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Rock 'n Roll Highschool AU

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THINGS COULD BE WORSE, BUT THEY WERE PRETTY BAD.
It was the 3rd week of school, Bowie had already kidnapped a dozen children from the neighboring elementary school, arts funding had been cut again-resulting in jazz band having to merge with symphonic band causing school-wide riots, and a disturbing number of gangs had cropped up during the madness.

Sitting in the cafeteria on a cracked stool held together by used gum, duct tape, and will power, Gregory Lake ate his lunch amongst the school’s most feared gang, King Crimson, his friends. After finishing his sad, pale salad, he got up to check his hair in the bathroom and block the door for people trying to pee while he chatted with a “Nice” boy, Keith ‘batshit insane’ Emerson. He’d saved his tots for last, they were the only reason he didn’t just bring his lunch from home- other than his mother wouldn’t make it for him and 6:30 is too damn early to be catching the bus.

Ric and Ben and their buddies always ‘carpooled’ but he didn’t know anyone worth knowing who drove and owned one. Besides, he had to stay with Fripp, their iron-fisted leader. Now supposedly Keith ‘the loon’ Moon tried carpooling too, but got it wrong. And got suspended again.

Greg made his way back to the table and noticed his tots were gone. Cold horror like when you’re eating something soft and hear a crunch gripped his heart and he looked over to find Fripp, the little mushroom bastard, eating them, staring directly back as he popped one in his mouth. Not 5 seconds later, Greg was on the table grabbing at him and a circle of kids were around them chanting “FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!”

“NOBODY TOUCHES MY TOTS!” Greg punched him in the face, knocking him off his stool but before he could take them back, someone grabbed him from behind and pulled him off the table.

“Tony! Dispose of him!”

Greg gasped at this turn of events. His only friend, or at least Fripp’s only friend’s friend Fripp, had betrayed him. Over tater tots. They weren’t even that good. He spoke up again, “You didn’t need them, you chubby-cheeked moonchild.”

That was it. Friendship over. Tony held him over a trash can while Greg used all the bad words he knew. He was about to throw him in but there was already somebody in there. It was Morrissey.

“Hello Morrissey what are you doing in this trash can?” Tony asked.

“It is my home,” he replied as someone dumped their tray onto his head, a gob of overboiled sauceless spaghetti dripping slowly down the side of his face, “Is that trash you’re going to throw in here?”

Tony began to feel uncomfortable and decided to throw Greg in a different trashcan.

While he attempted to get out, plotting his vengeance, someone poured their ort over his head. Breadcrust that had been shoved into a milk carton and was already breaking apart slid down his nose and over his lips. Greg screamed and knocked the can onto its side, spilling onto the floor. Standing above him was a kid sipping a juice box; he’d been watching the spectacle and wanted to see what happened next. “My name’s Carl. Are you going to beat him up?”

Greg picked himself up, brushing trash off his ambercrombie and fitch polo. “No,” he furrowed his brow and snatched his juice, “I’m going to do the mature thing, and beat up weaker kids who have never done anything to me.”

“Oh.”

“Want to join my gang?”

“Not reall-” Keith looked up from carving his name into the side of a vending machine and walked over, shoving Carl aside, “-well maybe.”

Keith then stopped at Greg and crossed his arms, “I’m in too. What’s it called?”

“Greg and the Lakes.”

“That’s the stupidest fucking name I’ve ever heard. How about Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.”

“Lake, Emerson, and Palmer.”

Keith pulled out his knife again and Greg rolled his eyes, “Emerson, Lake, and Palmer because I can’t see more than three people possibly joining my gang.”

And so began a new reign of terror. The teachers watched in helpless horror as these awful children proceeded to steal lunch money from a group of nerdy little Canadians and their friend that they’d never met or even spoken to, establishing their dominance over people who had nothing to do with them and would rather be just left alone. Even sweet Carl did his part, and called Robbie a nerd. Robbie hung his head sadly, he was right, he was a nerd.

Would nothing be done to stop this growing epidemic?

