Name comes from the Gnarls Barkley album/song. I know that Erik wasn't any of Norway's suggested human names but I love that name too much.

warnings: AU, and I think some OOC because it's the first time writing a fic that centers with them and I decided to throw them into an AU cos I'm smart


He's not going to try and mask it.

It's not jealousy. Not frustration. It's not even "artistic differences" as someone had so carefully put it early last night.

It's anger.

Pure anger running through his head, and probably feeding his day old stubble as he drives down the country road at 6 AM, alone on the road save for the red pickup driving a hundred or so meters down.

By all means, he should not even be here. He is supposed to be either fast asleep in a dingy and dusty motel or still out at a bar. He is not supposed to be driving from Quebec City back to St. Catharines in his black beat-up Ford, his gear crammed in wherever he can fit it. There is a rather large stuffed toy sitting upon one of his guitar cases in the backseat, a fat red-headed viking (horned helmet and all) he has lovingly named Olaf and has been using as a good luck charm since he was four. Olaf is glaring at him through the rear view mirror with his one remaining eye, as if saying there is not only one person upset at being kicked out of something that had been beautiful.

The grey morning fog obscures his vision as he drives, leaving only some of the road and the bright tail lights of the pickup visible. The fog is slightly thicker than usual and he can tell that the day ahead is not promising.

Pathetic fallacy. That's what Arthur would call it. Arthur always has a word or a term for everything.

Crisis. Catharsis. Dénouement.

Words too fucking fancy to be used to kick someone out of a band they helped create, but used none the less. Sometimes he wonders whether Arthur wants to be a singer or a high school English teacher, what with the man constantly blithering on about proper grammar and his god damned love for literary devices and applying it to every bloody stage of his life. Even when they are out drunk.

He double checks the small stack of printed out maps, making sure his going the right way down Backwater Road, Shitsville. Such bitterness doesn't seem suitable to his otherwise loud and obnoxious personality, but he is alone in the car. He supposes can be himself.

Ten hours. Ten hours he drove from home to Quebec City. He didn't go with the rest of the band and their motley crew; he was in jail overnight so he had to leave a day later than everyone else. He took his sputtering car all the way to Quebec City because he thought he was going to spend a week in the area playing shows. He definitely did not drive ten fucking hours to get kicked out of his own band.

Artistic differences. Personality clashes. Different opinions. Moving on.

Christ, they aren't even famous enough to be using those words and phrases on him. Who the hell do they think they are?

Thankfully, Alfred saved them the trouble of skirting around the trouble, and had said it in a blunt enough manner.

"We just can't work with you anymore, bro. It's what's best for the band."

What does Alfred know anyways? He's just a burger-chomping drummer. Everyone knows drummers don't know shit. Or bassists for the matter of fact because as he had been throwing his duffel bag back into his already crowded trunk, he could hear Gilbert assuring Arthur that guitarists are a dime a dozen, and they'd find a replacement. No problem.

He snorts. They are going to be nothing without him. Really.

And that has been what has been comforting him ever since he left. He doesn't even know why he left so early. They had told him to stay until later on in the morning, so they could give him things they owed, and maybe rub some more salt into the wound. His car had been packed since the night before when they had told him their decision, so he had slipped out while they were still all asleep.

He'd show those bastards. He'd show them by coming back with something bigger, something better, and while they would be playing in some tiny biker bar out in the sticks, he'd be killing it in the big arena. Amphitheatre. Big festivals. He'd show them not to kick out the best guitarist they'd probably ever have-

Suddenly, the red pickup seems much too close and he slams down on the brakes. His eyes have gone from tired and bleary back to their energetic blue. His car swerves, spins slightly, but comes to a merciful stop with a screech, taking up both lanes on the road. Out of his peripheral, he sees the truck speed away, and curses the driver to eternal damnation. Or something like that.

He rubs his forehead. It's too early in the morning.

It's then that he catches the eye of someone who has appeared to be knocked over by the commotion. A blond in a navy blue rain jacket is flat on his ass on the road, looking extremely angry. He reaches across to his passenger side and rolls down his window.

"Yo, kid!" He calls out, even though he guesses the person is maybe twenty-two, twenty-three, his own age. "Are you okay?"

The scrunched up face immediately smooths out and it has been one of the fastest change of expression from agitated to stoic that he has seen in a long time, not since he used to butt heads with that Berwald guy back in high school.

"I'm alright." Comes the reply, and even though the area around them is relatively silent, he still has to strain to hear. The blond gets up, brushing off his grey jeans and straightening out his rain jacket. As he picks up a slightly worn out backpack, something clicks.

"Hey blondie!"


"Want a ride?" the words are out of his mouth before he can think them over. The stranger raises an eyebrow, but slowly walks over to the passenger side and looks through the open window.

"Christensen. Call me Chris." He introduces himself to the stranger.


"Like the Lief? Isn't that a last name?"

The blond is not impressed by the poor joke. "Call me Erik. Isn't Christensen a last name?"

"Alright, Erik," Chris chuckled. "Where are ya headin'?"

When he blinks, he misses the way stranger's eyes flicker to the stack of papers on the passenger seat.

"St. Catharines." Erik replies evenly, and Chris gives half of what would have been a beaming smile in any other circumstance.

"Well, ya don't say."

He does not know why he has let the stranger buckle up, moving the paper maps into the glove compartment. Under any other circumstances, he would find it slightly shifty and it would feel like a set up for a cheesy horror movie.

But right now, he is pissed at his friends, his situation, life, something along those lines.

So he figures he could use some company.

St. Catharines is in Ontario, near Niagra Falls and Quebec City is in..Quebec. I was gonna put this in Denmark or Norway and make it some epic roadtrips but I like driving down lame roads because I am a lame person and the trip actually does take around ten hours, at least for me.

On a random note, I was traumatized in the second grade when I learned that vikings actually didn't have horns on their helmets.

thoughts + reviews really appreciated

and yup, fully aware that the name Christensen and Erikson are last names. Christensen was one of the names that were considered for Denmark and while I know it's a surname, I like it rather much and I know some who have it at a first name so I just took some (blatant) liberty. And as for the name'll see eventually.