Kim loves drumming.
It may have started out as an equally sarcastic response to her dad's sarcastic suggestion that she find something constructive to take her teenage angst out on, but from the very first time that she picked up a pair of sticks, she knew: this was for her. It's basically a socially acceptable, less messy way to break stuff.
Kim appreciates the other perks, too; she likes counting off and being the thundering heart of the band, and that if her timing is off, the whole band is screwed. She likes that she has different options for noises, unlike those poor assholes on guitar. She can keep time on the hi-hat or create tension with a slow cymbal roll, or, her favorite, go to town on the bass drum and the tom-toms.
At the moment, the snare is Jason "Cheating Dick" Kim, and the bass drum that she's pounding so hard that it feels like the foot pedal should be coming out the other side of the drum -- that's Hollie "Lying Backstabber" O'Dell.
For good measure, the right-hand cymbal is Scott Pilgrim and his emotionally stunted face and Kim's complete inability to stop thinking about him, even though, God that is so high school and he is such a dumbass, and she -- initially against her will -- really, really likes Ramona.
(Ramona's face isn't anywhere on Kim's drumset; Ramona is unforgivably cool and has done nothing to earn having her imaginary nose pounded in.)
Kim can't hear anything beyond the bang of drums and the crash of cymbals, the beat rattling in under her ribs and making her fingers vibrate with the force of every hit. Her hair is in her eyes even with her headband holding it back (when the hell did it get so long? she wonders; screw Jason Kim and the way he liked to run his fingers through it, she's getting a damn haircut) and her arms are starting to burn, and it takes her a couple of seconds to realize that her bedroom door has cracked open and a familiar pair of eyes is peering in.
Kim finishes her riff with a slamslam-ting, then holds still -- drumsticks clutched tightly in her fist and resting on her knee as she uses her other hand to silence the ringing of the cymbal -- and pointedly stares at the eyes. They widen, then the door swings open.
"Heyyyy-yyyyy," says Scott, guiltily slouching in. He's wearing that stupid jacket that he has had since grade 8, bass slung over his back. "You're practicing!"
"We're a band," Kim deadpans. "I hear tell that bands do that."
Without bothering to toe off his soggy sneakers or shrug out of his wet coat, Scott collapses on her bed, where he bounces for a second. "Stephen Stills always says we're--"
"Recording," says Stephen briskly from the doorway. Kim narrows her eyes at him. There were no footsteps on the stairs; he's in shorts and a T-shirt and doesn't look like he's been out in the rain particularly recently. "Because we are."
"Were you already here?" she asks. Scott blinks and stops trying to untangle himself from his jacket sleeves long enough to watch Stills's answer.
"We're remastering 'Herself the Elf,' " Stephen says, dismissive and casual, like it isn't weird at all for him to hang out with Joseph for hours without Kim even realizing that he's in her house.
(It is weird. Really weird.)
"What does remastering even mean?" Scott asks the ceiling. He's out of his jacket and flopped across the bed now, arm thrown across his bass case.
"Sitting in Joseph's room and arguing over a couple of useless blinking lights for hours," Kim says. "Come on; let's rehearse already." She points a drumstick at Stephen. "Stills, get your ax. I wrote a song. We're playing it."
He stops and stares at her. She doesn't look over at her bed but can hear the rustle as Scott moves, and then he says, "You can write music? Kim. You wrote music??" Sometimes Scott says and does things, and Kim can't even believe that he was the first person she ever had sex with.
"Scott, you're lucky I like these drumsticks."
"What?" Scott asks, sounding alarmed. "No? Why?"
She shoots a look at him. "Because I don't want to risk breaking them over your fat head."
"Hey!" he yelps, hands flying up to frame his head like he's either trying to shield it from her insults or gauge just how fat it is.
"Okay, no," says Stephen, starting to get decisive, "this is cool; this is new energy, I like it," and then he turns and flees the room. It's the most excited Kim has seen him get about the band in months. Apparently, all she had to do to get him out of Joseph's room was tell him they were playing a new song that he didn't have to write.
"Scott," Kim says, but when she turns to look at him, he's already standing two feet away with his bass plugged into the amp, noodling meaningless riffs as he tunes. She stares at him. "You were just on the bed."
"Yeah," he says, clearly paying no attention; "hey, listen, it's the theme from Jaws!" He plunks a series of notes that do in fact bear a vague passing resemblance to the Jaws music.