Chapter Text

MEANWHILE IN SCENIC SOMEWHERE ELSE
Big jazz boy Bill Bruford held Geddy by the collar up against a locker outside the gym, sending his meaty drumfist into his geeky oversized glasses while Chris ‘the fish’ Squire and Rick ‘the wizard’ Wakeman kicked Lerxst on the floor. Always a team player, Steve stared Neil down from the corner, making him feel like he needed to take a shower or something. He took out a copy of Atlas Shrugged from his backpack and was about to hit Bill over the head with it when Jon entered the room talking excitedly.

“Oh Christopher! I saw some fairies today!”

“That nice Jon of course you did,” he replied, shoving Alex up against a wall while Rick stole Neil’s book and ripped out that pages.

“I really did! I have pictures this time!”

Chris stopped pinching Alex’s tits for a second to go over and see. Jon eagerly pulled out his Lisa Frank-Roger Dean notebook and flipped to a page full of glitter pen drawings.

“Fucking- ….They’re very nice Jon. Hang them on the fridge when we get home,” Chris sighed as the Canucks scrambled and ran out the locker room.

“That’s right!” Bill shouted after them, “Scram ya damn commie!”

Neil cried back, “I’m a socialist! There’s a difference!”

Bill shook his head but seemed to perk up again when he saw a group of sad nerdy things coming down the hallway, a new vehicle for his misplaced pubescent aggression. He had been especially upset by the jazz-symphonic merger, which now meant he now had to put up with twice as many geeks like orchestra percussionist, Beverly, who tried to tell him to play in time signatures that actually existed. Bill told him to shove it and suplexed him through a timpani, secretly feeling self-conscious about having to had take remedial math.

These kids were visiting from a ‘private school’ and were probably rich brats unused to the hyperviolent gang warfare of rock n roll public school. He decided to take on the gentle whimsical boy dressed in what hopefully was theatre make up, using his most developed skills of ‘hurtful language’. “Hey nerd, nice gay clothes.”

“Thanks!” he smiled, taking the other meaning of the word, as clothes cannot have a sexuality and therefore, cannot be gay.

“I mean they’re stupid… Like you.”

The boy gasped and the little one Phil ran up to Bill to defend his friend’s clothes’ honor and yelled at him to take it back. Rick and Steve came out of the locker room and shoved him. The big one Mike very calmly took a chair and smashed it over Steve’s head. Rick started screaming at Mike and both of them wrestled with each other while Jon and Chris rushed out to check on Steve and Phil yelled at the other Steve and Tony to hold him back while both of them just stood there and watched.

Jon kept yelling for everyone to stop fighting but no one would listen, so he ran away, unable to handle the violence. Outside, he set down his notebook and things to go chase a butterfly. Ian Anderson, who people assumed was his brother since they looked exactly alike, was also out there today, possibly for similar purposes. He was busy hitting a wasp nest with his flute. Wasps were a lot like butterflies Jon supposed.

Also enjoying the late summer day eating lunch on the swing set were Muff and his kid brother Stevie, who he pretended not to know. This was highly effective because unlike Jon and Ian, nobody knew they were brothers. Steve’s friend Chris came over to Ian and took his flute yelling something about ‘not treating instruments with respect’ or some bullshit like that. Ian respected his point of view by throwing the wasp nest at him.

Jon decided maybe wasps weren’t a lot like butterflies after all and went to go back inside and possibly check if Steve had a concussion or not but when he went to get his stuff, his notebook was gone. He could feel his tiny heart slowly breaking. Nothing in his bag had been touched but someone had to steal the one thing that couldn’t be replaced. Maybe he just put it somewhere else, but after a few minutes of searching while Ian and Chris screamed at the top of their lungs in the distance, it was obvious that it had in fact been stolen.

He rushed back inside to tell Chris, if they hadn’t all already been escorted to detention. As he disappeared back into the halls, from behind the haunted supply trailer crept none other than Bob Fripp, clutching a sparkly rainbow unicorn and space spire notebook covered in scratch in sniff stickers reading ‘JON’. He laughed a nefarious laugh “haha” and slunk back into the shadows, further setting the wheels in motion for his plan.

Chapter Text

MEANWHILE, IN MR DR PROFESSOR BRIAN MAY’S 4TH PERIOD PHYSICS
Chris sat down at his table beside Stevie (the other Stevie), who according to rumours, was a witch, but he didn’t believe in that kind of shit. He’d have to work with her for today since his usual partner, Steve, was currently in Nurse Plant’s office, trying to remember who he is. Also no one else in his row was willing to work with him it seemed- Roger and Rick were nearly inseparable and Alex and Geddy had a healthy dose of fear instilled in them.

