Title: Ringo is a Punk (3/3)
Author: Leah
E-mail: leahwarsha@aol.comNOSPAM
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.



"Dear God, I think I'm too old for this," Langly thought as he looked out at the scene in the club, which suddenly reminded him of something out of Dante's Inferno. Ozomatli had just broken into Cut Chemist Suite, one of his favorite tracks, but he felt out of place: a thirty-two year old white guy listening to a latin, funk, hip-hop band with a bunch of teenagers. The music was great, but what was he doing here?  It was all happening too fast. The broadening hairline, throwing his back out trying to lift a stack of Lone Gunmen papers, getting an alumni newsletter from his high school announcing his class's 15th reunion. Then the news that they were turning D&D into a movie, complete with computer graphics, and planned on marketing it using the nostalgia factor. There was only so much one man could bare.  He'd never considered music (the CD collection, the band T-shirts, his hair, the ripped jeans) to be a way of affirming anything but his love of music. Sure, punk was about being young, but so was computer hacking and he'd made a career out of that with two older guys! Where was the rule that when you hit a certain age you had to put the vinyl away? It was like the world expected him to go corporate. Well, not a chance!

Just then, Langly felt a shove and wetness pour down his back. He turned to see a boy with eyebrow piercings and his girlfriend, who couldn't have been more than sixteen, each holding a plastic cup of beer sheepishly.

"Sorry, man!" the girl called over the music with an embarrassed smile. 

Her features were soft and regular and framed with unimaginably pink, spiky hair. Langly realized that he had been wordlessly staring at her when the boy took her by the shoulder and dragged her away, in the general direction of the stage.His eyes followed them until they disappeared into the crowd. When he was their age, he would have been very impressed. His favorite part about live music was escaping into a crowd. Entering a club was like entering an inner sanctum, a living being made up of countless individuals. You came to the outskirts at first, then started passing people until you realized that you were in the middle of things. He could sift between the bodies, everyone yelling and jumping up and down in time to the same loud music, not caring who they ran into. It was all just part of the experience.  Part of that experience had always involved coming alone, Langly realized. He had never had any girlfriends to invite, but if he did he would probably have come alone anyway. The idea of dyeing his hair or shoving metal jewelry through his face didn't appeal to him because, in addition to significant amount of pain that would entail, it would have brought too much uncalled-for attention.  The teenagers he'd just seen were the popular kids, the kids who didn't sit around encrypting program or playing board-games, the kids which he had spent an entire adolescence trying to understand and failing. And now, he felt totally surrounded by them. The horn section started to blow with the upbeat, latin flair of Bra and Langly tried to tap his foot and nod his head. Then he turned around and walked out of the club without another glance.

He'd driven the van the overland way home, forgoing freeways, but still came back early enough that Frohike noticed. The man took one look at Langly's frown as he came through the door and asked, "what's bugging you?"

"I don't want to talk about it," Langly said and tried to beat a path to his room, but stopped when he caught Frohike's understanding gaze. "You want coffee?" the man asked.

"It's midnight."

"We've got instant decaf."

"We do?" Langly answered skeptically, after a pause.

"Yeah," Frohike answered. "I'll even strain out the ants."

Suddenly, he looked down at his T-shirt. It was gray with a circle logo, in which was a "z" surrounded on either side by an "o".

"Pondering a change in wardrobe, Kid?" Frohike asked.

He thought about this for a moment before smirking at his friend. "Nah," Langly replied, "one of us has to be the cool one."

"Say that again the next time I kick your ass bowling," Frohike responded with a smile and jabbed him in the chest with his finger. Langly slapped him on the back.

"The next time you kick my ass at anything, Frohike," he said as they made their way into the kitchen, "I'll sing I'm a Little Teapot."