current location: At work, at desk
current mood: content
current song: "Farthest Star" - VNV Nation
I know....long time, no post. I have no excuse other than sloth. Oh well - hope everyone is having a good summer. It's hotter than
a popcorn fart hell in Denver...but hey, at least there is not a foot of ice in my driveway, right? I wonder if the concept of "balance" ever occurs to the weather gods in charge of Denver. Guess I'd better shut up, or they'll send me my own personal tsunami - from the Platte river, I guess.
Anyway, I'm attaching my most unusual fic to date...an AFI/VNV Nation crossover. This came as the result of a discussion with jade1x2, the world's most prolific AFI author. As always, it turned out completely different than the original idea.
A little background for those not familiar with AFI ("Miss Murder", "Silver and Cold", "Love Like Winter", most recent CD being "Decemberunderground") - the bassist, Hunter Burgan is involved in a side project called "Hunter Revenge." It's Prince-like R&B with some other non-AFI people. Since Hunter's voice is the naration of this fic, I chose to call it "Hunter's OTHER Revenge." I hope you enjoy...
TITLE: Hunter’s OTHER Revenge
RATING: R, for language
WORD COUNT: Approx. 2993
SUMMARY: Hunter Burgan is overjoyed by the change in the dynamics of his band, and he can’t wait to tell you all about it
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own AFI or VNV Nation (damn it all to hell anyway), no money is being made from this. Never happened, it is a complete work of fiction.
WARNINGS: None really – unless there’s one for excessive smart-assedness.
As always, thanks to the best beta dudes in the world, koshweasley and wolfiekins
~Hunter’s OTHER Revenge
Soooooooooooooooo…..you all think you know who Hunter Burgan is, eh?
“Oh, you know - he’s that blond AFI bassist.”
“You mean the “Prince” freak?”
“The one who had the Billy Idol thing going on…well, before he went bald, anyway.”
“The crazy, hyper one, with the whacked out sense of humor.”
“Oh — you mean the junkless wonder?”
Yeah, laugh it up, all of you. Good ol’ Hunt is the easiest of targets. (After all, there can never be too many “bald” or “small package” jokes, right?) He’s the undisputed King of Comedy Relief. The Buffoon of Bassery. The Jester of the G-Clef. The AFI Asshat. The Puerile Punkster. The Facetious Fender Fondler.
But that’s not all he is! Surely, his capacity for playing the clown is only exceeded by his cluelessness. He’s the ultimate bull in a china shop, without a trace of delicacy or tact. He is to AFI what Steve Stifler is to “American Pie” only without the MILF mom. Hasn’t got a perceptive bone in his body. He wouldn’t recognize a subtle nuance if it walked up to him and kicked him square in his Ritalin-saturated ass. Hell, if asked what a nuance was, he’d probably tell you it was a new line of flavored condoms.
Well, you’re all wrong! HAH! Losers! I am NOT just another pretty bass! I am one finely tuned instrument, and all of my frets are in place. I see and understand so much more than anyone would ever guess. In fact, I notice everything. I know things the rest of you don’t have a clue about. Because you see, I am the Ubiquitous Mr. Burgan, and I always know what’s really going down.
Just because I don’t talk about it, doesn’t mean I don’t see it.
For instance - I know why Smith’s best efforts to ensure that we have the appropriate number of hotel rooms and plane reservations often fall to shit. Trying to function as road manager for this wigged out circus known as AFI, while also trying to hide a rampant case of dyslexia? He just doesn’t understand that we’d all still love him, and keep him, no matter what.
Then there’s Adam. He doesn’t fool me for a moment. Our drummer might insist that he wants to bunk alone in order to avoid Davey’s bathroom hogging, or Jade talking in his sleep, or my snoring, but I know better. He just doesn’t want anyone to find out that sometimes, he inadvertently sucks his thumb in his sleep (and it’s the most adorable thing you’ll ever see, by the way).
And what deep, dark secrets lurk in the heart of everyone’s favorite "Glitterboy" lead singer? It might interest you to know that Davey “StraightEdgeVeganForeverFurIsMurder” Havok, despite his highly publicized PC humanitarian leanings, secretly lusts, with as much heat as was generated by Mick Jagger’s last birthday cake, after huge slabs of juicy, medium rare rib eye - in just as rabid a manner as all the rest of us leather-attired, football-watching Neanderthals. I mean, what's the poor chai sipping, Hot Topic encrusted diva to do?
And finally, we come to Jade Puget, guitarist extraordinaire. One of the most genuinely good, kind, and considerate people I’ve ever met. A great guy, aside from his abnormal fascination with the color pink. The very epitome of the old adage, “Would hardly say ‘shit’ if he had a mouthful.” Jade is clearly miserable these days, but never says why, and never asks anyone for help. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to pretend to not see. He’s such a great person, but he’s so subdued, and so withdrawn, it’s almost like he’s a ghost…one that’s stranded in the exact tragic moment that took his life, and he’s powerless to move on.
Interestingly enough, this is quite close to the truth. Jade is, very quietly and unobtrusively, completely in love with Davey. Incurably. Relentlessly. Since forever, which makes him the second most avid member of the Davey Havok fan club. I’ll just leave it to you to guess who’s number one in that same category.
