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He Said No

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“What do you want?” Alec asks through clenched teeth, finally acknowledging the short red-head in the corner of his vision. All he wants to do is get his books from his locker and head to class.

“So I was thinking-”

“No.” He slams his locker door shut and starts down the hall. His long stride causing Clary to almost have to run to keep up.

Clary’s face falls but Alec can’t find it in himself to care.

“You don’t even know what I’m going to ask.”

“I don’t care.”

Clary catches his wrist, so Alec turns to face her with an annoyed look on his face.

“We’re friends, right?”

“No, Fray, we aren’t.”

“You helped raise money for my mom’s treatment last year,” she points out.

“It’s called being a good person.”

Clary continues, undeterred.

“And, you’re like, one of the scariest kids at our school-”

“I’m not.”

She gives him a disbelieving look.

“You glared at the captain of the football team, a senior , for looking at you the wrong way, and he burst into tears.”

“So?”

“So you should join Glee club! It’ll be fun. And we’re all tired of getting slushied, so…”

“You want me to join your little glee club to be your bodyguard?”

“That, and Izzy says you can sing.”

Alec takes off down the hall.

“Where are you going?”

“To the gas station. To get a slushie.”

Clary leaves him alone after that.

 


 

The next person to bother him is Jace, Alec’s best friend. They were sitting on the empty bleachers, eating their lunch. The cafeteria was always too crowded in his opinion, and out here, he and Jace could actually hear each other. It was cloudy but there was a warm autumn wind. It was nice, until Jace just had to go there.

“Dude, I’m just saying, I thought it was lame too. But it’s actually kind of cool.”

“Ask your girlfriend Jace. I said no.”

Back in middle school, Alec would’ve been jealous of Clary, but since he started high school and got a year away from the sickening couple he’d been able to put his feelings for Jace aside, realizing that they had been a way to deal with his sexuality and not actual love. Now he disliked Clary purely for her personality.

“Just because your the goalie on the soccer team and you’ve got this whole bad boy act going on, with the jeans, and the leather, and the whole ‘ mess with me, I mess with your face’ thing, doesn’t mean we don’t all know you’re actually a big softy who, god forbid, actually likes playing the guitar and singing.”

Alec sighs. “Even if I wanted to, between soccer practice and working at Java Jones, I don’t have the time. You know I need the extra money.”

“Fine.” Jace pulls his guitar out from behind him. “But are you really sure you don’t want to play this?” 

Alec glances around. The field is empty.

“Give me that.”

And he begins to play.

 


 

The next day, he was eating lunch with Aline and Helen on the hood of Helen’s car. Jace had decided he wanted to be all mushy with Clary so Alec had hightailed it out of there.

“You should join glee,” Aline insists. Him and Aline have been best friends since seventh grade, they even dated for a while, but the experience alone was enough for them to swear off their opposite gender.

“I already said no.”

“You’re a good singer!” Helen insists. She’s one of the less pretentious juniors and Alec would actually consider her a friend. “You sounded really good at my party a couple weeks ago.”

“Biggest mistake of my life.”

“Alec-“

“No.” There must be something about his tone because the girls don’t bring it up after that.

 


 

Alec thought the whole Glee business was behind him, he didn’t even know why they all seemed intent on getting him to join. But then Underhill, frickin’ Underhill.

“So, about Glee-”

“No.”

 


 

Really, after all of the previous attempts to get him to join Glee, Alec should’ve expected they send in their secret weapon: Izzy. And Izzy is most likely to get what she wants because Alec is really bad at saying no. She brings it up in the car, where she knows Alec can’t run away, and Alec almost slams on the brakes when she does.

“What the hell Alec! Eyes on the road.”

“My eyes are on the road! Why the fuck is everyone so insistent on me joining Glee club! I’m not even that good of a singer!”

Izzy snorts. “Seriously? Your voice was literally crafted by God himself, and you’re telling me you can’t sing? Besides,” she adds in a smaller voice, “We can’t compete in three weeks if we don’t have a twelfth member.”

“I’ve already said it a million times Iz, no.”

They pull up into the parking lot of their run down apartment building.

“Fine. But I think it would be good for you. I’ve never seen you as happy as when you’re singing.” She strifes into the building without looking back.

 


 

Their apartment is cozy at best. There’s only two bedrooms, one goes to his mother, and the other one goes to Izzy and Max which they divide with a hung up bed sheet in the middle. Alec sleeps on the pull out couch that he tediously packs up each morning and sets up each night.