Kim rolls her eyes and grabs the sheet music out of her bookshelves. Heels click overhead, and Kim glares up at the ceiling. When Stephen skids back in, guitar at the ready, she shoves the music at him and Scott. "Here; hurry up." They should be able to learn it in about two seconds flat; there are only three chords in the whole thing, and it borrows heavily from "Stop Resenting." This isn't a song for the band or something that's ever going to have to pass public muster. It's a song for Kim.
She hears a ringtone and then a laugh from upstairs, muffled through the ceiling, and she scowls. She throws her arms up, drumsticks in hand. "LIVE FROM A SHITTY APARTMENT IN BLOORDALE VILLAGE--"
"Are you seriousl--" Stephen starts.
"No! Not ready! Not ready!" Scott insists frantically, waving a hand. Like that's going to stop her.
"WE ARE SEX BOB-OMB, ONE TWO ONE TWO THREE FOUR!"
They sound even more suck-ass than usual, which Kim expected and is a-okay with. They're terrible but they're loud, and that's the general idea. She takes a deep breath, as Scott and Stephen continue to struggle with figuring out how the song goes, and she sings at the top of her lungs.
"Being around you / is like nails on a chalkboard / lemon dripped on a paper cut / listening to Kenny G / whoa-oa-oa. / You think you're so sweet / but you're both liars and cheats; / you deserve each other, you deserve each other." Even over her own voice, the drums, and the two guitars, Kim hears the distant door slam, and heels come thundering down the stairs. "You deserve each other," she shout-sings, pedaling the bass drum harder just as a furious blur storms past out in the hallway, and bless Scott Pilgrim's oblivious heart, because he chooses that very moment to get with the program and take up the backing vocal.
"You deserve each other," Scott and Kim sing, and Hollie stomps down the last set of stairs and shuts the front door hard enough that the whole house rattles. Satisfied, Kim stops playing and sits back with her arms crossed. Stephen peters out on guitar after a few seconds; glancing between the two of them, a confused-looking Scott plays on until Stephen says, "Dude" to him.
"Wait, are we done? But it's not done! There's another verse!" Scott objects. "It's about not washing the dishes..."
"Yeah," Kim drawls. "That sucked. I'm good."
Scott blinks at her for a second or two, a second or two where she thinks he might actually get it -- then he starts noodling at the bass line that he royally screwed up. Stephen, on the other hand, is looking at her funny. "Everything ... okay there, Kim?"
Kim is living in an apartment with a hole in the ceiling over the kitchen, a bathroom that can't be used because it drips down into the room below, a gay hipster who never speaks above an angry mutter, and a two-faced ex-friend who slept with Kim's boyfriend. She works at a video rental store -- with the aforementioned two-faced ex-friend who is dead to her -- where the most challenging part of her day is figuring out the least strenuous way of kicking kids out of the 18A- and R-rated aisles, she's in a band that couldn't play its way out of a paper bag, she has feelings for an unavailable idiot who's currently plucking at his own pinkie with a guitar pick, and she has no idea what she's doing with her life.
She drawls, "Peachy keen."
Kim chose this. She reminds herself of that little fact daily, when her mom seems to think that the promise of pancakes with chocolate chip smiley faces on them will draw her out of bed (it won't) and when her dad grills her at dinner every night about what she's doing back here and where she's going with her life, and just what has she been doing this past year in the big city, anyway?
On their less-overbearing days, Kim can admit to herself that they both mean well, even her dad. They can't be very thrilled that their daughter spent two years at Nipissing University with an undeclared major before quitting and moving to Toronto to work in a video rental store, but they've never really given her crap about it. They just want what's best for her and they're confused about why she's back in their house, sleeping in her old room, at 24.
Kim's confused, too.
"So," says her dad over pot roast and baked potatoes, and Kim starts glaring at her dinner plate before the sentence is even all the way out of his mouth, "any interviews today?"
"Oh Michael," says her mom. "Kimmy just got home--" meanwhile, Kim stabs a potato with her fork, "--Give her a few more weeks, would you? Kim, we are just so happy to have you here." Her mom beams across the table at her. Kim mumbles with her mouth full. She doesn't mumble anything in particular; she just mumbles.
Her dad looks as unconvinced by all of this as Kim feels, but he lets her eat and do the dishes in peace.
"So," Stills says on the phone that night. Kim is fairly sure he's shuffling his feet right now. "How's the great white north?"
