THE BROOD (Working Title)

By Debwood

This is R-rated for language, violence, and other things.

Chapter One

It wasn't pulling the speed demon in the classic Dodge over that bothered him. What bothered Officer Smith was that he hadn't had a chance to drink his coffee yet. Sighing, he climbed out of his cruiser, Styrofoam cup in one hand, walkie-talkie in the other. The driver of the pulled over vehicle, a young man with wavy blonde hair and sunglasses, sat quietly, his calm expression concealing his impatience. He had a gig to get to, and already he was running late.

Come on, officer! I have places to go and things to do! he thought. My band's gonna start practice without me, and I'm bound to get hell from everyone. Through his sunglasses, he watched Officer Smith reach for his walkie-talkie. A wild idea suddenly struck him, and he turned his attention to the road ahead.

Everything happened at once. The driver floored the gas pedal, and his car pealed out with a screech of tires and a cloud of dust. Officer Smith, startled by the car's sudden takeoff, dropped his coffee and dove back into his cruiser. But, by the time he got back into his car and put it into Drive, the Dodge was already gone.

The young driver glanced over his shoulder to make sure the cop wasn't behind him. When he was confident that no lights would be flashing in his rear-view mirror any time soon, he turned back to the road and laughed. "So long, Sucker!" he said.

The car zoomed past a local high school, where the kids had just been let out for the day. In the parking lot, the street team of the band the speed demon sung for slid ads underneath car windshields. In the courtyard, groups of students hunched over copies of the school paper and discussed the upcoming concert advertised on Page Seven.

By the time the young man walked through the door of the Black Lava, guitar case in hand, the rest of his band had started rehearsal without him. The lead guitarist glanced over and said, "It's about damn time you showed up, Addy! We've been playing without you for almost fifteen minutes!"

Adam Copeland threw his leather coat onto the nearest table and opened his guitar case. "Whatever, Chris. I got detained."

Chris cocked a blonde eyebrow. "Detained?"

"By one of the city's finest. I was doing 50 in a 35, and he was about to call me in and write out a ticket."

David, the band's drummer, glanced up over his drum kit. "About to?"

Adam cracked a smile. "That is, until my foot slipped," he continued, plugging his guitar in and tuning it. "By the time the officer got it together, I was long gone."

"Oh, you're bad!" exclaimed David, as the rest of the band members laughed.

"Come on. It's not like I haven't done it before."

"We're just waiting for the day you finally get busted for driving like a maniac," chimed in Daffney, their lead singer. The bassist, Jay, just chuckled softly and shook his head.

"By the time I get busted, it'll be snowing in Hell." A pause. "Let's start this rehearsal for real, Guys."

Although he hadn't been in the music industry for long, Adam could tell the difference between a Good Night and a Bad Night. From the get go, Adam knew this was going to be a Good Night. The band blasted through "Crawling The Walls," then followed with "Broken Glass" without missing a beat. The instruments sounded tight and well-tuned, and the timing was excellent. The waitresses on duty actually sat to listen, obviously impressed. Adam noticed heads nodding and smiled inwardly. Everything about Adam—his stance, his walk, his mannerisms-said, "Here I am! Take notice!" It spilled over into the music his band wrote and played-he just made the guys around him want to play better.

Finally, when the set was finished, the band racked their instruments and headed off the stage for a much-needed break. "Hey, Addy! Get the hair out of your eyes," David joked, noticing that the blonde's hair was flopping in his face. "You look like a Muppet!"

"Ha!" Adam flipped his hair out of his face. "You're one to talk! You look like you just crawled out of a Dumpster," he cracked back, referring to David's beat up sweatshirt and jeans.

David shook his head laughingly and chugged out of his water bottle. No matter how much he tried to tease his bandmate, Adam always seemed to have an appropriate comeback.

Chris approached the lead and put an arm over his shoulder. "Addy, you wanna grab a bite to eat before we go out on stage for real?"

"I'm not hungry, but I'll go with you guys anyway," Adam answered, noticing that Johnny was looking at him strangely. He lowered his voice. "What's the matter, Irvine? I ate before I came over here. You look like I'm gonna bite you or something."

"Nothing earth-shattering. I just had a strange thought run through my head."

"You are a strange thought."

"I'm not sure about this," said Matt Hardy, as he, his brother, and his best friend arrived at the front door of the Black Lava at 8:30 that evening. "This shirt feels way too revealing." He tugged at the hem of the top he wore. It was black and stretchy, short-sleeved, with ribbing on it that made him feel like he was showing off more than he should.

"No you don't Matty," reassured the tall blonde on his right. "You look good in it. I don't know why it bought it in the first place, but it looks better on you than it does on me."

"I feel exposed, Jeff. I can't believe you gave me this to wear! I swear I'll never let you pick out my clothes again."

Jeff, Matt's baby brother, laughed. "Come on, you look tremendous. I don't think anyone short of Mor could rock that shirt like you can."

