Hey guys! I decided to rewrite this story because a small voice in my head wouldn't leave me alone.
A Small Voice: Liar! I said nothing!
Otherworldlywriter: You're the liar! You kept nagging me like you always do!
A Small Voice: ...
Otherworldlywriter: Anyways please R&R
(Yes I have problems)
I do not own Lemonade Mouth!
Mesa High School was bigger than any school Dylan had ever gone to in the past. At least, it felt like that today on his first day. In a wash of sports team jackets and cheerleader uniforms, Dylan's punk look stood out like a bright blue flower among a group of dull red ones. He didn't enjoy the stares or the sneers he got because of it just walking in the hallway. People should have better things to do then stare.
Somehow, Dylan found himself in the corner of the lunchroom all by himself. Not that he minded that but he did wish that his best friend Kyle was beside him. Kyle was good at pulling a smile from Dylan no matter what was getting him down. Unfortunately, his best friend was two moves schools away and no use to Dylan at the moment.
Sighing, the punk boy decided he wasn't all that hungry anymore. Getting up, he started for the nearest trash can. On the way, a blonde girl was shoved into him by some jocks. "Help me" She murmured before the three boys dragged her away to continue their tormenting. Dylan felt an unrepressable rage rising within him. What had that girl ever done to those stupid jocks?
He tore his gaze away from the scene before him. His older sister had made him promise not to fight. Not today, on his first day. Dylan stole another glance back just as one of the jocks upended a milk carton. A shout barely registered to him through the blood roaring in his ears. Without a moment's hesitation, the punk marched up to throw his tray at the apparent leader.
The lunchroom suddenly became very still, laughter fading away. The jock turned around slowly and Dylan recognized him as Ray Beech from his first class. "You are so dead" Ray murmured, his tone promised retribution. Inwardly, Dylan sighed hoping his sister would understand. He'd done it to help someone else and he never went down without a fight—most of the time.
Ray's goons tried to grab Dylan's arms but years of experience had the boy moving before his peers. His fists came down on their manhood, dropping them to the ground. "I thought jocks were tougher than this." Dylan grinned at the two rolling on the floor. Ray's expression darkened as he tried to throw a punch. It was so pathetic; Dylan only turned his head to avoid it.
"Nice" Dylan smirked at Ray's arm. "What do you bench? 15 pounds?" A tentative giggle came from the blonde behind him accompanied by more than a few chuckles. Ray began trying to punch the punk boy repeatedly, the gravy in his hair slowly dripping into his face. Dylan laughed as he dodged each punch with ease. "Perhaps you should get someone to fight for you." He taunted finally grasping the jock's arm.
With no effort, Dylan flipped Ray over his head into the trash can. Cheers erupted from all over accompanied by applause. Dylan turned around, smiling and bowed several times to his audience. When that was over, he turned back to the blonde. Milk was still covering her. Dylan winced, ripping his jacket off to place it around her shoulders. The tight t-shirt across his ripped body drew a few whistles.
"Thank you" She said with a smile. She opened her mouth to say more but the hum of a motor cut her off. The principal Dylan had met that morning rolled into the cafeteria. It was all the punk could do not to sneer. Principal Brenigan made him want to puke with all his 'sports are the best' shit.
"Who is disturbing the peace of my school?" Brenigan boomed looking around. Dylan snorted at that. What kind of peace let the weak get bullied by the strong or placed emphasis on something that wasn't even useful? Brenigan heard him and the Segway spun to face Dylan. "Was it you, Mr. Potens?"
Dylan shrugged, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. Why does it matter? This kind of stuff obviously happens every day here at Mesa." Brenigan's face turned an angry red at the blatant disrespect in Dylan's tone.
"Mr. Beech has a very important game today. He needs to be in top condition which he can't be in if he's in garbage cans!" He glanced over at Ray, who was still stuck in the trash can. Under Brenigan's glare, two teammates fetched Beech out of the trash. The jock came up sputtering, various bits of food clinging to his jacket.
"Mr. Beech, kindly point out who did this to you." Ray pointed at Dylan, trying to wipe potatoes from his eyes. Brenigan smiled coldly at Dylan. Without another word, he whipped out his pink slip pad. It wasn't long before two were handed to him.