I know, I know - current philosophies dictate that we must all occasionally indulge in a little self-promotion. Toot your own horn, as they say. That’s fine, but some have turned this into a new art form, playing elaborate solos on every instrument in their own personal 200-piece symphony orchestra. But I won’t mention any names. Suffice it to say that someone has become his own “My Precious!”
This makes him completely unavailable for, and oblivious to, our unassuming little guitarist who is quietly dying inside. It’s so frustrating to watch, let me tell you!
But I digress. Focus, Hunt.
Please understand, I would never say anything, or call anyone out on these things. I mean, we all have our secrets. Things that we don’t want anyone to know. Things we hope we’re keeping well hidden from those around us. Most of the time, guys, you are probably successful in this endeavor. But just be aware, I’m not as dumb as I look. For the most part, I’ve got your numbers, and I didn’t even have to take off my shoes in order to count them up.
We realized early on that, although Decemberunderground was shaping up to be a fabulous cache of music, we needed a little something extra…a little “zing” if you will.
As much as our music is a labor of love, we also need to pay the rent. The obvious question, then — what marketable element could we add to our product that would also enable us to maintain our personal integrity and keep it completely ours?
After a long discussion that went hither and yon, in multiple directions, over the course of several days, we concluded that some high quality electronic enhancements of the VNV Nation kind were just what we needed.
“Well, he certainly isn’t much to look at, is he?” Davey whispered, his lip curling disdainfully.
On the surface, I suppose he was right. Ronan Harris isn’t someone who would stand out if you saw him in the middle of a room full of people. Neither tall nor short, neither fat nor thin, just your average “everyman” kind of guy. You probably have a cousin, or a neighbor, or a dentist, or a real estate agent, who looks just like him. There is nothing especially distinguishing about him at all.
Until you put him on stage with his band, performing the music that he’s written from his heart. When that happens, he has no equal. To experience Ronan Harris at work is to enter into an almost euphoric state that approaches corporate worship, centering around his astounding music and deeply meaningful lyrics. On the stage, he freely shares with his fans, from the depths of his marvelous soul, in a way that I’ve never witnessed before. It’s immediately obvious that each song has been birthed from a bottomless wellspring of such pathos, intensity, and beauty of spirit, that one can almost feel the labor pains even this long after the fact.
Noticeably absent were the flamboyant costumes and the explicitly sexual gyrations that are an integral part of every AFI performance.
Now, make no mistake - there was just as much adulation at this concert as there ever is at an AFI show. But in this case, everyone was so busy being completely blown away by the music and lyrics that they didn’t even notice the lack of a Havok-like element. In fact, the addition of such would have been outright sacrilege.
“What the hell is he wearing?” sneered the original Havok, who secretly believes that his tantalizing fashion sense and his mesmeric undulations are the only thing keeping AFI afloat.
I just shook my head in amazement. Truth be told, I think Ronan was wearing something that vaguely resembled black polyester surgical scrubs. But I half-suspected that they might have been hiding wings and a halo.
Jade, standing to my other side, was completely transfixed. “This is the best concert I’ve ever been to!” he murmured, never taking his eyes off of Ronan.
“Yeah. I didn’t think it was possible to like their music any better than I already do,” replied Adam, who couldn’t resist air drumming along with Mark Jackson.
“Ronan needs a facial — his pores are a mess,” Davey informed nobody, as none of us were listening to him.
Determined to thoroughly enjoy watching these consummate professionals kick ass and take names, I vaguely wondered what would happen if I gave into the urge to lace Davey’s conditioner with Nair.
It would probably be better to wait until we were done with the release tour.
Ronan turned out to be every bit as awesome as his PR indicated. He’s brilliant, warm, humble, enthusiastic, talented as all hell, and freaking hilarious on top of all that.
The fact that he speaks with a slightly altered brogue (he’s spent enough time in places other than his Emerald Isle homeland to make a difference) puts a humorous spin on just about everything he says. Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve been “scolded” in Gaelic-accented German at 3:30 in the morning. OMFG — no wonder there were no Leprechauns in the Nazi party! “Immer nach meinem glücklichen Charme!”*
And don’t ever let anyone tell you that there must be suffering and angst in order for true art to happen. We have never been so productive, or garnered such perfect results, or had so much fun while doing so, in the history of AFI-dom. Imagine — laying down track after masterful track, without wailing or gnashing of teeth. With no need to pause regularly while a certain hissy fitting emo boy who takes himself way too seriously gets his shit together.
However, the funniest thing Ronan did was entirely unintentional.
We’ve all become accustomed to the way that everyone responds to meeting Davey for the first time. Man, woman, child, animal, alien (hey, you’ve all seen Jeffree Starr!), every last one of them goes slack-jawed, goggle-eyed, speechless, and a few of them have even started drooling. As much as I hate to admit it, he’s gorgeous. Physically, he’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen, and he’s prettier than most of the women I know.
