A/N: Hello, strange and unusual childrens! Sunshine here, with another story for the bandoms. But this... So, after watching the COMPLETELY AMAZING AND WITTY music video for the All-American Reject's 'Gives You Hell', I started developing this idea: What if this chaos is applied to the WHOLE DAMN TOWN? So, the plot, then the characters, then everything else, started blooming. And now, I give you: Welcome... To Hell!
Disclaimer: I do not own AAR, only digital copies of a few of their singles. If I owned them... (enter smartass comment)
Read and Review when you're done - I wrote it and put it up just for you!
Beep. Beep. Seven PM.
I pry my eyes open, slam my hand against the snooze button on the no good, piece-of-shit alarm clock that sits on my nightstand, before shoving my face back into the cradling pillows with my face imprinted in them.
After a few more second of peace, the large, calloused hands of the guy in the room across the hall from me place themselves on either side of my waist and pull me into a sitting position. "Rain, get the Hell up. It's seven."
"Ten more minutes..." I mutter.
"No." He shifts me into a sitting position at the edge of the bed, and stands back to look at me. He has slightly curly dark hair that hangs flat around his forehead, and curves out around the base of his skull and around his ears. His chaotic, green eyes bore right through me with a face that almost seems maternal. His muscly arms are crossed over his bare, tattooed chest, and dog tags jingle around his neck. All he wears are fading black jeans, and I honestly hope he's wearing underwear. You never know with this guy.
"Aaron, why disturb a lady from her beauty sleep?" I moan.
"Now, who is this lady that you are referring to?" I glare. "Just get out of bed, Love." He exits the room.
"Stop calling me Love."
"You adore it... Love." I hear the smile in his voice.
I grumble, get up, and close the door, before sorting through the closet that I share with another two of my roomies: Diana, and Helen. Horny's her nickname. Horny Helen. And that came from only dating one man -
Well, one man outside our little group of rebels in Beauville, America. Your stereotypical little suburban town.
I dive into my area of it, pull out denim cutoff minis, and one of my more low cut black shirts. I think of going bra-less, before deciding against it, and instead, pull out a lacy, lime green one. I slide into the clothes, chucking the overlarge T-shirt that is my pajamas back on my bed. I stand in front of the mirror, and situate the shirt so a little bit of the lace sticks out, a distraction. Satisfied, I slip into the bathroom that the three of us share as well. Leaning against the sink, I grasp black eyeliner off the shelf, and line the perimeters of my eyes, before going over that in green glitter liner. After that, heavy on the black mascara. To finish the look, I apply cover up to the ghastly pimple on my forehead, and slide crimson across my lips. Putting that away, I tousle my blue-tipped chestnut hair a little, before deciding that I look good.
So I slide down the railing to the kitchen.
"Evening, bitches," I call.
Aaron, Helen, and two more of our roommates, Quinn and Matt, look up from the breakfast table and at me. I could laugh. Aaron is still in all his shirtless glory. Helen is in a fuchsia sports bra and black running shorts, her short, magenta hair sticking up a little in the back. Quinn wears a t-shirt with a troll face on it, cargo shorts, and a beanie, the end of it hanging halfway to his ass, sliding off his light red head. Matt is swirling a spoon through cereal, his shoulder-length, dyed black, hair circling around his face. He wears black skinnies and an equally dark band t-shirt over a leather jacket. The emo of us seven.
"The fuck, Rain?" Matt mutters through his hair, "You're not our pimp."
He glares; I smile.
As Diana walks out of the bathroom in all her platinum blonde glory, the last of us, Isaac, walks in from the garage. His silver nose and ear piercings glisten. Looks like he's redone his Mohawk's colors. Today, its purple. Towards the ends, the color becomes a bubblegum pink. I kind of like it.
"Coffee?" Diana asks.
Helen grumbles, rolls her eyes, and peels herself from the table. "I'll do it."