It’s one of the rare times he isn’t working at Java Jones, the popular coffee spot in Idris, Izzy is at cheerleading practice, Max is at a friend’s, and Maryse should be getting off work in a couple hours. He’s sitting in the middle of his makeshift bed enjoying the rare privacy while he randomly plays chords on his guitar. Slowly but surely, a melody begins to take shape as he jots down stray lyrics and chords in his spiral bound notebook.

 

‘When the world you’ve come to know,

Is a replica of our own,

Forever alone.’

 

It doesn’t sound quite right on his acoustic, but Alec figures if he had access to higher tech and an electric guitar it would sound really good. He got so caught up in the song he didn’t hear his mother enter. She stood in the threshold until eventually, Alec noticed her. She smiles, crossing the room to sit on his bed.

“You look so happy when you sing. You have a gift Alec, you truly do.”

Alec smiles, embarrassed. “I’m alright. Izzy is the one with all the talent.”

“I never said she wasn’t talented. You should give Glee club a shot.” She pats his cheek and heads to the kitchen to make supper.

 


 

Alec stands in the doorway of the choir room, reluctant to fully enter. He’s made up his mind about joining three days ago and it had taken him time to work up the courage to even get this far. Deciding to do something and being mentally prepared are two completely different things.

Unfortunately, Luke Garroway, who just so happens to be the soccer coach as well as the Glee club coach, notices him and waves him in.

“Everyone, I’d like you to meet our newest member, Alec Lightwood.”

Everyone’s scattered along the risers in red plastic chairs. Izzy sits next to a guy wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, Jace is obviously sitting next to Clary with a downright stupefied look on his face, there’s an Asian guy with kohl lined eyes and spiked hair who whispers something to a sullen looking boy on his left. Alec scowls and slouches further. On the complete opposite end of the room a girl sits in a cheerleading uniform looking rather bored.

There’s a wooden stool sitting front and centre and Alec blanches as he’s hit with the realization they’re waiting for him to sing. Luke has finished talking and sat down and the rest are staring at him intently.

He slings his guitar off his shoulder and makes his way to the stool.

“I’ll be sing ‘ Bills, bills, bills,” by Destiny’s Child .”

His hands shake slightly as he plays the opening chords.

 

“‘ At first we started out real cool 

Taking me places I ain't never been 

But now, you're getting comfortable 

Ain't doing those things you did no more 

You're slowly making me pay for 

Things your money should be handling 

And now you ask to use my car 

Drive it all day and don't fill up the tank 

And you have the audacity to even come and step to me 

Ask to hold some money from me until 

You get your check next week. ’” 

 

Alec finds himself relaxing as he moves into the chorus.

 

“‘You trifling 

Good for nothing type of brother

Silly me 

Why haven't I found another

A baller, when times get hard need someone to help me out 

Instead of a scrub like you who don't know what a man's about

 

Can you pay my bills 

Can you pay my telephone bills 

Can you pay my automo-bills 

If you did then maybe we could chill 

I don't think you do 

So, you and me are through 

Can you pay my bills 

Can you pay my telephone bills 

Can you pay my automo-bills 

If you did then maybe we could chill 

I don't think you do 

So, you and me are through.’”

 

People's heads are bobbing as they slowly start to harmonize in the background.

 

“‘Now you've been maxing out my cards 

Giving me bad credit buying me gifts with my 

Own ends 

Haven't paid the first bill 

But you're steady heading to the mall 

Going on shopping sprees perpetrating to your friends that you be balling 

And then you use my cell phone 

Calling whoever that you think at home 

And then when the bill comes all of a sudden you be acting dumb 

Don't know where none of these calls come from 

When your mama's number's here more than once

 

Can you pay my bills 

Can you pay my telephone bills 

Can you pay my automo-bills 

If you did then maybe we could chill 

I don't think you do 

So, you and me are through 

Can you pay my bills 

Can you pay my telephone bills 

Can you pay my automo-bills 

If you did then maybe we could chill 

I don't think you do 

So, you and me are through

Can you pay my bills 

Can you pay my telephone bills 

Can you pay my automo-bills 

If you did then maybe we could chill 

I don't think you do 

So, you and me are through

 

Can you pay my bills 

Can you pay my telephone bills 

Can you pay my automo-bills 

If you did then maybe we could chill 

I don't think you do 

So, you and me are through. ’”

 

Alec’s cheeks heat up when the club bursts into applause at the final note.

There’s a chorus of ‘holy shit he can sing’ and ‘wow.

Jace however, is unaffected.

“Are you literally just going to sing passive aggressive songs about me the whole time? Just because we got you to join Glee?”

 

Alec laughs. Maybe Glee won’t be so bad after all.