Maia "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-AAAAA! Phew. All right. That was pretty good. Ty, can you emphasize the back beat more? Superstar, you're missing the pickup at the end part."
Antares "Yeah, that was all me. I'll get it next time," Antares says, raking a hand through her hair and half-grimacing. She looks a lot more relaxed than she did this afternoon.
Merope Rap-rap on the outside of the garage door. A muffled voice sounds out: "Um, hello? Maia?"
Maia "The fuck?" Maia mumbles.
Maia stalks over to the garage door and lifts it up.
Merope "Maia? It's me, Merope." says Merope, redundantly.
Merope "Um...." She blinks at the assembled band. "Oh, hey Antares. And... Ty. Hey." She raises a hand in a feeble wave.
Maia "Hey, Merope."
Antares shoots a 'the hell?' look at Tyler, who rolls his eyes in response.
Maia "Whaaaaaaaaaaat, are you doing here?"
Merope "Um, I'm sorry to interrupt and all but um... well I was thinking about what you said on Monday about never seeing you play and I realised it'd been ages since i went to your house in any case and um... can I listen to you? For a bit?"
Antares blinks, twice.
Merope "I mean, I don't wanna be in the way or anything." She looks at the floor.
Maia looks at Merope, eyebrow raised, then shrugs. "Sure. That would be...sure."
Maia "Cmon in."
Maia "Do you...is there a...chair around here or something?"
Merope "I mean, I can just stand or whatever..." She looks relieved.
Antares rummages for a second, producing a dusty lawn chair which she folds out for Merope with a grin and a bit of a flourish.
Merope "Or, you know, not. Um, thanks."
Merope sets up the lawn chair dirfectly in front of the band and sits. After a few seconds, she frowns, gets back up , and slides over to the side of the room so she isn't facing you all directly.
Merope "So. Um." She sits. "I uh, don't know all of you.."
Merope looks awkward.
Antares "Tyler, Casey, Jay," Antares says, waving her hand.
Maia "Oh. You know Antares, right?"
Maia "This is...yeah."
Merope "Yeah, we talked." She smiles wanly at Antares.
Merope "Hi Jay. Hi Casey. Nice, um, T-shirt."
Merope looks perplexedly at Jay for a few seconds longer than is probably polite, and then shakes her head.
Merope "Ok, well, um, you guys go ahead and do your thing, pretend I'm not here. I'll just, you know... listen."
Antares "Sure," says Antares, slightly weirded out but more comfortable at band practice than Merope has seen her elsewhere.
Antares "We gonna run through 'ode to a cheating motherfucker,' or whatever you're actually calling it?" she asks Maia.
Maia "Okay. Uh."
Maia "Heh. That's not bad."
Maia "Yeah, let's do that one. Can I get you to be even louder for the backup parts?"
Merope adopts a slightly pained frowning expression, as if concentrating on a hard math problem.
Antares "The day I can't do louder..." Antares grins, slinging her guitar back on.
Maia "It's okay. I'm okay! It's hardly bleeding at all. I just didn't see that stand when I jumped."
Maia "Don't worry."
Antares "Haha, shit. Hold on, superhero, I'll get the band-aids."
Merope sits back down and exhales deeply.
Maia sits on her amp, looking at her leg with some interest.
Merope "Sure you're ok?"
Maia "Yeah, yeah, no sweat. It's just a little cut."
Maia "So, Casey, you've gotta keep up with those changes in the bridge part. You're just falling behind!"
Merope "I didn't expect it to be so... physical."
Maia "Well." Maia looks a little sheepish. "You just get into it, you know?" She makes a big gesture. "Things happen."
Maia "It's fun!"
Merope nods. "You certainly seem to enjoy yourselves." She smiles.
Maia "Fuck yeah we do. Superstar! Bring me a beer while you're in there!"
Antares "Whaddya think?" Antares asks Merope with a faintly malicious grin, coming back with a couple of tissues and band-aids. She sets Maia's beer down with a thunk. "Aside from our bitchy slave-driving lead, of course."
Merope "It was... different."
Maia "Hey, SOMEONE's gotta ride herd over you crazy bastards."
Maia "Different from what?"
Merope half-shrugs. "Different from.. I dunno. Not stuff I'd really listened to. Before, I mean."
Merope "I mean, I'd heard stuff like this... but like, I hadn't listened."
Merope is staring into space a little.
Antares "It's different when you're there, isn't it? The energy's way better."
Merope "It... makes more sense."
Maia smiles. "Well, we try."
Merope turns to regard Maia. "You look different. When you play." She sounds vaguely shellshocked.
Maia "Different again, huh?"
Maia "Everything else looks different when I play to me."
Merope "I mean, really different. You've got this whole..." She waves her arms vaguely. "And your eyes were.."
Merope frowns. "I dunno, maybe I'm just tired." She laughs. "Oh yeah, star, I forgot."
Antares listens to the two of them, eyes on them while the other band members mess around.
Merope "I talked to Furud today."