As the old cloud-headed teacher walked around passing out worksheets to fill out during the video before the lab (which everyone would probably fall asleep during as soon as he turned the lights out- like putting a blanket over a bird cage, amazing), Chris felt a tap on his back and turned around. One of his countless nemeses, according to him, Fripp gave an unpleasant reptilian little smile, and slowly pulled a familiar notebook from his dilapidated backpack. Chris’s eyes went wide and he clenched his fists white-knuckled. Oh no he didn’t.

As Dr May came around to their tables, he slid it back in inconspicuous as that, but Chris knew this was an act of war directly on him. He’d gone and taken the simple effort to make Jon upset, in turn provoking the others, as only a true monster would try to hurt their tiny elf of love.

The Ramones, diligent and proactive students as always, were already asleep at the front of the class, obviously worn out from long nights studying and doing homework. Deedee drooled gently into the grooves of the cool S shape dragon man he’d carved into the table the previous year. Dr May flicked off the lights and wheeled the projector to the center of the room and popped in the VHS. Immediately after hearing the theme music, the class was awake again and chanting “BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL”.

From the next classroom over, Mr. Bruford got increasingly frustrated at his name but not him being called and he crumpled up his math work and shoved it in his mouth to keep from screaming. He got 10 points off for not showing work because of this.

After the video finished and the background radiation of the universe overtook the screen, the lights came up again and Chris turned around to give Fripp the time and place he was going to get his ass kicked but the little asshole was nowhere to be seen, he’d snuck out of the classroom during the video. And Bill Nye no less! No respect! No damn respect! So he was going to play it this way.

While one of his peons, Adrian, did his work for him, Chris and Stevie resumed doing questions on light and wavelengths. Stevie had doodled all over the margins and was intruding into the spaces reserved for written questions. Chris swatted her hand away and she drew a dick on his hand. “It’s a portrait.”

After class, Chris regrouped with his dwindling gang, Steve, out of action, and Jon, distraught, and on the other end of the building in Mr Zappa’s English class. Rick came out of drama with Trevor and Geoff, who volunteered to join their gang, but quickly left. Chris told Geoff however, he was always welcome to rejoin if he ever needed a geeky loser. Bill left math, still picking bits of college-ruled paper from his mouth.

“King Crimson has officially declared war on Yes,” Chris stated seriously.

“No way, what are you going to do about it?” Rick asked.

“I’m going to kick their asses,” Chris confirmed.

“I’m going to join King Crimson,” Bill decided, and left.

“What a motherfxcker.”

Alan walked up to Chris and Rick and asked why they were letting flies into their mouths. Chris asked if he’d like to join his gang. Alan replied he sure would and asked if they got matching leather jackets.

Even better, they got capes. Alan commented didn’t really want a cape. Fine, then Alan didn’t get a cape if that’s the way things have to be.

And so Yes went off in search of Fripp’s elusive ass.

Chapter Text

SOMEONE HAD LEFT YET ANOTHER HATEFUL MESSAGE ON TERRY’S LOCKER.
This time it read ‘I don’t know u’. It was probably true but it hurt still, knowing that someone hated him enough to try and write something mean about him, then didn’t care enough to actually put anything. He pulled it off and opened the door. Dee was crammed inside and gave a small wave. He sighed and shut it again, collected himself for a second, and opened it back up to let him out. Then came a knock from the locker next to his, Terry went over and let John out too.

Down the hallway, Greg and his new gang reveled in their mischief. News spread fast around school, if Yes managed to knock down Fripp a few pegs this afternoon, ELP might manage to succeed them by final bell if they kept on like this. Soon even Fripp would answer to a new order. Spotting Nicky Mason in the hall, Greg bumped into him and knocked his books onto the floor for good measure.

“Hey!” he bent down to pick them up and Keith snatched his backpack, zipping it open and dumping the hot wheels he smuggled from home over his head, “Somebody help!”