"Two detentions?" Dylan asked smiling up at Brenigan. "I'm that special?"
"No Potens. The second slip is for your accomplice, Ms. White" He gestured, seeing Dylan's confused expression. Now knowing who Brenigan meant, Dylan seethed with anger.
"She didn't do anything to them! They were picking on her in the first place! Why don't you give them detentions too?!" He yelled angrily. The principal smiled coldly before wheeling away. He apparently didn't explain himself to upstart students. Dylan threw up his hands in disgust.
"He's always like that." The blonde said taking the slip from his hand. She clutched his jacket around her with one hand. "Thanks for trying though. Um…can I keep this? I'll give it back in detention." Dylan nodded wordlessly, playing with one of his studded black leather cuffs to calm himself. "Thank you again. I'll see you in detention." She murmured walking away at the sound of the bell.
"Better hurry to class." A voice called from behind him. Dylan turned to find an attractive punk girl leaning against the wall while she studied him. "Otherwise you'll get in trouble again. You didn't seem too happy with that pink slip."
Dylan shook his head. "I was upset that…that girl got a detention as well. She didn't even do anything."
The girl shrugged, pushing off the wall. "That's how things are here at Mesa." Dylan scowled. Punishing the innocent wasn't right no matter what the reason. "I'm Stella by the way. Thanks for helping out Olivia. As you can see, not many people help out here."
"Where were you then?" Dylan asked, spinning a ring around his finger.
"I was about to intervene when you came up. I decided to admire your work from back here after I was certain you meant Olivia no harm. Nice work by the way. Ray won't be able to shake that humiliation from his shoulders for a while –nor the gravy. It's notoriously sticky." That had Dylan grinning slightly.
"I'll see you around uh…"
"Dylan" She smiled at his name. "Troublemaker and Rebel" Stella laughed loudly.
"See you around then Dylan." She walked away. Dylan watched her leave before heading back to the corner for his backpack. As he slung it over his shoulder, thoughts of detention filled him. Would it be as harsh as Brenigan? Or did it get as little attention as the non-sport activities? Either way Dylan didn't look forward to detention and the prospect of it had dark thoughts floating about the sea of his mind.
When the final bell rang, Dylan asked another student for directions to detention. He was led down stairs and pointed to a small room that used to serve as the choir room. The punk sighed as he opened the door, taking in the various boxes stacked about the room. Desks were set haphazardly in the center of the room. The teacher wasn't in the room however so Dylan set his backpack on a desk in order to explore.
The first few boxes held nothing of interest but the 5th box held a few guitar parts. Rummaging around, Dylan found an electric guitar. "How did this get here?" He wondered aloud. Turning it on, Dylan strummed the strings. It sounded so bad, the punk boy winced dramatically. "Someone forgot to tune this." Quickly he worked with the guitar until the strings sung the right notes.
Dylan was just playing through a rift when Olivia walked in. "You play?" She asked walking over. Dylan shrugged as he strummed random notes. The blonde smiled, holding out her hand. "We didn't get to meet properly before. I'm Olivia."
"Dylan, your knight in shining armor" He bowed as best he could before shaking her hand. She giggled lightly.
"Oh I almost forgot. Here" Olivia held out his jacket. Dylan accepted it, sliding it back around his shoulders. It felt good, almost like an old friend embracing him after a long absence. "Your phone buzzed a few times in the pocket." Olivia informed him.
Dylan pulled out his phone, thanking the blonde. The screen glowed, revealing Kyle's name. "Odd…" He flipped open the phone to read. Afterward, Dylan began playing softly on the guitar. Olivia leaned against a desk and started humming. It was a sound Dylan had often heard.
"You sing?" He asked without stopping. Olivia nodded shyly, a small smile on her face. "Are you in a band?" The blonde laughed at that.
"Yes I am. It's the most popular band at Mesa, Lemonade Mouth. Mudslide Crush comes in a close second but Ray, he hates that." She grimaced seeing a tightening in Dylan's face. "Yes that's why he was harassing me. I'm the only one who won't fight back…"
"I'm guessing Stella is in your band?" Dylan asked, his emotions starting to pour from the guitar. He managed to keep it mezzo piano but his hands started moving faster.