"White and northy," Kim says promptly, her cell tucked in close to her ear as she stares up at the ceiling. She can still see the outlines of constellations from where she'd had those glow-in-the-dark stickers as a kid; she had spent hours painstakingly checking books to put them in patterns that were as scientifically accurate as possible. Nerd. "How's Toronto?"
Stephen seems to think about that for a minute, then he says, "Weird."
"That's both non-specific and pretty standard," she points out.
"No, weirder than usual," he says. "You're gone, Ramona's gone, Neil's being a dick, Knives is here all the time, Scott's basically catatonic--"
Kim says, "What?"
"--And won't leave the new place his parents got him," Stephen continues. "Which might be a good thing, because the one time he came out with me and Joseph, he stabbed Cole in the head with a fork."
She barks a startled laugh. "Seriously? Cole, the skinny guy with the glasses? What the hell?"
Stephen grunts. "Scott called him 'Gideon' right before he grabbed the fork and lunged."
Kim lets the full gravity of that one sink in for several full seconds. That is amazingly delusional and stupid and sad, all at once, and she can't quite decide if she wants to hit Scott over the head to try to snap him out of it, or, like, pat him on the shoulder. Or something. God, if she still has some kind of urge to comfort Scott Pilgrim after he did something that stupid, leaving Toronto was definitely a good idea. "What an idiot."
"Yeah." There's a noise in the background, something that sounds vaguely like a door shutting, and a male voice that's too low and quiet to be Neil's. "Yeah, yeah," Stephen says, muffled as if he covered the mouthpiece of the phone.
" 'Yeah yeah'?" she says, smirking. "Real romantic, Stills."
"Shut up," he says. "Listen, Kimberly Pine, when are you coming back? The new band could use a drummer, especially now that Scott forked the guy we were gonna ask."
Kim wishes Ramona hadn't chickened out and split. She has that wish for a lot of reasons, but right now, it's primarily because she thinks Ramona would get not knowing what to do with her life, in ways that most of Kim's other friends wouldn't. Stephen definitely doesn't get it, anyway. "Ask Cole," Kim says. "He'll probably be fine with it as long as you keep Scott and cutlery away from him."
Stephen snorts and they share a companionable silence for a few seconds. Kim listens to the soft hissing tap-tap-tap of sleet on the windows. "Seriously, Kim--"
"I don't know," she interrupts, sharp. "I don't know if I'm coming back."
"Okay!" he says crabbily, and she can imagine him putting his hands up to signal that he comes in peace. "Okay, okay. Jesus. I'll ask Cole. But for the record, when you come back, if you want the spot, he's totally out of the band."
Kim smiles a very little bit.
After they say their goodbyes and hang up, Kim lies spread-eagled on her bed with her arms at her sides and stares at the ceiling. It's dark and snowy, and there aren't a lot of options for what to do with the rest of the night. If she wants a nightlife beyond pie at the neighbors' house or a visit to the local bait shop, she's going to have to borrow her mom's minivan and drive 40 kilometers to North Bay.
Kim shuts off the lights and rolls herself up in quilts. There's still a faint green-yellow glow on the ceiling, sticker residue in a shaky approximation of the Big Dipper. Looking at it is easier than making decisions.
In March, Kim sleeps as late as humanly possible and gets dressed in her room, throwing her coat and hat on over everything. She cracks her door for a second to listen, and, hearing no noise, thunders down the stairs all at once, where she steps into her boots, grabs the keys from the table in the hall, and calls, "Going out bye," all in one breath as she opens the front door and shuts it behind herself. It's the fastest and easiest way to avoid the question that she hates: 'what are you doing today?'
A brisk walk, hands jammed in her pockets, takes her to the tiny diner on the very edge of suburbia. It makes seriously awful coffee but the waiter usually lets her sit for hours, pretending to drink said seriously awful coffee but mostly doing the crossword in all of the newspapers that she can get her hands on, and drawing Jack Layton mustaches on politicians on the front page. Some days, she walks farther to sit at the library and spend hours reading dull blogs and flipping through reference books.
The longer that Kim stays in Nipissing, the less that she hears from Toronto. Stephen still calls once in a while (sometimes he puts Joseph on the phone, which is either hilarious or frustrating depending on how communicative Joseph feels like being at that particular moment in time), but Stephen is apparently still making the effort to try to talk Scott out of his apartment, too; Kim thinks he kind of has a thing for lost causes. Scott has never been good at the phone, even before his whole Ramona-left-me mental breakdown, and most of Kim's other friends -- it's hard to hate things together when you're practically in different time zones. The texts and the calls have tapered off.