Roger as usual was in detention or didn’t bother coming to school, David and Rick were probably smoking behind the school, Syd was across the hall in the art room, being tormented by Carl, who kept asking questions like “did you draw that?” “do you want to be a drawer?” “is that anime?” “is that you?” “can you draw me?” “can you draw me a tattoo?” “why does it look like that?” “where is its body?” “did you trace that?”.

Outside in the sunken dining area, 5th period lunch was trying to focus on things other than their lunch, the garbage 4th period lunch didn’t want to eat. Paul was currently trying to trade his fried objects shaped like fish in an attempt to convince you they are fish for George’s green curry from home. George insisted he had a cold he didn’t want Paul to catch, so like an awful friend, refused to share his food. He tried Ringo next, who eventually gave in, though he really didn’t want Paul’s fish shaped fried fish product. John ended up eating them without offering either some of his chips, because they didn’t ask.

Bruce, the baseball team’s star batter and local workaholic perfectionist was studying, aiming for a cool 100. Clarence told him it was too soon to strive for the 5 and he needed to live a little and chill. Beside him, Croz and Pete were chilling so max they’d forgotten they had class, or were at school.

Nearby, Donovan was sitting in a potted plant, writing poetry. Marc, who by some unknown forces, always came to school with a perfect outfit and hair and a full face of make up, looked over his shoulder to see what he was writing. He told him it had promise but needed at least 30% more wizards and dinosaurs. Donovan thanked him for his constructive criticism.

There were also a few kids, who had already jumped the fence, and were running over to the elementary school for “recess”. Bowie and Jimmy scampered away as one teacher swung a broom at them, catching them coming too close to his classroom door. Another one of the runaways was Runt, who had, over the summer, grown about a foot taller, and probably wasn’t really suited to the nickname anymore, but nicknames were like covering yourself in crafts supplies, taking off your clothes, and climbing onto the roof of the school during the Christmas Recital, impossible to live down. After wearing himself out running around like a chicken with its head cut off, though far more vocally, he searched for a place to hide until lunch ended, and someone would have to be sent to search for him again.

Eying the slide, he crawled underneath it like a burrowing owl, except that someone was already there. Why it was John Deacon. There he is. Hello. Mr. Deacon had looked for a place with some peace and quiet and now here was this hyperactive kid talking to him about robots and trying to breathe his air at the same time. After a few minutes of this, Runt got bored and decided to go catching frogs by the runoff pond.

Chris pinched his bridge and prayed none of these losers would ask to join his gang today, he’d undoubtably say yes. Eventually he found Jon, watching bugs skate across a puddle until he saw his reflection in the slimy water and looked up at him. “Did you find my notebook?”

“Yes, and no.”

“No?” none of them used that word very often, except for Bill, but they loved him anyways.

“I know who has it though, I just don’t know where he is.”

Jon frowned but brightened up again, spotting Bill approaching him and Chris, “Maybe William does!”

“Chris.”

“Bill.”

“My friend do you know where my notebook might be? Chris says he knows who took it!”

“Sure,” Bill smiled and stepped aside.

“This?” Fripp asked, holding up his book to Jon’s shock then tossed it at his feet into puddle.

“Than-” Fripp turned his back and began to leave, Jon still shakily making out the words. Chris put his hand on his shoulder to stop him, but Bill grabbed his wrist before he could.

“Meet me on the playground after school for an ass kicking. My boys against yours.”

Fripp smiled faintly, “See you there Christopher.”

Runt slogged across the asphalt dripping dirty water and tracking mud, having gotten pushed into the pond by a bunch of bored metalheads after their angry impulsive friend threatened to eat his toad. ELP came outside and promptly took him behind the cafeteria and beat him up until Patti showed up and scared them off so she could finish the job herself. The two went back inside a few minutes later cleaner, but freezing cold and soaking wet.

Jon tried to wipe the pages down with napkins, though it was no use to stop the ink from running. Chris looked upwards, hoping for someone’s god or divine force to just strike Fripp dead in the next 2 hours and get this nonsense over with. Alan showed up 15 minutes late with Starbucks, “Hey guys I hope you like frapps. I wasn’t sure about everyone so I just got them with soy I hope that’s okay.”