"Yes. She's the lead guitarist." She watched him play, appreciation for his talent evident. They sat silent, listening to the music flowing forth from the guitar. "You're really good." Olivia said after a while. "You should come and play for the band. We appreciate good music."
Dylan stopped, looking up at Olivia. "I don't know…I don't usually play for people except my siblings or my best friend." He left out playing for Kyle's band. "Besides I wouldn't know what to play."
Olivia chuckled gesturing to him and the guitar. "Just do what you were just doing. It sounds better, I think then planned music. You make it work." The punk boy shrugged out of the guitar, putting it aside.
"I'll think about it but I'm not promising anything." The blonde accepted that graciously enough. The teacher walked in a few minutes later, cutting off any further discussion. As Dylan slid into his desk, Kyle's text floated before his eyes.
Got a small gig. Competition called GroundBreak. One opponent called Lemonade Mouth.
Dylan slammed the door shut when he got home. 'Lemonade Mouth…Why did it have to be Lemonade Mouth?' He thought shrugging out of his backpack. Dylan was in a band himself, though not willingly. Kyle had given him a guitar and couldn't believe it was Dylan's first time holding one. A few lessons later had Kyle begging Dylan to join The Rebels (his band). All the pleading had made Dylan cave, placing him in a band of high members. It wasn't the best decision he'd ever made. It wasn't the worst either.
"DDDDYYYYYLLLLAAAANNNNNN!" His little sister, Trina cried out as she raced down the hallway. "You are in so much trouble! Sophia was going out of her mind!" Dylan frowned down at her but she laughed and hugged him. "Don't worry, she isn't that cross. Guess what?!"
Dylan grinned, ruffling her long blonde hair as he gave his typical response. "I don't play guessing games Trina."
She giggled like she always did. "I got a boyfriend!" Trina let go to twirl in her happiness. A boyfriend was the one thing that Trina had wanted for a long time.
"Yay!" Dylan grinned evilly. "So when do I get to glare him down? You know I have to check every boyfriend you have but the first one is going to be extra special. I'm doing background checks and everything." Trina laughed, skipping away to answer the front door just as Sophia appeared at the hall entrance.
Sophia's glare had her brother shaking in his shoes. She bent a finger at him before pointing at the ground. Dylan walked toward her slowly, amazed at how fierce a pregnant woman could be—and she was mute at that.
Sophia had once possessed the most beautiful voice ever. People flocked around her just to hear the angels sing when she spoke. Many had loved her but many had also been very jealous. One such man, in a drunken rage, attacked Sophia. No one knew how but his actions had silenced Sophia forever. All Dylan could remember was the image of her torn throat. It was a miracle she had survived.
"Am I in trouble?" He asked when he was standing next to his elder sibling. She shook her head, a smile finally breaking across her face. "But I got detention…for fighting. You said you'd remove my fighting spirit if I did that…"
Sophia shrugged, pulling out her notepad. She wrote carefully before handing it to Dylan. It read 'You got in trouble for a good reason I'm sure. You wouldn't just toss a boy into a trash can without that.' He grinned roguishly when he looked back up at his sister.
"How do you know? Maybe he just pissed me off so I threw him in that trash can." Sophia gave him the 'oh please' look and they both laughed. "Alright. He was a jock picking on a blonde girl with two of his friends. I couldn't just walk past."
Sophia scribbled quickly 'You never can.' Dylan smiled wanly, sensing the multiple hidden messages beneath that. Standing up for people always ended with Dylan kicked from school. Every time.
Sophia yawned widely and Dylan pointed back at her room. "Go back to sleep. I didn't mean to interrupt your nap." She protested weakly but Dylan was having none of it. He forced his sister back onto her bed, being as gentle as he could. Once he was sure she would try to sleep, the punk slipped from the room.
"Where did Trina get too?" Dylan wondered. This was the longest time he'd ever known his little sister to stay silent or not be racing around the house at top speed. "Trina?" He called wandering toward the front door.
