Title: Ringo is a Punk (1/3)
Rating: Nothing you wouldn't see on the show.
Distribution: Please do not distribute without permission.
Disclaimer: Fox can bite me. They trash fanfiction sites with or without disclaimers, so I'm just going to write. They can alienate their fans if they like but we stand by our shows.
Spoilers: None to speak of.
Synopsis: A trip through Langly's musical history, with pit-stops in 1984, 1992 and 2000.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
The three stopped dead in their tracks, struck dumb by the opening chords of Howling at the Moon. "This is ten times better than the cassette!" Mark, a stocky teenager with bad skin, exclaimed before pushing his way into the masses who were jumping and yelling in the darkened club.
"Whatever," John replied to no one in particular. He was a gangly, 18-year-old dropout who owned little more than a van upholstered in green vinyl and about thirty roles of duct tape and a new fake ID, which he planned to test out that night. After shaking his head in general disdain at the people around him he headed towards the bar. The third stood in the archway to the main room, a disbelieving grin on his lips. His hair hung in an unkempt, blond bob which ended with a fringe around his jawbone, drawing attention away from the black Buddy Holly glasses he'd gotten at Sears Optical.
The ten-hour road trip to Kansas City had taken some doing. First, Ringo had to lower himself to the base task of making fake IDs for about every alcoholic dropout in Saltville and the surrounding rural area. It was easy but dull, and he longed for a way of scamming cash that challenged his technical skills. He got customers by printing up some business cards and scattering them under the high school bleachers amid the cigarette butts. For the next three days a human wave beat a path to his doorstep which included John, who'd shown up holding one of the cards and surveying the farm with a blank expression.
"You a cop?" Ringo asked. Anyone could be a mole for the cops, but if you asked they had to tell the truth or it was entrapment. John was so startled by the question that he actually turned around to go back to his van until Ringo called after him.
"Jeez, get back here," he said. Then, pointing, "that your ride?" John looked at Ringo, then the van parked on a concrete pad a few hundred yards away, then back to Ringo. He nodded.
"Well then, my friend," Ringo said, suddenly friendly, and ushering him inside. "You and I can do business!" John agreed to drive Ringo and his friend Mark to the concert in exchange for two IDs (one instate, one out) and "however much money it'll take to get me drunk". After some wrangling they settled on thirty bucks. Then Ringo made Mark, who only had his learners permit, his own ID so he could drive them home again after John passed out.
Old Man Langly was happy that his son was bringing home friends other than Mark, who Ringo, to father's confusion and disappointment, constantly asserted was good for his programming skills and little else. He was so overjoyed, in fact, that he didn't question the unlikely story that they were spending the weekend fishing at John's family ranch. In reality, Ringo couldn't believe he was staring up at Joey and Dee-Dee Ramone, who were singing "sha-la-la" like a Motown group. The crowd was filled with midwestern kids in T-shirts, but the occasional head was shaved or topped with a colored mohawk which reflected the stage-lights. Taking a few steps forward, Ringo started mixing in with the fringes of the crowd. When he noticed screaming from above he looked up to see a balcony ringing the club with arms and legs sticking through the railings, banging on the walls in time with the beat.
With a battle-cry, Ringo ran towards the crowd of people, pushing at them with his skinny, adolescent arms as he went. He figured he was getting pretty close to the stage when he ran square into a sweaty wall. Pulling his
face away from the wet fabric, Ringo staggered backwards into two men. They each grabbed one of his shoulders before he knew what was happening.
The lenses of his glasses were now smeared with sweat and the scene around him was little more than a giant blur with occasional flashes of lights from the stage above. As the band started playing the fast, familiar riff of Blitzkrieg
Bop, Ringo thought he could see the thing in front of him turn around, the gigantic torso topped with a bald melon head. He squinted at it vainly as the hands on his shoulders tightened their grip. Something in front of him shifted, followed by a blinding pain as the floor gave way beneath his feet.
He could hear them playing I Wanna Be Sedated when he regained consciousness in the make-shift nurse's office somewhere in the bowels of the club. His face felt strange and he lifted up his hand to feel a piece of cotton shoved up each nostril.
"Leave them," someone barked, and Ringo turned his head to see a large, germanic woman sitting in a folding chair next to his cot. The room was blurry, so he took off his glasses to clean them and discovered that the nosebridge was being held together by a piece of duct tape. As he tried to wipe them on his shirt he discovered that it, like his face, was liberally spattered with blood.
"Well, that's just great!" he cried, returning the glasses to his tender face after finding a clean piece of T-shirt material. The song ended and he could hear Joey Ramone's voice echo through the halls.
"You've been a great crowd! Goodnight!"
The nurse turned the page on the romance novel she was reading and pressed her lips together, spreading around a thick coat of coral lipstick. Ringo recoiled at the sight, before jumping off the cot and walking into the hallway.
"Wait!" he heard the woman yell behind him. "Ya gotta pay for those!"
Ringo wondered if she meant the cotton or the duct tape before he started blindly running down the hallway. The interior of the club was like a labyrinth, but he thought the sounds of the exiting crowd were getting louder as he made a quick left. As soon as he'd done it, he stopped dead in his sneakers and his mouth fell open. A tall man in frayed jeans and a leather jacket and with a face like Frankenstein's stared back at him similarly.
"Woah, man," Joey Ramone finally blurted out, "I thought I was having a bad night." Not getting a response he said, "here, have a T-shirt," in a dismissive tone as he grabbed one off a nearby pile and tossed it at Ringo. It flew over his face and darkened his vision yet again.
Ringo let the shirt lie there for a moment and breathed in its smoky, back-stage smell. When he lifted it off his face Joey had disappeared from the hallway, which was a dull black covered in graffiti and band stickers. Ringo looked down at the T-shirt. It was black and had a mock seal with the band members' names encircling it. On closer
inspection, he saw that it was a small.