—No amphibians were harmed in the making of this chapter.—

Runt’s little green toad, Todd Jr, was safely added to the class terrarium, where he lived a long life of not getting eaten by Ozzy who probably wouldn’t have eaten him anyways, and was just trying to be obnoxious. Todd Jr, 2015-∞

Chapter Text

CHRIS WAS AT A LOSS, NOT LIKE IT WAS HIS FIRST TIME TODAY.
There was no way he could win against King Crimson but if he let them beat him, it would most likely mean the end of Yes. Parting their separate ways before 6th period, he glanced over at Jon and Rick and Alan, who was nice but- well that was exactly his problem he was too nice and Bill would destroy him. As things got down to the wire, they’d have to get heavy or pray for a miracle.

Before closing the door, Chris spotted the private school preps from earlier and called out to them, “Hey!”

“What!?” Peter shouted frustratedly, “What is it now?!”

“I’m,” he drew his mouth tight and exhaled, “Sorry about beating on you earlier. And the thing about the clothes, that was Bill. Bill’s dead to me now.”

“Oh, um, it’s okay really.”

Mike apologized too, “I’m sorry about sending your friend to the infirmary I hope he’s okay. Is there anything we can do?”

“Yeah, he’ll be fine, Plant kissed it to make it better and gave him a bandaid- Though- Though if you can, can you meet me after final bell on the playground, I need some help taking down this asshole who’s been terrorizing the school and-”

“Oh you mean that Lake kid and his friends?” Phil asked.

“What- no, what are you talking about, I mean Fripp and King Crimson. Is he no longer with them?”

Phil shook his head, “We don’t even go here, how should I know. He just caught us in the hall and the other guy threatened us at knife point to give up our synths.”

“What did you do?”

“We gave him our synths.”

Tony glared stonily in Chris’s general direction, or maybe that was just his resting face. He wasn’t dancing a jig about this news either so maybe he was actually, very upset about this.

Chris bit his cheek and confirmed, “Well alright, I’ll see you later, then probably never again after that. Maybe at the grocery store but I probably won’t wave, just stare unnervingly at you from down the cereal aisle.”

“Okay. Tell Steve I miss him.”

“You’ve never even met him, you just hit him with a chair,” Chris winced.

“Oh, well alright. Steve misses him too,” Mike pointed at Steve next to him, “That’s Steve.”

Chris stepped back into the classroom and spotted another familiar group of faces freeze as he entered the room. “Uh, sorry about earlier,” he scratched the back of his head formulating an apology, “So now that we’re cool, do you wanna help me beat the shit out of the scariest gang in school?”

They looked at each other nervously, “Sorry I have hockey practice.”

“Yeah and I’ve got debate team.”

“And I’ve got to shower my cat.”

Chris narrowed his eyes but sat down and accepted they probably weren’t interested in getting beaten up twice in one day. He didn’t even know if Alex had a cat, it sounded suspicious, like an excuse.

So maybe Rush weren’t willing to fight people, but there was hardly a person in this school who hadn’t felt the effect of Fripp’s tyrannical reign, and were he to seek them out, maybe together, they could take him down. Yes, maybe several hundred teenagers and faculty could somehow manage to beat a short weird nerdy kid and a couple of his friends. It seemed impossible but just maybe.

A kid in the back waved him over, Joe, one of the school’s many punks and an influential one at that were he offering his help. “So I hear you wanna take down Fripp for stealin’ your little friend’s stuff?”

“What- no it goes way beyond that, that was just a little-”

He waved him off, “Anyways, I’m in if you’re going to do him in, hate him. Stuff he does is an affront to punk. ‘s inhumane is what it is.”

Chris bit his lip and nodded, not sure if he was talking about the bullying or his taste in music. The other boy raised his eyebrows and pulled a face thinking, “Saw Sid got the shit kicked out of him today, I mean he deserved it but I swear these strains of prog these days are just gettin’ more and more aggressive these days.”

His friend shook his head, “What is the world coming to.”

Chris eyed some of the other kids watching them around the room, the pop kids might hate Fripp and what he was doing to the school, but he doubted they’d lend a hand in taking him down. He probably didn’t need their help anyways, as long as the punks didn’t end up turning on them during the fight, or get bored and leave when it ended up taking forever, or at least half an hour to finish.