Kim is fine with that, in general. Texts and calls inevitably mean questions that she doesn't have any answers to.
The waiter comes by and hovers just over her left shoulder for a few seconds. When she doesn't look up from the newspaper, he refills her coffee and then goes to deal with a middle-aged woman who's flagging him down from a table by the window. He's an idiot high school kid with braces who seems to finally be getting the idea -- an idea which Kim has been vigorously reinforcing for weeks -- that Kim doesn't want to get busy with him, or even be spoken to by him.
Kim takes her pencil out of her mouth, studying the next clue in the Sunday crossword. #7 down: doing plenty of nothing. She prints IDLE in big block letters, then frowns at the newspaper, folds it up and shoves it across the counter, and goes to get her coat.
Outside, she puts on her sunglasses against the sun-off-melting-snow glare, she puts her hands in her pockets, and -- she unexpectedly collides with some jerk coming out of the hardware store. He mumbles an apology and keeps going down the sidewalk, toward a truck parked at the side of the road. Kim stares after him and his stupid parka with its stupid fuzzy hood for several long seconds, and then, before she can think better of it, she pulls her cell phone out of her coat pocket.
She does know one person who won't think to ask her any questions. Spectacular self-involvement will do that.
She has his number memorized.
Unsurprisingly, he doesn't pick up.
"This is Scott," sighs Scott's morose taped voice, and then the answering machine beeps. It's an improvement over his last answering machine message, which was recorded by his mom.
"Hey," she says. "It's Kim. I just saw a guy with a parka exactly like your stupid parka you've had since you were 12. That's literally the most interesting thing that's happened all week. It friggin' sucks up here. Get over your extremely boring depression and come visit me sometime, ass-clown."
When she hangs up, she looks after the parka guy for a long moment (he's smiling at a woman across the bed of his truck as they load some wooden planks in together), and then she starts the long walk home.
After Scott has come and gone -- life-changing epiphanies and weird battles with himself and all -- Kim leans on the sink in the bathroom on the second floor of her parents' house, and stares into the mirror. "Scott Pilgrim got his life together before you did," she tells herself. "This quarter-life crisis is officially over." It has to be, if she wants to retain any sort of self-respect ever again. And if she wants to stop thinking about those kisses. Nothing has ever made her want to be with Scott less than the moment when he'd kissed her in the woods, telling her that they should be together because she's "been there" all along and they have an "uncomplicated" thing. Just what every girl wants to hear.
(But she'd still kissed him goodbye at the bus station. She doesn't know why she did that. She doesn't want to think about why she did that.)
Contrary to what Scott sometimes seems to think, the world -- Kim's world -- doesn't revolve around him. Kim nods sharply at herself in the mirror, steps away from the sink, and goes to find her parents' computer.
"Kim Pine, you're a sight for sore eyes," says a voice when Kim steps down off the bus, and she turns to find Ramona Flowers standing there, hair streaked pink and a huge smile on her face. Kim can't quite control her own smile, despite all attempts to, and when Ramona takes her hands out of her jacket pockets and opens her arms, Kim willingly steps around her fellow passengers to hug her back. Ramona is warm and solid and smells a little bit like cinnamon and still gives the best hugs, and she's laughing. Kim decides on the spot that she's okay with openly admitting that she doesn't hate Ramona as much as she hates most people.
"I know you said on the phone that you didn't want a big thing, but someone has to celebrate your triumphant return to Toronto," Ramona says, drawing back.
"One person doesn't constitute a big thing, Ramona," Kim points out.
"Yeah, well, I was going to make a sign that you would have hated, but Scott used all the paint in the house on a," Ramona makes gloved finger-quotes, " 'top secret craft project.' "
"You're going to open a closet and find an elaborate stick figure mural somewhere," Kim predicts dryly, wading through a sea of bags to pick up her suitcase from where the bus driver just placed it on the pavement.
"Probably." Ramona neatly snags Kim's suitcase out of her hands. "Ladies don't carry their bags!" she says, grinning. "To the Happy Avocado!"
They settle in at a table by the window over soy lattes, after tucking Kim's suitcase away in the breakroom, where Stephen surprised both himself and Kim by hugging her then telling her and Ramona that the tofu scramble is on the house. It's quiet on a Thursday afternoon; just Stephen clanging around in the kitchen, a couple talking at a table in the back, and Kim and Ramona.