"I admire your bravery, stepping out like that," piped in Phil Brooks (everyone called him Punk), as he smoothed out his black Motorhead T-shirt. "With that shirt and the pants, you look like you're practically inviting some hot guy to cop a feel."

"Thanks, Phil. I so needed to hear that," Matt said, his voice dripping sarcasm. He pulled out his wallet and removed his ID and a ten-dollar bill.

Jeff shook his head. "Come on, Matty. You haven't been laid in like forever. I know your track record, especially your recent one. You can't let one bad experience ruin it for you permanently. You have to suck it up and start over."

"Which is why we're dragging you here," Punk added, giving Matt a nudge forward. "You're getting out of the house, and you're gonna have a good time if it kills you."

"I can't believe you're doing this to me," sighed Matt, as he showed his ID to the bouncer.

The bouncer checked the ID and let Matt enter the building, and then did the same to Jeff and Punk. "Enjoy the show."

Matt entered the building first. As he walked down the narrow hall that led to the stage, the abundance of neon and black lights struck him. It made Matt's head spin and made every fluorescent color in the place jump out at him. It was overwhelming, and just a little disorienting. The combined clouds of cigarette and weed smoke made Matt feel like he'd just stepped through the looking glass like Alice and entered a psychedelic Wonderland.

The hall opened up to a huge room swarming with young adults. Most of them were high school or college age like Matt, but some of them were older. They swayed and bounced and shouted along with the music coming from the stage against the far wall. The bar stood across from the stage, and more people were crowded around it, assaulting the bartender with their drink orders. The music playing was loud and vicious and crackling with energy.

So this is The Brood, the band everyone on campus has been talking about, Matt thought, studying the quintet for a moment. They definitely don't sound like amateurs! He remembered something he'd read about them in the local paper while on break at work-something about them winning some Battle Of The Bands over at McMahon Park a couple of months ago.

His gaze traveled to the dark-haired lead singer. She looked like a psycho Goth chick, dressed in some corset-bustier dress thing that probably came off the rack at Hot Topic. She bounced and swayed and pranced around the stage with manic energy and a catlike grace. She grabbed handfuls of her dark, straight hair, swung the mike stand around, and crouched down to get eye-level with the fans up front. Her singing voice moved effortlessly from gravelly-growly to silky-smooth, to banshee-screech. She was belting out the chorus to a song Matt had never heard before.

She wasn't unattractive by any stretch, but Matt didn't feel any real attraction towards her. She was definitely more Jeff's type, since Jeff was quite fond of the opposite gender. Matt shook his head, remembering the look of shock on his dad's face when he came out three years ago. He thought Jeff was gay, he thought in sour amusement. Turns out he had us confused.

Matt turned his attention back to the band. Wow, they didn't just play – they unleashed! And the rest of the band-the two guitarists, the bassist, and the drummer-were feeding off of the energy they were generating. They jumped around and played like musicians possessed. The audience was feeding off of it as well. Kids were body surfing and hooting and jumping and slamming in time to the furious beat. Before long, Matt and his two companions found themselves happily lost in the chaos.

Someone handed Matt a purple glow stick. "Wave this around!" she told him. "They're fun!"

"Sure, whatever," Matt answered, unsure if the kid had heard him above the crowd, and not really caring. The music had him by the neck, and he didn't want it to let go. It made him think of the smile of someone who was secretly into BDSM and other sexually deviant acts. A dark, nasty sort of knowledge lay behind the lyrics and backbeat.

Matt's gaze traveled to the rhythm guitarist on the left. Wow, he's definitely easy on the eyes! he thought. He and his companions got close enough to the stage to catch details. He was tall, over six-foot, with piercing eyes (he couldn't tell the color; Matt wasn't that up close) and a twisted, yet handsome grin. His hair was thick and blonde, falling in waves around his face and down his back. He (and the rest of the guys strutting on stage) wore black silk shirts with patterns on them that looked hypnotic, and faded blue jeans that looked just short of pornographically tight.

Man, these guys are awesome! Before he knew it, Matt was waving her light stick along with the other kids, adding another purple streak to the fluttering multitude. He, Jeff, and Punk jumped up and down like sugared-up ten year-olds at a sleepover

Finally, when the song ended, the audience gave out a roar, and the lead stepped back from the mike and flipped her long hair out of her face. "We gotta catch our breaths, we'll be back!" she shouted. "You guys are f?king awesome!"

Matt couldn't help smiling and hoped the band would come back soon to play the next set.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This story was actually written about five years ago, with different characters. I just recently got hooked on all things WWF Attitude Era, especially The Brood (Brief pause while I kick the Creative team's ass for breaking them up so early). For some reason, The Brood seemed to work as a band in this rewrite. I'm not sure who I'll be pairing up in this one, it's too early in the game. It may be Matt/Adam but who knows, that may change.

BTW: Matt's 23 in this story, Jeff's 20 (before the tats and colors in his hair) and Punk's also 20. I'd reveal more, but I don't want to tip my hand too early. Hopefully, I didn't make Matt sound too much like a girl! Read & Review. Reviews = Love. Plus, you get cookies!:-D

DW