The bell rung and Mr. Zappa stepped into the classroom, and placed his hands on opposite ends of his desk, staring directly at Greg, looking nonplussed at the front of class. “Alright, today we’re going to have a pop quiz,” everyone groaned like they had chronic indigestion, “Afterwards, we’ll do a short essay section on ‘corporal punishment’- I hope you all thank your friend Gregory here for that.”

Most booed him and threw balls of paper with words like ‘eat dirt and live’ ‘mean person’ ‘stop giving me reasons to dislike you’ and ‘what kind of a name is greg’ on them. He seemed unaffected, none of this disapproval would keep him from his goals. He wasn’t entirely sure what corporal punishment was anyways. Probably a fancy word for beating people up, which most of these geeks didn’t know the fine points of anyways. (no greg you’re thinking corporeal punishment)

Pete was exceptionally frustrated with this turn of events, as they had been covering a poetry unit, and he wanted to write more about his feelings and read them to everyone. Morrissey from his now-mobile trashcan Johnny had been kind enough to cut leg holes into, was also put-out by this news. Greg was trash after-all.

Chris couldn’t focus on the quiz though and opted for visual rhetoric drawing descriptive illustrations of what he planned to do to Fripp, ignoring any rancor towards Greg and whatever stunt he pulled to deserve this. Mr. Zappa walked by and eyed his paper, torn between encouraging students’ self-expression and ‘keeping art in the art room’ where, coincidentally, Syd was still trapped, having walked into the dark room to help Linda with moving her work, then Keith shoving a chair underneath the door handle outside. Before walking out of the room, he and Carl made sure to add their contributions to his painting. It was much better now, Carl decided.

Someone probably would’ve let him out sooner, but Fripp saw the chair, and decided much like a cat that it was now his and was not leaving it. This was truly a long dark afternoon of the soul for our Syd.

After quizzes and rude pictures of Greg were taken up, Mr. Zappa had the non-complacent little gremlins take the dust off their textbooks and sit in silence while he gauged their hatred towards their new rising star. Hopefully he’d get himself expelled but judging how things were around here, it seemed about a snow ball’s chance in hell- considering how Bowie had accrued a not insignificant number of tiny red haired eyebrowless devotees dressed in various matching jumpsuits. They didn’t seem quite human. But it wasn’t everyday students formed cults and watching them pass by was always worth a slightly uncomfortable chuckle.

When class was finally dismissed, Chris trudging towards the band room, the dark heart of the beast, the unease he thought had gone began to gather around him again, its haunting breath, the sound of several dozen children tuning their instruments at the same time as loudly and frequently as possible- he knew it well.

Chapter Text

AND SO IT WAS THE FINAL HOUR BEFORE THE END
Chris joined his friends, enemies, total strangers (”don’t you go to my school?”) in the great den of inequity. It would seem that their substitute instructor, Jeff, as everyone else insisted upon calling him, was somewhere else at the moment, possibly in the back room checking his email for job applications. He’d made a valiant attempt to pacify the masses through orchestral renditions of old rock songs, but no amount of accessible pop music could calm the obvious fact this was a house divided.

He glanced over at Keith, staring intensely onwards at his mellotron, a knife sticking out of it, and sat down next to Rick, holding a junky cheap keyboard with matching knife marks in it. “So, how’d it go?”

Chris and Ian were still out so it seemed, having discovered wasps didn’t have all that much in common with butterflies- different body shapes, diets, political views, an undying desire to cause harm to others. One of the visiting students, Peter, offered to fill one of the chairs for flute or maybe oboe. Roy told Peter he couldn’t tell an oboe from his elbow. Phil stood up for him and started shouting he didn’t know his story.

Meanwhile Mike and Steve wandering around the more familiar string section gasping, “Look at this sweet little guitar.” “This is the biggest violin I’ve ever seen oh my god look how- WOW THAT’S THE BIGGEST VIOLIN I’VE EVER SEEN HOW DID IT GET SO-”

John stared defeatedly as Mike tried to pick up his cello and strum a little tune, and he just let him, Jimmy had already stolen his bow again. He never knew what he did with them, they just seemed to disappear and come back with maybe 1 or 2 strings left hanging on them. Awful things probably. Syd, finally out of the dark room, walked past Mik and sat shakily between Eddie and one of Fripp’s cronies, David ‘XXX’ Cross, who didn’t really play and just smacked each other with their bows the whole time.