As Helen is making coffee, I sit myself on the counter and kick my legs like a little kid. "So, what shenanigans have we planned today?"
Isaac clears his throat, and holds a finger up in the air, as if he's a genius or something. "That is what I was getting to. We've already T. the Muller's house. I'm not gonna throw rocks at the Hodgkin's because they have little kids. I'm not gonna go make a bad name for ourselves there. So, obviously, our next regular target is the Rowan's place. That's what was going on while I was in the garage - while the sun was out." He gets a few well-deserved grumbles. "I was making stencils."
"So, we're graffitying their place?"
"Not just that." He smiles, and takes Helen's spot on the table. She grumbles, flipping him off. "See, the Rowan's, first off, are next door. Giving us better escape, which is perfect for graffiti. But that's not all. They have kids. Fifteen and thirteen. Young enough to still be manipulated into thinking that a Suburban life in Beauville is right for them, but old enough to start thinking independently."
"...And?" Someone calls, none of us are sure who.
Isaac sighs, almost emotionally. "Guys, I don't want to see more kids fall into that trap. Thinking that the narrow-minded life of this stupid, fucked-up town is right. You can dye your hair weird colors. You can wear what you want. You don't have to fall in love with people of the opposite sex, always look your best, and live a picket-fence-and-shiny-car life. And above all, you don't always have to keep a plastic smile."
"Nice little speech," I comment, "But are you honestly, truly suggesting that we recruit these kids with graffiti?"
"That's where I was getting." Isaac stands, and Helen squeals as she runs back into the seat. "I made one stencil. Letters. We're doing it on their windows. It will wash quicker, but it's basically a fine print of what we stand for. Rebellion. Freedom. We are the Beauville Underground!"
I nod. "Yeah. Sure, man."
He gives me a dirty look. "Rain, are you in on this at all?"
I grin. "Of course."
He shares the smile, and looks at everyone else. "Well."
Quinn nods. Matt pushes his bowl away, stands, and, under the locks of his dark, dark hair, grins madly.
As for the others...
Aaron leans his chair back. "No. I led T. the Muller's on Tuesday."
Helen hastens to get up. "Fuck this, I'm going back to sleep."
Diana checks the clock. "Ooh, I'm meeting Mukta in forty-five. Can't."
I smirk. "Where are you meeting her?"
Diana blushes a little. "At the Broken Window. Cloud Ten is performing."
I groan. "Cloud Ten? I hate you. Tape it for me." Cloud Ten is probably the biggest band in the Beauville Underground. They've been around since the Rebellion started. Basically, take an obscure punk band, make them Grammy-worthy, and stick them in Suburbia. You get Cloud Ten. And Mukta... is Diana's girlfriend.
Diana, obviously at this point, is lesbian. But she's been my best friend since we were in Junior High here, so we're practically sisters, and she's never tried to get with Helen, so it's perfect. And, to be honest, I'm kind of jealous. Mukta is such a character. First off, her name means 'Liberation' in either Indian, or Sanskrit. Next, after graduating from High School as valedictorian, immediately turned around and joined our movement, but not before coming out to severely homophobic parents. Third, she's the sweetest person, and, in the time that Di has dated Mukta, has become one of my best friends. Fourth off, she's gorgeous. With sleek, black hair to her hips, an hourglass figure, high cheekbones, and big, dark eyes, she gives Swedish models a run for their money.
Sometimes, I wonder why I bother being straight - a lot of men are kind of ugly.
I clap my hands together. "So, when do we go?"
Isaac looks at the clock. "Let's see... They go to bed at nine thirty, so we leave at ten. We have about two and a half hours. What do we do?"
I look between Aaron, Isaac, and Matt. "Band practice?"
Aaron looks between us as well. "Sure, despite me not going with your vandalism."
Forgetting about Helen's coffee, we all slide out of the kitchen, and into the garage.
If you were too stupid to guess, Aaron, Isaac, Matt, and I have a little band of our own.
