UNTITLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH MY HABIT OF NOT NAMING PRESENTS FOR PEOPLE
Pairings: girl!Brendon/girl!Spencer (passing not-very-obvious mention of Brendon/girl!Ryan)
Warnings: ...Themes of musical repression?
Summary: She’s only heard about these things—drums—in passing, something the older boys at school would occasionally talk about in low voices.
Disclaimer: Didn't happen.
Notes: Takes place in the Tabooverse Reili and I started talking about over Twitter and Reili took first dibs on. This is not in the same universe as hers, just the same basic concept. To summarize: In this universe, music is as taboo as sex is in our universe, and sex is as taboo as music is here. Yeah.
“What is that?” It looks like a case for something, maybe books, except books probably don’t fit too well in a round case. And there’s no handle, so carrying it around would be awkward, anyway. What would be the point?
But Spencer just grins, putting the case-thing on a stand she pulls out of the closet a moment later. “A snare drum.”
Brendon’s eyes widen. “A—“ She can’t bring herself to say it. She’s only heard about these things—drums—in passing, something the older boys at school would occasionally talk about in low voices. She’s not sure what kind of image she had of what they’d look like, but it probably wasn’t anything like this.
“How did you find one?” Maybe they have special stores for these things, with blacked-out windows and bouncers who don’t let you in unless you’re 18 years old and godless, or something. But she can’t see Spencer going to a place like that.
“I’ve got a connection.” Spencer’s holding a pair of sticks, now, twirling them in her hands a little. “You’ll meet him later. If you want, I mean.”
Brendon nods dumbly.
“Watch this.” Spencer grins and stands up, holding the sticks over the drum.
Brendon stays sitting on her heels and watches.
Spencer taps the sticks at a steady beat, softly at first, then louder, the rhythm picking up speed and changing, getting more complex, tap tap tap-tap-tap tap tappa-tap tap. She hits the edge, the center, clicks her sticks together, and the sound pierces through the air in the room and Brendon understands why Spencer had insisted on showing her this when they were home alone.
It’s obscene, the way Spencer keeps beating at such a steady pace, the way she starts to bite her bottom lip in concentration, the way her eyes glaze over and grow sharper at the same time, like she’s in some kind of hyper-aware trance. Brendon feels like she’s intruding on something private, and she almost wants to turn away, but she can’t.
Then, with a few quick beats and a flourish of her sticks, Spencer stops and grins down at Brendon. “Well?”
Brendon’s not sure what to do. Maybe applaud, but that makes it seem like Spencer just put on a show or something, and it feels like a whole lot more than just that.
“Wow.” That’s all she can come up with, but Spencer’s smile seems to say that that’s enough.
“I’ve been practicing. I have books and stuff, if you want to look at them.”
“Maybe—maybe later.” This is a bit too much on its own—first finding out that the girl she’s been sleeping with has a band, now…whatever this is.
“I’ll see if I can get Ryan to let you try her guitar. I’m not that great with it, but you might like it.” Spencer reaches for the bottom of the drum and pulls a lever. “Okay, this is the cool part, watch this.”
Spencer taps out a simple rhythm again, but this time it sounds different—the hollow noise from earlier seems to rattle, now.
Spencer must see the way Brendon’s eyes bug out, because she laughs. “Cool, right? That’s the snare. There are other drums—bass and toms and I think Mikey actually has a few from like, India—but this one’s pretty basic.”
Brendon doesn’t know how Spencer can seem so at ease with this. This isn’t coffee or sex or any of the other things that everyone Brendon grew up with abhors but the rest of the world seems to be fine with. This is what gets banned from television, what brings up movie ratings, what the news blames for the rise in crime and juvenile delinquency. And there Spencer is, brushing her hair out of her face and grinning after doing something that would get Brendon kicked out of her house.
She finally gets up off the floor, looks at the drum, and holds out her hand for the sticks.
“Can I try?”