The sound of a strange voice froze Dylan's feet in place. "That's pretty cool Trina." A second later, Dylan barreled around the corner to find a boy about his age talking to Trina. By the looks of it, they'd been talking for a while.
"Dylan!" Trina squealed when she caught sight of him. "This is Charlie! He's our new neighbor!"
Charlie stood up, smiling as he held out his hand. "Hi Dylan. I heard about you from Olivia and Stella so when I heard you were the new neighbor, I came to thank you." Dylan took his hand with some apprehension. The tone in Charlie's voice told him it was a little more to why he had come.
"You wouldn't happen to be another Lemonade Mouth member would you?"
Charlie laughed. "I see you heard about us already. I'm the drummer."
"How many of you are there?" Dylan asked with an exasperated sigh. "I feel like everyone I've run into is Lemonade Mouth."
Charlie's grin widened. "Well you've met half the band. When you've met Wen, Scott and Mo, you've met us all." He paused, moving his long hair from his face. "How about you come to practice with me? I was just headed there and since you helped Olivia…I'm sure no one would mind if you came."
Dylan could have sworn that his jaw was wide open. Why was this happening to him? Kyle was going to lay into him if he went but if he didn't, Lemonade Mouth would wonder why. He was the new kid without any friends. Internally, Dylan threw up his hands while he smiled externally. "Sure, that sounds like fun."
He turned to Trina. "Take care of Sophia while I'm gone and tell her where I've gone so she doesn't worry again." His sister nodded before zooming away. Then Dylan and Charlie stepped from the house and were on their way.
"Who's Sophia?" Charlie asked when they were a few streets away. They'd been talking about various things—music, bands, etc.—up until that point so the question took Dylan by surprise. The punk shuffled his feet a bit as he tried to think of an answer.
"She's my older sister." Charlie gave him a strange look.
"Then why would Trina have to take care of her?"
Dylan grimaced. "Her ex got her pregnant before he left. She's really frail too which has me and Trina worried." He braced himself for the next question he was sure to come.
"What about your mom?" Charlie asked guiding the way toward another street.
"She died in a car accident. Sophia's my legal guardian now." Dylan murmured feeling the painful twist that always came with mention of his mother. Even after four years, it was still hard to think about her.
Charlie looked stricken. "I'm sorry man. Do you want to go back home? You can meet the band any other time. You saved Olivia after all."
Dylan laughed bitterly. He'd seen the looks after the lunchroom scene. "I'd rather make friends before I do something stupid and lose all chances." The drummer boy quirked an eyebrow. "I like putting random things up my nose" Sarcasm sizzled on the hot sidewalk.
Charlie's laughter echoed from the houses around them. "Well I guess that's one way to keep people away" He said wiping tears from his eyes. "But that also might draw some weirdoes too, dontcha think?"
Dylan smiled, shaking his head. "Let's just get to your practice. I want to meet the rest of Lemonade Mouth so you guys can't sneak up on me anymore."
Charlie chuckled at that before leading Dylan into a house. It had an old look too it and when Dylan stepped through the door, he could feel a sense of home pressing in on him. It felt good. Charlie pointed to some stairs that led downward.
"Practice is in the basement. By the sound of it, everyone is here already." A strange mixture of music and laughter was drifting up. Dylan smiled wistfully.
"Sounds like everyone's having fun…I shouldn't intrude. Someone like me would just suck the happiness from the atmosphere." Charlie rolled his eyes before he began pushing Dylan down the stairs. "Alright! Jeez take a joke." He straightened his jacket as he headed down the stairs.
The stairs were steeper then Dylan had originally thought. The punk ended up tripping, tumbling all the way to the bottom. "Ow" He complained pulling away from the wall, a hand to his head. "You should put a ramp there. Those stairs will kill someone."
A strange assortment of people presented themselves to his eyes when he looked around. There was a jock, a nerd with fiery red hair, a popular girl that looked Asian and of course Stella in her rebel outfit. Olivia didn't seem to be anywhere but Dylan couldn't imagine how they'd all gotten together. Plus thanks to his clumsy entrance, they were all staring at him.