"So," Ramona says, hands cupped around her mug, "U of T?"
Kim stirs her coffee with a spoon. "I hear that your 20s are the optimal time to get your life together."
"What are you going to major in?" Ramona asks. "Shopping, dating, zoological anthropology...?"
She snorts. "I thought we decided on tequila."
"I think we just had tequila on the brain," Ramona says, consideringly. She pauses for a moment. "A lot of tequila."
"An ocean of it," Kim agrees, and she diplomatically doesn't mention the other things that happened that night; getting kidnapped by a pair of Japanese twins, being invited to sleep in Scott and Ramona's bed, Ramona disappearing. "Dating and zoological anthropology were your genius ideas. I wanted rugby."
"Seriously, Kim," she laughs. "What are you going to study?"
She shrugs. "I've always liked science," she says. "I was thinking about astronomy and astrophysics." She looks up from her latte to find Ramona looking at her with a disconcertingly intent expression. Kim lowers her eyebrows at her. Deadpan: "Do I have something on my facial area?"
"No," she says. "It just -- fits you."
"My face will be glad to hear that."
Ramona shoots her a look that fairly screams oh please. That's why Kim likes Ramona. "Astronomy. It works."
"Yeah, well, it won't work for a while," Kim says as Stephen steps out of the kitchen, plates in hand. "I've got to save up first. I got my old job back at No-Account."
"But you have a plan!" Ramona reaches across the table and companionably ruffles her hair, grinning toothily in that way that she does sometimes. "You're such a grownup, Kim!" Stephen sets a plate down in front of each of them.
"Are we messing up Kim's hair?" Stephen says. "Is that a thing now?"
"Not if you want to keep your hand," Kim says placidly, gathering a forkful of tofu scramble.
"I said I didn't want a big thing," Kim says, as streamers erupt around her and multiple hands pat her on the back, but she does admittedly smile faintly as Stacey Pilgrim pulls her into a half-willing hug.
"You know Scott and listening comprehension," Stacey says, letting her go. Already on the other side of the living room, standing under the banner strung across the doorway (it says WELCOME BACK KIMBERLEY PINE, in a shaky hand -- that misspelled Kim's name -- that telegraphs the fact that this was Scott's top secret project), Ramona gives Kim an apologetic look, the impact of which is dulled by the fact that she's smiling.
"Kim!" says Scott's voice, and then he pops out of the crowd of their friends and Kim's coworkers and grabs her in a hug, and promptly starts trying to give her a noogie.
"Scott, I know where you sleep, and I'm pretty sure Ramona would let me in," Kim says, glaring at the floor under the onslaught, and that does the trick; Scott lets go and staggers back a step.
"She wouldn't," he says.
"I would!" Ramona calls.
"Somebody cut the damn cake already," says Joseph.
By the time that Stephen comes in after the end of his shift, Knives and her little friend in tow, the party that Kim didn't want but is enjoying more than she would admit is in full swing. Scott's ex-roommate contributed a bottle of surprisingly good whiskey, and other people brought enough liquor that the coffee table (the house didn't have a coffee table when Kim left; it seems to have a couch again, too) looks like a ridiculously low-rent bar, and Kim is pleasantly buzzed, though not enough that she doesn't remember what happened the last time that she had a drunken conversation with Knives Chau. She extricates herself from Knives's raptures over McGill University and Montreal, and goes to find more cake.
The refrigerator is open in the kitchen, someone bent over and rummaging around. Kim clears her throat, fully expecting to find Wallace making himself a sandwich as if he lives here, and instead, Hollie's head pops up over the door. They stare at each other for several long seconds, and then Kim looks away. Out in the living room, Scott is reenacting something that looks suspiciously like an ostrich trying to practice kung fu, as Ramona and Malika from No-Account laugh in a wheezing heap on the sofa. Knives and Tamara are dancing with Cole, while Stacey lectures Wallace and he just grins obnoxiously over the rim of his glass and leans against his dorky boyfriend with the glasses. Joseph, possibly drunk, is all up in Stephen's business; Stephen looks like he's appreciating it, his hand on Joseph's hip. Neil is propped against the far wall, fiddling with his phone.
