Spoonful of Sugar
Verve Pipe

Disclaimer: song belongs to the Verve Pipe, characters belong to Disney and I belong to my mother and probably my boyfriend. Anyways, no money is being made by anyone (least of all me!) but I can dream.

This is...different from other songfics I've written recently. Mostly because I've never tried to put these emotions into someone else's context. I've written pages upon pages from my point of view, just trying to get my own thoughts straight, but every time I have tried to do the same thing in a fic, I have failed miserably. I just can't get it to the level I want it.

So...hopefully this will pass inspection.

***

I adore a confrontation,
and I should be ashamed
a carnival of complication,
everyone's to blame

Jamie rode his motorcycle into school, oblivious to everything except the sweltering heat that surrounded his head under the helmet. It was a nondescript Tuesday, he knew he had a math quiz that he wasn't prepared for and half a song conposed in his head. Not a bad day.

Parking the bike and heading into school, Jamie unhooked his helmet and ran one hand through the matted spikes to get them to stand up straight. As usual they wouldn't so he decided to head to the bathroom by the cafeteria to get his hair looking appropriately spikey. That's when he realized the school was too quiet.

Walking into the cafeteria, he saw what was close to the entire school huddled around TVs. Every TV in the school was probably plugged into each wall, as many people as possible sitting around them in rapt attention. Towards the back, he spied the other bleacher junkies. Forgetting his hair, he headed over there.

***

Catie sat as close to one of the TVs in the back of the cafeteria as she could, barely away or Brianne's hot breath on her neck as they huddled together. Even Kenny and his cronies were there, silent and unmoving. She couldn't believe what she was seeing.

"Catie?" he asked, squating down next to her and touching her shoulder.

She jerked back unconsciously, before turning to look at Jamie. She didn't respond, she just waved her hand at the television before collapsing into his arms. He lowered himself on to the floor, cradling her, unsure what had caused her odd behavior.

Then he saw the plane. Crashing. Into the world trade center. He sat in stunned silence, not sure what to make of the news. He held Catie tighter as she sobbed into his leather jacket.

we can see the rocket's red glare
pipe bomb bursting in the air
as we proudly hail our taxis out of the fight
singing born of this nation of white bread foundation

Val and Tyler had gotten to school early that morning to work on their latest project for economics, building their own country. They had been sitting at a table in the courtyard, notes in hand, when their teacher came rushing by with a TV.

"Val! Tyler! Help me with this!" she ordered, pushing the TV in front of her faster than it should go.

Tyler quickly ran in front and helped to balance the TV as the teacher pushed it towards the cafeteria while Val gathered up their books and bags to follow.

Other teachers were already in the large room setting up TVs as well. Switching their set on, Val let out a small 'meep' as the anchor rehashed what had happened only minutes before in New York.

"Oh my god," Val said, unable to say anything else. "Oh my god."

Tyler didn't respond, unused to the fear that suddenly made his entire body numb.

we're taping a king,
beaten of his crown
my country 'tis of thee,
sweet land of irony

Middle school in Kingsport didn't start until nearly 8:00am, but Nick, Amanda, and Brooke had left for school with Val since she had driven them to school.

"I can't wait until my newest video masterpiece is finished!" Nick said, trying to get the two girls as interested in his documentary attempts as he was.

"So, Amanda, what're you going to do for the science fair?" Brooke asked. She already knew she was going to do something medical related at the station. She just needed to ask Alex later that day about what was possible.

"No idea," she replied, twisting her long blonde hair up and securing it with a claw. Although the weather was getting cooler, it was still sticky with humidity.

spoonful of sugar to wash it down
I have seen the hungry faces,
and I have been removed
evidence in welfare cases,

Dr. Alex Freeman always arrived at work at 7:30 in the morning, which gave him plenty of time to get some coffee and review what he needed to do for the day before actually having to start work at 8am. He also liked to indulge a little by turning on the classic rock station on his radio. He liked to relax to the songs and the morning DJs always cracked him up.

"We have somber news to report this morning," the male DJ was saying, "If you are just tuning in, a plane has crashed into the world trade center in New York City..."

Alex listened in disbelief, certain it was some bizarre sadistic joke. But who would joke of something this horrific? He headed into the main lounge, where the TV was off. The EMTs on duty were out on a call, so someone had turned the goggle-box off.

