Three Part Harmony: Garden
by Maureen

music and lyrics by Pearl Jam

This is a three story arc which links the songs Alive, Once and Garden by Pearl Jam. It begins as the story of Eddie Vedder (lead singer of Pearl Jam) and continues as a possible outcome of the real events. It is a work of fiction and no money is being made.

***

The direction of the eye
So misleading
The defection of the soul
Nauseously quick

"You've been sentenced to six months probation and community service at one of the EMS stations in Kingsport," the judge proclaimed, banging his gavel.

Jamie looked at his feet, knowing he was going to regret taking the guitar picks more than anything in the world. It was stupid, he had been pissed at Catie for not letting him show his science class who was boss so he'd taken the guitar picks. And here he was two weeks later, on probation for it.

I don't question
Our existence
I just question
Our modern needs

"Community service? All he gets is community service?" his foster mother was saying to her husband when Jamie walked up. "He should be in juvenile hall!"

"Hi Mrs. Gregory," Jamie said, ignoring her comments. He knew he wasn't welcome at their house anyways so there wasn't much point in anyone pretending like he was.

"You got lucky today!" she snarled, walking towards the parking lot.

Jamie shrugged and followed, not really caring what she thought. After three years in the foster system he had become inured to feeling unwanted. It was the same, six months at that group home, a couple months with this family, and then they moved him again. Foster families only wanted babies that they had the option to adopt.

Jamie snorted to himself, 'try before you buy' children. It was the sad truth for him. He would never be adopted by a family that wanted him, he would never be reunited with his mother and he would never belong in a family. It was just how life went sometimes.

I will walk with my hands bound
I will walk with my face blood
I will walk with my shadow flag
Into your garden
Garden of stone

Catie met Jamie that afternoon at the park. "So you've got probation?" she questioned.

"Yeah," he replied sullenly. He hated the idea.

"For how long?"

"Six months, have to work at the EMS station."

Catie began to giggle uncontrollably. Jamie looked at her trying to figure out what was so funny when she her laughing finally subsided into hiccups. He crossed his arms over his chest and glared at her, "What's so funny?"

"Nothing!" she denied, hiccuping and blushing. "Nothing at all."

"Exactly," Jamie agreed, "There is nothing funny about probation."

After all is done
We're still alone
I won't be taken
Yet I'll go

"Nothing funny about probation, but everything is funny about the EMS station!" she chortled, laughing again.

"Oh really?" he replied, skeptical. It was a lame punishment, not something hilarious.

"Yeah, the super squad serves there!"

"Super squad?" Jamie questioned, unfamiliar with the term.

"You know, Val Linear, Tyler Conell and Hank Beecham? Cheerleader and football preps on the honor roll every semester?" Catie replied, 'duh' all over her tone.

"They work there?" Jamie repeated, the sinking feeling in his stomach becoming titanic. He fell backwards with a thud, arm over his eyes. "I'm dead, I'm so dead," he repeated as if a mantra.

I will walk with my hands bound
I will walk with my face blood
I will walk with my shadow flag
Into your garden
Garden of stone

With trepidation Jamie got out of the minivan his foster mother drove in front of station 32. The pale concrete trying hard to be inviting but suceeding only at showing how drab the building was in comparison to everything around it.

He turned around, hoping she would take pity on him, but the van was already at the end of the street, turning to head back towards the grocery store. Damn.

I don't show
I don't share
I don't need
What you have to give

Jamie opened the door, steeling himself for the worst. After all, doing time with the super squad had to be as bad as juvie. He sighed, there were no guns or even worse, textbooks pointed at him. So far so good....

Oooh, I will walk with my hands bound
I will walk with my face blood
I will walk with my shadow flag
Into your garden, garden, oh

But he couldn't shake the feeling that he should've shown his science class that he was no pushover.

***

A/N: Originally I wrote this fic where Jamie went psycho on his science class in Once...but the more I thought about it the more I absolutely hated that idea. Those of you that know me know that I have absolutely no tolerance for school or office shootings at all. So...this is the slightly revised ending...and I think it is slightly more believable.