just..."

"I get it, man. You're like my brother. These things come first. Screw Universal. Rockstars work on their own schedules. It's their loss. We're just going to keep it real, that's all. Now, let me see the little guy."

My gaze lingered on the bundle in my arms, pink, crying and wrinkly, before looking back at his godfather. "Your bracelets, Pat."

"Oh shit." He snapped off the leather straps studded with spikes.

"Great job, doofus. This is why we're never gonna have kids."

"Shut up, Mins. You're as maternal as a fucking porcupine."

"Language, jackass! There's a kid in the room."

I shut them both up when I handed him the little thing. They, too, were in awe.

"Hey there, little guy." The toughest girl in all of the lower east side softened her voice to something that resembled, well, a mother. "Welcome to the most kickass family ever."

"Does he have a name, Ruf? Or do I have to call him Little Humphrey because that sounds like an orphan."

"Pat! If you weren't holding a baby, I'd hit you. Who says that?"

"Dan! It's Dan." There weren't going to be any fights today. Not on the happiest, most important day of my life.

Mins scrunged up her nose. "Dan. I'm guessing the wife picked it?" She carefully took the baby from Pat's arms. "At least he looks like you." She turned her eyes back on the baby. My son. "Hey there, it's your Aunt Minnie. Don't you boys dare say anything."

"Dan's a great name. An honest name. My boy's going to be an honest, upstanding man." I would devote my whole life making sure of it.

"Oh, so he's not going to take after you."

"So today, Blair totally talked to me and it was awesome." Jenny's been all giddy about this Blair person since she started at Constance.

"Oh, you mean the Blair witch?" Dan doesn't quite share her opinions on this girl.

"Just because she's the most popular girl in school, Dan, doesn't make hating her cool."

There's a picture behind Dan of the kids and their mother. Probably from about nine years ago, right before a gig. They look the same. At least, they do to me.

"She's a horrible person, Jenny!"

"And you're judgy! I mean, I know she's not blond and named Serena van der Woodsen-"

"All right, guys, let's not bring that up again. Blondes are a weakness for Humphrey men. Dan, can you pass me the bread?"

He looks at me with an invested look on his face and passes the basket over with apprehension. Jenny mirrors him too. For siblings who never agree on anything, they sometimes act like they're attached at the brain. Maybe it's just the little things they get from me.

"Blondes? Dad? As in more than Mom?"


"No, dad, you're not getting out of it. Spill!" Jenny sounds more and more like a teenage girl everyday. A train rumbles past and the noise drowns it all out. "Ooh, that was a big one."

Yea, I guess we could have been big, Mins. We'll burn this city down, all right. We'll do it for them.