He shifted uncomfortably under their gazes. Was he the first person to intrude on practice? Olivia saved Dylan with her timely appearance. She smiled walking over to place a hand on his arm. "Thanks for coming Dylan. I wasn't sure you'd come." Olivia turned to the rest of the band. "This is Dylan everyone. He helped me out earlier and got stuck in detention."
The ice broke as a few of them snickered. The jock walked forward, offering his hand. "I'm Scott, the bass of Lemonade Mouth." Dylan took his hand warily. Was this guy a unique jock or a spy for a jock band?
The tension disappeared as the Asian and the freckled nerd stepped forward. "I'm Mo." Dylan caught sight of Charlie's face as he shook Mo's hand. It was all the punk could do to not burst out laughing. The love-sick look on Charlie's face made his feelings very plain though Mo obviously couldn't see that.
The red head clapped Dylan on the shoulder. "I'm Wen. Thanks for helping Olivia out." The punk smiled as best he could. His shoulder was still sore from tossing the jerk, Ray, into the trashcan and Wen's slap didn't make it any better.
"And you know the rest of us." Stella said stepping forward. Dylan got a better look at her and was surprised. Of all the people in the room, Stella stuck out the most. Maybe that was her point in life: To be different from everyone. "At least you should know the rest of us. I'm Stella in case you forgot."
Dylan grinned roguishly. "Of course I remember you. How could I forget such a remarkable girl?" He pointed to Olivia. "That's Olivia…your singer if I remember correctly." They nodded, all spreading out around the room. When Charlie passed him, Dylan frowned dramatically. "Wait a minute…I don't believe I've met you." He offered a hand. "I'm Dylan. It's nice to meet you!"
The entire band laughed loudly. Dylan sat next down next to Stella, throwing an arm across the back of the couch. "Whoa tiger, you are not pulling smooth moves here." She growled leaping up. He put his hands up in surrender.
"Sorry. I usually sit like that on a couch. Not used to sitting with so many people." Stella relaxed but only a little.
"So what are you doing here?" Scott asked, picking up a bass from beside him. He began to tune it while the rest of the band either relaxed or grabbed their instruments.
"Both Charlie and Olivia begged me to come to practice. You guys also popped up all over the place so I figured I'd get the last half out of the way. I can leave now if you want." Dylan stood back up, offering the seat to Stella but she shook her head. Instead she walked across the room to snatch a guitar. Without a warning, she tossed it to Dylan.
"Olivia says you play. So show us tough guy. Play for us." Dylan scowled at Olivia.
"You said I wouldn't be made to play if I came" Olivia shrugged, laughing. Stella smiled wickedly as she leaned back against the wall. Dylan grumbled pulling the strap over his head.
Instead of playing as he had in detention, Dylan let the music flow from him. The past, with all its hurts began to glide into the guitar guiding his hands. From the first note, the punk boy froze the entire room but he was so lost in his music he didn't notice.
He didn't even notice Lemonade Mouth joining him, somehow molding matching tunes from their instruments. The last haunting note slid off and echoed before Dylan noticed the band around him. "When did you guys get here?!" They burst out laughing.
Stella walked over and grabbed her guitar from Dylan. "You can play, Dylan. How about you join Lemonade Mouth?" The eagerness made him laugh while he was shaking his head. Playing like that always numbed his head.
"I can't play."
They all murmured against him until Charlie said "You can play Dylan. You play better than any of us and we all do our best every time. You're on a whole other level." Dylan looked around to see the others nodding their heads.
"I'm just not…I just can't…for several reasons" He winced seeing all their faces fall. The strangest or maybe the one that hit him hardest was Stella's face. That girl didn't seem like the one to feel down about a newbie joining—especially one that might take her place.
"I can listen and give you guys tip if you think I'm that good." Dylan murmured. The band perked up immediately. He shook his head at them pointing at the couch. "I'll sit there then. Just start playing whenever."
Dylan sat down heavily casting a heavy eye over the group. They were tight enough to make him feel like he was intruding yet they welcomed him warmly enough. He wondered briefly how far he should keep himself away from them. After all, more than one would be hurt when he went up onstage against them. Dylan settled back as the band began to play. He'd get to the problem when it came along like he always did.