Meet my band: Welcome... To Hell. Our inspiration is Cloud Ten. Our influence is Cloud Ten. Our biggest dream is to one day open... For Cloud Ten. I must admit: all of us are obsessed. Very.
I think this a little too clearly as I grab Chaos, my bass, and sling her over my shoulder, before adjusting the mic closest to the opened garage door to my height. Satisfied, I walk to my amp, turn it on, and adjust it. I let out a few baritone notes, tune the instrument a little, and try again. Good. I stand back at the mic, while the guys get ready. I start admiring Chaos's surface. Half of her is a medium aqua-blue, with a gold stripe zigzagging through. The other half, clashing, is the blue-gray of a stormcloud, with green buttons glued to that side, as well as glitter sprayed across her whole surface.
Her coloring matches my eyes. And, yes, I have heterochromia.
My left eye is the blue one. There's a golden-yellow ring that laces through it, like a reef in an ocean. The other, the right, is the gray-green one. It took a while for everyone to get used to my condition, but, oh, well. At least it doesn't startle people that much anymore.
Matt has officially finished straightening his drums, and Aaron and Isaac's guitars are ready to go.
And, just as we're starting-
"Wait, you guys!"
Diana has emerged from the front door, and comes into the garage, holding her phone, Mukta now in tow. Strange. I never saw her car pull up. But oh well.
"You guys, we just found out that we get to be let in the backstage to meet Cloud Ten after the concert, so I want to show them you guys performing. 'Cause, you know how you guys want to perform with them...?"
"Yeah," I sigh.
"You guys should play 'Fade'."
I turn to Aaron. "You fine with 'Fade'?"
I inhale, edge my mouth closer to the microphone, let my fingers slide to their respective parts of my bass, let my fingers feel the tension against the thick strings, and nodded to Diana. She clicked into the camera, held it up, and at the last second, turns to Mukta. "Darling, introduce them."
"Um..." Mukta's eyes flit nervously, before she looks back at the camera with a grin. "Hey, I'm Mukta, and I'm here to introduce the phenomenal band, Welcome... To Hell. And yes, there is a 'dot-dot-dot' between 'Welcome' and 'To Hell.' Before you watch them perform, I'll tell you who everyone is. The emo guy with the fringe and shitloads of eyeliner is Matt, and he plays drums. Guy with the Mohawk is Isaac, and he plays guitar. So does the greasy, tattooed shirtless guy. People supposedly call him Aaron. And the weird bassist-singer chick is Rain. So, now that you know everyone, here's Welcome... To Hell with their song, Fade!"
As Di turns the camera my way, I lean my head over my bass, so to watch my fingers strum out the initial, deep notes. Suddenly, crashing cymbals and ranting guitars explode behind me, and I feel like I have been lifted to stardom.
I press my lips close to the microphone, before I start belting out the lyrics with all that there's left in me.
"If it's my body, bring me the bones, 'Cause Everyone's heart was replaced with stones, There's no sympathy for the Lost, and my painless death came with a cost."
Aaron starts frantically taking a quick, four-measure solo before the verse restarts.
"What is love without a sacrifice? What is fate without a pair of dice? If I faded, dear, did you ever love me? Or were you always blinded to what I see?" I inhale frantically, as if I couldn't get enough air. "So admit that you're wrong..." I push the last note out of my lungs, before Matt's and Isaac's instruments die out, and it's just Aaron and I playing. I turn to him, and he winks.
When the rhythm pushes its way back in, the chorus comes flying from my mouth.
"So don't ever worry bout's how I fade, I'm dying, babe, don't try to be my aid, It's how I'll disappear, how I'll die, And in my coffin is where I'll hide!" I hit the last high note, feel my lungs nearly collapse, and concentrate on my bass. Somewhere in front of me, Mukta whoops.