He turned on CNN, knowing they would verify if anything had happened. As he stared at the screen, the phone in his office rang. "Hello?" he said, distracted. "Yes...watching it now...yes...I will...no problem."

Alex disconnected the call and dialed the dispatcher. "Get everyone here."

never being proved
we've written books on education
summoned federal regulation

Hank pulled over to the side of the road as the radio DJ said what had happened only moments before. Already Hank's mind was in overdrive, planning what they would have to do. Of course they'd have to go into work, so it was only a matter of time before they were paged, and fundraisers and supplies would be needed...

He pulled off the shoulder and headed towards school, a plan already half formed. It was the least they could do.

Hank had never dealt well with his emotions, which is partially why he enjoyed working as an EMT There were rules preventing them from getting emotionally invovled, although he was discovering that sometimes his emotions get the better of him no matter hwat he did. So now he surpressed the fear and sadness and replaced it with determination to get something done to help.

Helping was good.

skeleton hid deeply 'til its bones turn to dust
I know an old lady who swallowed a fly
I don't know why exactly,
I guess she'll die

Carlson wandered around the cafeteria, not really caring that class was supposed to be in session. Groups were scattered here and there, many of the girls and several guys were crying, hlding onto each other. A few were silent, eyes wide as they sat mesmerized by the TV.

Not once since had any of these children ever though war could touch them, touch America. Even Carlson had grown up thinking that there would never be a war fought on american soil, yet here it was. War. Terrorists had started a war.

This was the war for Generations X and Y. May they survive the experience, he thought, thinking back to his days as a teenager during the Vietnam war. He was too young to have been in it, missing the draft by only a couple years, but he vivdly remembered how war had touched every aspect of his life.

Carlson stopped by the bleacher junkies, who were, ironically enough, sharing their TV with several of the jocks. Val, Tyler, Catie and Jamie were gathered together, holding onto each other surreptitiously. Val's face was red from crying, the tracks of her tears were clear and Catie had smeared her eyeliner and mascara, tiny rivulets of black running down her cheeks making her look like Ozzy Osbourne.

my country 'tis of thee,
sweet land of irony
spoonful of sugar to wash it down

Several Muslim students sat off to one side talking quietly in Arabic.

"Hey!" Doug Ray, a basketball player said, coming up to them. "You live in America! Speak English!"

The Muslim students quieted and looked at him, the fear obvious on their faces. It didn't matter what they were discussing, this was the wrong time to be them.

"You hear me?" he asked, getting into the face of a lanky Muslim boy.

"Stop," Tyler said forcefully, inserting himself between the two, forcing them both to take a step back.

"Back off Connell," Ray said evenly, "This is between me and the people who did this."

"Rashid didn't do this. Terrorists did," Jamie said, joining the confrontation, Val and Catie behind him. "So back off."

Disgusted at his classmates lack of 'patriotism' Ray snarled and turned away, heading back towards the other basketball players.

"I didn't need you to protect me," Rashid said to them. Both grateful that there hadn't been a fight and upset that he had have help.

"I know, man," Hank said, having seen the confrontation across the cafeteria. "But if you or any of your friends or family need help or a refuge or anything, you can come to the station or to us. You are still American."

and god save the queen,
oh, and pardon the king
and our ballots we'll stuff,
then drink 'till we drown

At the end of the day the EMTs were crashed out on the sofa's and bunkbeds around the station. They had been paged shortly after the confrontation in the cafeteria and once they had reported in, they had been sent back to the highschool to help calm everyone down and comfort them. CNN had played on the TV constantly, rehashing the days events in New York, destroying the illusions of a nation.

The entire day had been busy, emotional and taxing. Alex stood in the common shirt partially unbuttoned, untucked and his sleeves rolled up. He always looked professional at work, this was the first time he had been driven to this point. And it didn't look like it was getting better. He watched the squad sleep, a parent checking in on his children.

Hank was sprawled out on one of the couches, TV remote laying on his chest, one arm dangling off the side to the floor. Tyler was curled on the top bunk, his short wavy hair spikey like Jamie's because of sleep. Val and Brooke were curled together on the lower bunk, the younger Linear sister refusing to leave the older. Jamie was curled up on the other sofa his EMS jacket on top of him like a blanket.

Such innocence forever shattered by fear, war, and three airplanes.

my country 'tis of thee,
sweet land of irony
spoonful of sugar to wash it down

A/N: I have been trying to write a memorial fic for some time now, but the words would not come.