Merope "I dunno if he spoke to you? About last night?"
Antares "Don't tell me, he finally lost his virginity?"
Merope blushes a little at that. "Um, no."
Maia "He what? What?" Maia looks shocked.
Merope "Haven't you seen him? I thought he might have mentioned it..."
Antares "We've had some other shit to take care of," Antares says noncommittally, "so why don't you just fill us in?"
Maia gives Antares a glance, then looks back at Merope.
Merope frowns. "This isn't really the right.. I thought you would have known, already. Look, anyway, some... stuff.. happened. And I've been thinkign a bit."
Merope takes a breath.
Merope "...and I'm sorry, Maia."
Merope lets that hang in the air.
Maia "Uh, I mean..."
Maia looks genuinely touched.
Maia "Thanks. I appreciate that."
Antares looks down at her hands, feeling a little bad for stepping in on this.
Maia "I'm glad. I don't want to...I dunno. You know."
Maia kind of reaches out a hand, then stops.
Merope looks up at her. "I.. have a lot of stuff I need to work through. I... I guess I'm not really sure who I am right now. But... um, thanks. For letting me see this."
Merope "You play real good."
Merope stands up. "I should probably go. I was going to meet Ras..."
Maia "Oh yeah?" Maia starts to sneer, glancing at Tyler, then stops herself.
Maia "Well, have fun."
Maia "Thanks...thanks for coming by."
Maia "It was good to see you."
Merope is about to leave, and then turns back.
Antares nods farewell to Merope in a friendly way.
Merope "Look, this is just an idea and you don't have to or anything and if you can't do it it is totally cool, but.." She takes another breath.
Merope "Do you guys wanna play at my party?"
Antares shoots an inquiring look at Maia.
Maia blinks, glances at the other band members, eyebrow up.
Maia "Sure. Yeah. That would be rad."
Maia "You really mean it?"
Merope smiles, warmly. "Yeah I mean it. Um, so like, my parents gave me a whole budget for this, and I was going to hire a DJ or something, but like..."
Merope "I mean, if you don't want it cause it would be weird but like, if you're going to be playing instead of partying..."
Antares "Not so much 'instead'," Antares grins. "Your brother's a football player, right? That means beer."
Merope "Yeah, there'll be beer." She smiles, and relaxes a bit.
Maia 's smile vanishes at the mention of Heka, but she shrugs.
Maia "Hey, I never turn down money."
Merope "I mean, it won't be like, a lot, but a gig is a gig, right?" She sounds like she's quoting soemthing she heard on TV. "And it'd be um, exposure."
Antares stifles a snicker. "She said yes, Mero."
Merope "Yes! Good."
Maia "Yeah. Cool. This'll be awesome."
Merope "So, I'll just um, go. See you both at school, yeah?"
Maia "I'll need to come over and check out the space. Maybe tonight, around 3 or 4?"
Merope "Um. In the morning?"
Merope "My parents will be asleep."
Maia "I'm not going to make any noise, I just need to see where we're going to set everything up."
Maia "No trouble. I promise."
Merope frowns. "Well... I guess."
Merope Call it, um, three. I'll be back from the lake by then.
Maia "The lake, huh?"
Maia "I didn't realize your relationship had progressed to...uh, swimming."
Merope "It's a nice spot."
Maia "I bet." Maia smiles.
Merope "You can watch the stars."
Maia "I see enough stars as it is."
Maia gives Antares a "you see what I did there?" look.
Antares studies her hands for a second, biting her lip.
Merope smiles. "Yeah... I guess. See you at 3, then? Nice to see you again, Antares." She waves vaguely to the rest of the band.
Antares "Seeya," says Antares to Merope with a brief but brilliant smile.
Merope fumbles with the garage door for a bit, gets it open, and ducks out swiftly.
Tyler After the door slams shut, Tyler perks up. "Huh. What got into her?"
Antares "Something happened, that's for sure," Antares says, looking thoughtful. "No one apologizes like that outta the blue."
The Band "She's up to something." says Tyler. "Fuckin' charm offensive. Maybe she really neeeded us to play?"
Maia "For what? We're not exactly a dance mix."
Maia "I dunno. Maybe she really does feel bad."
Maia "I wonder what happened with her and Furud..."
The Band Tyler shrugs. "Mebbe her boyfriend requested us," he says, grinning.
Maia snorts. "He's our secret fan, huh? The one guy who's always posting to our Myspace page?"
The Band "Stranger fuckin' things, right?" He grins widely.
The Band "Gig's still a gig, though." says Casey. "I for one could use the money. And you know, we sound good."
Antares "Maybe her DJ bailed," Antares suggests cynically. "But, what Casey said."
Maia "Hey. At least this way you all get to go to the party, right?"
The Band Jay makes a non-commital grunting noise.
Maia "All right. If we're gonna play Saturday, we've gotta practice! Let's run a couple more now, and have another rehearsal tomorrow night. Got it? Let's do this."
The Band Jay clacks the drum sticks together in time, and it begins..