A/N: I was reading the chapter in Nightshade where the Haldis pack is at the Burnout, and oddly enough, the song "Barracuda" came to mind. So this is what came out of it. The beginning and ending dialogue is taken from aforementioned chapter, so please don't sue me.
Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to the Nightshade series, am not Andrea Cremer, or a member of the band Heart, whose awesome song I used for this fic. And if you want to sue me, you'll be disappointed: I have no money.
NEVILLE SHOVED HIS guitar at a startled Sabine, jumped off the stage and came to Mason's side. He glared at Dax. "Knock it off, man. What do you think you're doing?"
Dax ignored him.
I glanced around the bar, worrying we were about to get booted. But the rest of the patrons had returned to their drinks, unconcerned by a run-of-the-mill brawl.
Ren gripped Dax's shoulder. "Let him go, get outside, and wait for me. Now."
Dax released his hold on Mason's shirt, throwing one last angry glance at him before turning and walking out of the bar. Fey took a few steps after him.
"Where do you think you're going?" I blocked her path.
"Sorry, Cal." There was a flash of steel in her eyes. "I'm with him on this one."
"Watch yourself, Fey," I growled.
She didn't balk. "Do you have a problem with me?"
"I'll let you know when I've heard what happened."
"Fine." She stepped around me, running after Dax.
Neville started to follow them, his eyes livid.
Ren grabbed his arm. "Get back onstage and start playing again. Whatever just happened, it's over."
"I'm fine, Nev." Mason put his hand on Neville's shoulder. "We'll sort this out. Go play."
With some reluctance Nev headed back to the stage, and a moment later, the music picked up again, though on a noticeably angrier riff. And it was one I recognized, oddly enough: a classic, very-ticked-off rocker by a band named Heart.
My sharp ears caught the sound of the door swinging open, and as I followed the sound, I saw that Dax and Fey had snuck back in. The broad-shouldered Bane wolf was watching Nev with something similar to fear in his eyes—which was crazy, considering this was Dax. Ah, so he recognizes this song, too.
Bryn, Ansel, Cosette, Shay, Mason, and Ren were all looking at the stage as well, a grin slowly spreading across Mason's face.
Anger flashed in Nev's eyes as he began the first verse of Heart's "Barracuda."
"So this ain't the end—I saw you again today
I had to turn my heart away
You smile like the Sun—kisses for everyone
And tales—it never fails!
You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down, down, down, down on my knees
Now wouldn't ya, Barracuda?
"Three guesses who this is directed at," Ren murmured in my ear. I jumped: I hadn't heard him come up behind me. His hands snaked around my waist, pulling me to him, and I hated that I couldn't seem to control myself whenever he touched me. Or Shay. Why was I even thinking about that boy now, anyway?
Neville's fingers flew over the frets and guitar strings as he launched into the brief solo. The whole Haldis pack watched, mesmerized, drawn into the song. Well, except for Dax, who was looking slightly uncomfortable, and Fey, who had curled her lips to show bright fangs. I sent her a warning glare, and her teeth were soon covered.
Nev was once again glaring at Dax as he took up the next verse and chorus:
"Back over Time we were all trying for free
You met the porpoise and me, uh huh
No right no wrong, you're selling a Song—a name
And if the real thing don't do the trick
You better make up something quick
You're gonna burn, burn, burn, burn it to the wick
Again, there was an instrumental, and Nev and Caleb looked like they were battling it out with their guitars, Caleb on the bass line and Neville on the melody. For a cover, they were doing a great job—this was a hard song to play for a beginning guitarist. (Or so I'd heard Nev complain when he was first starting to learn. Don't ask.)
"I'm guessing Dax," I replied, answering Ren's statement from earlier.
"That much is obvious, Lily." I could hear the smirk in his voice, and it took all my self-control not to try and sink sharp canines into his arm.
Neville's voice jerked my attention back to the stage:
"'Sell me sell you' the porpoise said
Dive down deep down to save my head
You . . . I think that you got the blues too
All that night and all the next
Swam without looking back
Made for the western pools—silly, silly fools!"
Yet again, the band launched into an instrumental, one that was longer than the rest. A quick glance over at our pack of young wolves showed that Mason, Bryn, my little brother, Shay, and Cosette were trying not to laugh at Neville's antics onstage. Yet again, it looked like he and Caleb, the Bane Guardian bouncer from Eden, were in the middle of a competition—or maybe a game of Guitar Hero. Good grief, I thought, rolling my eyes.
Much to my surprise, Nev nodded at Sabine to take up the last verse. The inky-haired girl gave him a smile—shocker, I know, who knew Sabine knew how to smile?—and stepped up to the mike. I couldn't help but catch the gleam of barely-sharp canines as she sang the last verse:
"If the real thing don't do the trick
No, you better make up something quick
You're gonna burn, burn, burn, burn it out to the wick
Oooohhhhh, barra-barracuda, yeah"
Neville, Caleb, and Tom played the last few measures, striking the last note with a flourish. As it died away, Mason let out a wolf-whistle—no surprise there—and his partner hopped off the stage and joined him.
A low growl rumbled from Dax's chest, reminding both me and Ren that he and Fey were still here. Ren's head swung toward his beta and, releasing me, he stalked toward the broad-shouldered wolf. The alpha's voice was low as he said, "I thought I told you to wait outside."
"You did," Dax replied, the hint of a snarl in his voice, "but Fey and I heard the music and we wanted to see what was up. We can go now if you'd like, great alpha."
"Do it." He snapped the order.
They walked out without a word.
"Someone want to tell me what's going on?" I asked.
"It was nothing." Mason helped Cosette right the table. "Like Ren said, it's over now."
"It wasn't nothing," Ansel protested.
"What happened?" Ren asked.
"Really, let's not make a big deal out of it," Mason said, his face drawn. "He lost his temper, that's all."
"I don't think you can just drop it, Mason," Shay said quietly. "It is a big deal. Dax was out of line."
I turned to Bryn. "What did Dax do?"
She glanced at Mason and Ansel. "He didn't like something Mason said . . . about Neville."
Ren's jaw tightened. "I see."
He started toward the door, and I was right behind him. Nobody messes with Nev and Mason.
I have another idea for a Nightshade songfic, "Still of the Night" and a couple ideas for multi-chapter fics. "Still of the Night" will most likely be Ren/Calla, so sorry, Shay fans.