Kim looks back over at Hollie again. They haven't exchanged more than two or three words at a time since Kim came home and found her making out with Jason on the couch. Hollie spent the first week trying to apologize, then clearly became more and more pissed off at Kim's refusal to acknowledge her existence and by the time that Kim moved out, there was enough ice between them to pave the entire rink at College Park. Kim thinks about spending hours together in the tiny front room at No-Account Video; how they used to laugh at terrible gory Japanese horror movies, and then how they would go entire shifts without speaking to each other.
Hollie looks guilty at being caught in her own kitchen, still standing in the open refrigerator door. "Sorry," she says, finally. "I was just going to grab some dinner and go back upstairs."
"You should have some cake," Kim says. "I have no idea why it's vegan, but it's not the worst thing I've ever tasted."
Hollie watches her for several long seconds, blinking, and then she slowly begins to smile.
It happens in May.
"Hey, remember that time you said it was the last time you were ever going to kiss me?" Scott says, right in the middle of band practice, and Kim's drumstick goes flying out of her hand on the upswing. It hits the ceiling, then clatters on the floor and rolls under Scott's couch. Somewhere in the general vicinity of the couch, Gideon the cat meows an indignant protest. "Hey!" Scott protests. "I think my parents paid a security deposit or something!"
She stares at him, sitting behind the drumset that has been laboriously taped so that it says SHATTERBAND on the front of the bass drum. "The general idea was that that was going to be the last time that we talked about it, too," she manages, after a moment.
He has turned to face her now, guitar still slung over his shoulder. "Maybe..." he says, and he actually looks and sounds a little apprehensive, "that didn't ... have ... to be the last time?"
"Scott," she says, "if you're propositioning me, again, while you're dating Ramona, I'm going to hit you in the face and I'm not going to regret it."
"Oh," he says, casual, like it's no big thing, "Ramona's cool." Kim isn't sure whether she's staring at him or glaring at him; probably both. "Kim! Whose idea do you think this was??" he demands. "I kind of think Ramona likes you more than she likes me! All she does when she gets drunk is talk about how much she wants to marry you!!"
"Ha," says Kim, because it's easy and automatic and gives her a moment to internally freak out about what seems to be happening right now. "That's because your girlfriend has taste."
"Hey!" Scott says again, and then they're both quiet. He fiddles with the strap of his guitar. Kim stares at her remaining drumstick, and at how white her knuckles have gone in her grip on it.
"So -- just to get this straight, so to speak," she says, slow. "Are you inviting me to sleep in Ramona's bed, again?"
"Yes," Scott says, after a moment's consideration that almost impresses Kim; he's clearly actually thinking about it. "That's the general idea. But with less tequila this time; fighting Japanese twins with that hangover was the worst."
"Are you planning on fighting more Japanese twins anytime soon?"
Scott thinks about this question even longer. "No," he says. "I hope not."
Kim thinks about cuddling with Ramona and Scott at that party at Julie's before everything went bad, Scott's warm weight across her legs and Ramona kissing her head, pressed up against her arm. She thinks about the surprise party that Scott threw her and about singing with him and about long afternoons spent making out when they were kids, and about hours-long conversations with Ramona over coffee and the way that her skin prickles when she's near her. Kim thinks about Knives Chau, and how -- aside from the fact that she was Knives, and thus a drunk teenager who was so enthusiastic that she'd practically tried to crawl into Kim's mouth -- kissing her hadn't been terrible at all.
Kim says, "Okay."
"Man," Scott says, staring at her, and Kim is fully prepared to retract her agreement if he just called her a man. "Kim. You're really, really awesome. I don't deserve this."
The fact that he said that at all, that he thought that, tells Kim that this will be an okay decision (probably); that this Scott isn't the Scott who almost left their hometown without even saying goodbye when he was her 17-year-old boyfriend, and who obliviously broke her heart time and time again over the last year. Kim looks at him. He looks back, uncharacteristically serious. "Nope," she says, and she grins with all her teeth at him. "Let's run that last one again and go find Rammy."
Scott grins like the biggest idiot on the face of the planet, and, without even being asked, scrambles to go fetch her drumstick. When he gives it back to her, he holds on for a second longer than he needs to, and Kim squeezes his hand back.
"WE ARE SHATTERBAND AND WE'RE ABOUT TO KNOCK YOUR TEETH IN," Kim hollers, and they grin wildly at each other as Scott steps back into his ridiculous guitar-playing stance. "ONE, TWO, ONE TWO THREE FOUR!"
Kim loves drumming.