John tried to get in some practice on his horn despite everyone else and 2nd chair continually stealing his sheet music. When he turned to blow, a huge splash of water jumped onto his pants and bubbles started filling the air. He set his horn back down and scowled. Everyone was tired of this joke by now. Except for Keith, who laughed until he fell off his drum seat, and probably was the one who kept doing it.

And there of course was the usual struggles: Geddy trying to play two instruments at the same time, Mike trying to play everyone’s instrument, Runt trying to play everyone’s instrument at the same time. David playing his heart out on kazoo as if nothing else in the world mattered. Bill getting really worked up about jazz just from thinking about it. Rick hiding under his marimba while the trombonists sword-fought…trombone-fought, arms lunging viciously at each other. Roger and the other trumpets did what trumpets did best, and played deafeningly loud over everyone else- today it was the Star Wars Theme and Imperial March, ad nauseum. John, a trekkie, was put out.

Now it would seem that this reflection of the student body personified the issue that something urgently had to be done about their unruly youth population, but 7th period band was always high-strung. Still, today was unprecedented, the two sides fomented by the two, now three, dominating bands of thugs’ tension. Most kids honestly just wanted to play music, but that was just asking too much wasn’t it.

Some heralded a possible Yes victory as a new era free from the threat of the court of the crimson king and bullies everywhere, while others were more cautious and fearful they might simply succeed them in their ways, new boss same as the old boss. A third party was warier still of the new threat on the horizon since this morning, ELP. They hadn’t expected this turn of events but then again they hadn’t expected things to boil down like this between Crimson and Yes.

Jeff, bored and disheartened from today’s job search, shuffled defeatedly back into the band room and tried to raise his voice over the din of shrieking instruments and children. “Alright alright you’ve had your fun now settle down and take out your music.”

That did about jack shit, they quieted down for a second after someone screamed from the woodwind section, but decided it wasn’t anything important and immediately started talking again, mostly about jazz and classical music and kicking each others’ asses. Chris pressed his face into his palms and sighed irritably before standing up on his chair and shouting as loudly as he could anyways, “SHUT THE HELL UP. I’m so tired of this shit come on really. Hell, we’re just a bunch of stupid teenagers at the end of the day so what do we know!?” he dropped his arms to his sides and looked around, “And since when has a mellotron been a symphonic or jazz instrument?!”

Keith scowled and Rick closed his arms protectively around his keyboard, scooting slightly away from him. Jeff took the golden opportunity of 5 consecutive seconds of silence to start conducting, which to more or less success got everyone together until the bell. Everyone, save for the select few, tore out of the room towards the buses, then those remaining found their groups and went outside. Keith pulled his knife from the keyboard and turned off the lights walking out the room, gone to watch the show.

Chapter Text

JON AND ALAN BEAT THEIR HANDS ON THE SIDES OF THE SLIDES
Hoping to scatter any goths or Mr. Deacon who might be hiding inside of them before the big fight. After clearing out any other hangers-on, Jon went over to ask to Bill about his day while the other Crimsons showed up and Alan went to go sit on the swings with Steve, who wasn’t feeling good enough to go to class but could maybe sit in on a fight. Alan agreed this was sound logic and Steve asked who the hell he was. Jon informed him it was their friend Alan, and that Sweet William was now Big Bad Bill, discouraging news.

Gradually both sides filled in, Yes, a medley of outraged punks, and the private school kids (Genesis something something, even worse, Christian Private School), and on the other side looking ugly as bugs and twice as mean, oh it was the worst of the worst, by which I probably mean just a bunch of normal kids who wanted to feel included in something. Oh they had them all: John ‘E-Z Money’ Wetton, Peter ‘Sin 2 Win’ Sinfield, Tony ‘Stick It To The Man’ Levin, Bill ‘The Bill Bruford’ Bruford and more to come yet. Even Greg was there, but as a bystander, watching from the sidelines to see who’d fall.
Moz was there too, already weeping openly from inside his trash can, moved by the (impending) violence.