"If it's my funeral, shed me a tear, 'Cause you clung to me for how many years, If it's me buried, tell them you died, too, 'Cause I'll have sympathy for you!" An inhale. "So admit... So admit... So admit that you're wrong!"
Aaron jumps in front of me, and starts shredding the notes off his guitar like he'd die if he didn't. As I hit the notes on Chaos, I can't help but not watch him. It's a little mesmerizing, watching him bent over his guitar, dark hair flying and swinging to the beat, body rocking back and forth with the same rhythm, the lights of the garage shimmering on the tattoo on his back of an angel. The angel has her wings spread, but her face is covered by her inky locks. I love her; I feel like she has a story.
At the end of the solo, everything stops. The last notes played ring out, and I walk to the mic again.
"So don't ever worry 'bout how I fade..."
"I'm dying, babe, don't try to be my aid..."
"It's how I'll disappear, how I'll die..."
"And in my coffin is where I'll hide..."
A few near-silent picks on Aaron's guitar, and...
We explode into the chorus again. My throat starts to ache from the stress, my fingers start to hold back tears from the tension of Chaos's strings, but I can't stop now. I feel the withering, pushy energy of my bandmates behind me, and I'm with them, just pushing it out... Out... Out!
Aaron ends with the terminating chord played on his knees, and we're all panting - no, hyperventilating - but it feels so good.
Diana turns her camera off, and Mukta claps. "Kickass, you guys!"
I grin, lean against the mic stand a little, and slide Chaos off me, holding her by the neck until I have enough energy to go put her away.
"Okay, you guys," Di calls, "We gotta go now! Who knows? You might be gigging with Cloud Ten soon!"
Despite the surrealism of the thought, I can't help but smile.
As I turn to close the garage door, being that no one wants to play anymore, I see a light switch on in the window of the second story of the Rowan's house. I realize that the window was opened, the curtains ruffling from a breeze, and a girl sticks her head out.
She has dark hair, cropped to her shoulders, and a curious stare at me. Not with the disdain of other, older neighbors, that we're devil spawn, but with interest. Like I'm actually something fresh, different, and cool. The suave new kid. It's funny.
I halfheartedly wave.
It takes her a second before she reciprocates.
As soon as I reenter the kitchen, I grab a glass of water and down it within two gulps.
"God," Aaron mutters, "Do you really drink that much water?"
"Yeah," I pant. "Y'know, we should really start gigging soon."
"Anyways," I ask, "Still not participating in the graffitying of the Rowan house?"
"I told you, I already led the Muller's vandalization. Besides, graffiti is one thing that I just don't want to do. Did I ever tell you what I was doing instead of getting a high school educa-"
"But your murals are phenomenal! Honestly, if you finished high school online, then you should enroll at my college-"
"Forget it, Rain. You're the only person brave enough to go there. I think you know the reason for why we disrespect the biological clock."
I swallow. "I realize this, but-"
"Rain, we can't go out because we can't show our faces! I realize the nobility of our cause, but we're scum, dear. We're the lowliest of the low in this town."
I gasped. "Aaron... How could you-"
"Face it. When we're forty, fifty, sixty, are we still gonna be living like this? Eventually, we have to conform. Why... Why not now?"
"Aaron, what the hell are you saying?"
He starts saying something, but closes his mouth when Isaac and Matt enter the room. He nods to them, waiting for them to go back to their respective places in the house before we go graffitying. He looks back at me. "I'm saying, Rain, that I'm no longer sure that I should keep on living like this. That any of us should. I think we need to start with cutting trolling around the neighborhood, for once."
I stare down into my near empty glass for a few seconds, swirling the few drops at the bottom around for a few seconds, before looking back up.
"No. Aaron, if you don't believe in our cause, why are you one of us? Why not just move to the city, start anew there? Or, better yet! Put all your savings into a house and tattoo removal, marry, and live in your perfect house with your wife, two kids, and dog?"
Before he says anything, I storm out.
I can't stand seeing his face right now.