Finally Chris and Robert arrived and a hush fell over the crowd. Robert had never actually fought someone before but he’d be damned if he wasn’t going to call the first shot, and he threw himself ineffectively at Chris, and everyone went crazy. Were someone filming this on something other than a phone really shakily, someone might go in afterwards to make it look like Chris went first, much to the outcry of fans. What in fact happened after Fripp engaged him was that Chris just kind of stared at him on the ground while Mick and Rick started whaling on Adrian and Trey threw wood chips at them. Jamie pulled Rick’s hair and down he went. Phil valiantly leapt into danger and was largely ignored by all the people he yelled ‘fight me’ at.

Boz and Mel double-teamed on Tony and Mike who were not opposed to using weapons, and were beating them with their own instruments. Steve was wandering around aimlessly at the edge of the playground and found Ian’s wasp nest from earlier, and kicked it towards Fripp but Adrian dived and caught it in a stupid act of loyalty. With friends like these… destroy your enemies I don’t know something like that. Other Steve in the meanwhile, was being tormented by Pat, and bit him. Other Robert turned his head to see what Pat was yelling about and Chris tackled him into the wood chips. Peter was still lying on the ground under the swings, poets were a gentle delicate sort, and didn’t take well to being tackled. Or wood chips. Why couldn’t they just have gotten a nice recycled tire base instead? What was this the dark ages?

The fight had been going on for quite a while and Chris was admittedly getting tired. There were just so many people and he had yet to make any moves on Fripp. It seemed every time he got close to him, one of the other Crimsons would take him head on or somewhere Jon would suddenly be in danger. He was convinced he could help, calling on his fairy friends to assist him and Rick just shook his head telling Chris to let him, but neither wanted to see him get hurt, he didn’t deserve this. Sure some of them did but it really hurt to see the little boy chasing people and waving his arms get whaled on by these thugs. At least he knew Bill wouldn’t hurt him; motherfxcker as he were, he still cared about their little friend too.That being said, Bill was currently forming an alliance with the Genesis kids and things were starting to look bad.

Patti walked up to Joe, who was leaning up against the swings, holding his chin and watching mouth slightly open. “So how’d it go?” she asked crossing her arms.

He raised his eyebrows, “How’d what go? Oh the fight’s still going on.”

“…Alright well I’ll see you next year.”

He waved her off still watching what was probably still considered a fight by some circles, “Yeah alright. See ya.”

Some of the kids had already left and gone home, or forgotten what they were fighting for, and gave up, but Chris wouldn’t give up so soon, if they had to continue this until to-morrow, so it would be. He glanced across, spotting Fripp again, finally alone. He crept up from behind and stood over him, “Miss me?”

He casually looked up, “No, not really. We were wondering when you’d show up though.”

Jon climbed up out of the slide and waved, “Hello Chris! I’m a hostage!”

“No you’re not come on,” Chris glared and shoved Fripp backwards down the slide and followed after him, to grind his face into the dirt at the bottom.

Jon shrugged and slid back down, landing on top of them. “Robert would you like to be a hostage?”

“Mughphghg.”

“I know Christopher is a terrible bully. You should take a stand against that sort of thing, it’s a terrible problem in schools everywhere.”

“Jon, I know you’re trying to help but I think I’m doing a good job right now keeping him from standing.”

Fripp attempting to scramble free managed to lift his head and spit out some turf to shout for help. Bill paused talking to his new friends and dashed back to see what was wrong now, spotting Chris and charging full out towards Chris, knocking him off Fripp. Jon gasped and jumped ontop of Bill, pulling his curls and shouting that this was no way to treat a friend. Which, was probably right, but to outsiders, probably just looked like a big dumb dog pile, and like a bunch of big dumb idiots, they tried to join in, Genesis just watching until it would seem that someone had given up, and was shrieking from under about a dozen over-impulsive teenage boys; Fripp, at the very bottom. It was a forfeit. Victory went to Yes.

While they commenced mandatory rejoicing, Robert slunk off, Crimsons scattering after. It was doubtful this would truly mean an end to them, and certainly not an end to the bullying in the school, as during the fight, ELP had taken on the punks who’d left after about 3 minutes, but there were three definites in all of this; Chris felt better about himself, Robert felt worse, and Alan would insist on everyone getting celebratory ice creams.

So Yes and Genesis went to get ice cream and everything was wonderful and lovely for 5 consecutive minutes and I did not attempt to clumsily write another fight scene for at least a week.
THE END