But that’s about as far as it goes. I don’t want to be uncharitable, but let’s be real here. Davey is a challenge to be around. Personality-wise, he has a shelf life of about 37 minutes before he becomes unpalatable — kind of like an onion bagel.
Seriously - just because he has wings tattooed on his back, does not mean he’s an angel. Remember — most demons are winged as well.
Although Davey had already expressed his less than enthusiastic opinion about Ronan’s appearance, he was still all geared up to devastate the poor unsuspecting man with his own extreme awesomeness. For Davey, it wasn’t about keeping and enjoying his conquests at all, but rather about the conquering process. So he sailed forth into our first meeting with Ronan the way he always does, like a magnificent clipper ship in full battle regalia, with the wind at his back, a clear line on the horizon, and his tantalization guns fully loaded, just in case they were necessary.
Unfortunately for Captain Havok, he was about to run aground.
Davey’s Titanic moment came about because, before Ronan ever laid eyes on him, he met Jade. Oh, what a hoot! I wish you could have been there to see it.
Jade, who is used to hanging out on the sidelines while Davey works the room, smiled sweetly, shook Ronan’s hand, and then sort of melted away into the background. Or — he tried to, anyway.
For a brief moment, Ronan looked as though someone had hit him in the back of the head with a cast iron frying pan. Clearly, he was in the presence of the most beautiful creature he had ever seen, and said creature was NOT going to get very far away from him.
Once Mr. Harris recovered, he greeted the rest of us courteously. The self-proclaimed star attraction barely made a blip on Ronan’s radar screen, which had already been overloaded by the Puget frequency. After graciously welcoming us and offering us all food and drink, he maneuvered his way back to Jade as soon as was humanly possible.
By the time any of us had regained the power of lucid thought, Jade and Ronan were already halfway across the room, laughing and chatting away like old friends. Ronan seems to have that effect on people, judging by how smiley and animated our normally reserved guitarist suddenly was. Actually, It was impossible to tell who was more taken with whom.
Davey, his eyes narrowed menacingly, started across the room after them.
“Well, well, well,” Adam drawled slowly. “Look at this…the HMS Puget is setting sail for a new port, and there is no Havok to be found anywhere on the manifest.”
“Yeah, I know,” I responded gleefully. I told myself that Adam’s evil laughter was much more evil than mine, but I was lying like the dog that I am.
“Damn — you know, he looks exactly like Hector Barbossa watching someone ELSE eat a great big juicy Granny Smith,” Adam observed quietly.
“What’s wrong with Diva?” Smith joined us, handing me some extra napkins to help mop up the perfectly good beer that Adam’s remark had caused me to spit out all over myself.
“Well - as near as I can tell,” Adam paused, pounding me on the back while I choked helplessly, “he’s about to go down in flames. But he’s too stupid to know it.”
“Awesome,” Smith replied, “this is something I always wanted to see.”
We watched for the next several minutes as Davey used every subtle trick known to both man and woman, to no avail. He may as well have been invisible, for all the effect he had on either Ronan or Jade. Finally, a calculating expression covered his features, and he moved away across the room to hustle the poor unsuspecting Mark Jackson.
Two months later:
“Well, they should have a great time, anyway,” Adam glanced at me in the rearview mirror before getting out of the car. We had all just returned from the airport, where we had dropped Jade and Ronan off, to catch their flight to Hamburg.
We all migrated slowly through the house, out onto the enormous deck, and took comfortable seats around the pool. Pretty soon it would be warm enough to take a swim, but we weren’t there quite yet.
“I mean, have you ever seen Jade look better?” Smith stretched out on one of the chaise lounges. “I’m so glad he finally found someone he can be really happy with.”
“Yeah,” I replied, taking the rocker next to him. “And Ronan clearly adores him.”
“ADORES him?” Smith snorted with derision. “Shit - according to Ronan, the sun shines straight out of Jade’s ass.”
"Well, he would know," Adam quipped.
Davey, seating himself on the other side of Smith, remained quiet while the rest of us sniggered sophomorically.
“Seriously, though…they’re perfect for each other,” Adam insisted. “I get the feeling that Ronan is just exactly who Jade has always been looking for.”
“I agree — Jade has just blossomed, all of a sudden,” I nodded. “For so long, he’s just been drifting through life, almost like he was half asleep all the time.”
“Boy, not anymore! Did you see him giving Ronan a lap dance at the party last night?” Smith was doubled over with laughter.
“You know, I gotta say, that was one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen,” Adam’s eyes were enormous.
“No shit!” I acknowledged.
“And that’s saying something, coming from the straight guys!” Smith grinned. “Damn — y’know, I always knew my big bro had it in him to do great things!”
Davey suddenly jumped from his chair and stomped off toward the house. “Does anybody want an Aquafina, while I’m up?” he snarled over his shoulder.
We all declined, snickering quietly at his display.
“Why do we find this so funny?” Adam asked rhetorically.
“Oh, I guess because it’s not often that you actually get to catch karma in the very act of being a heinous bitch,” I answered, grinning maniacally.
“He’s our friend, though, despite the fact that he’s a huge pain in the ass,” Adam winced as the sound of glass breaking, and a startling litany of inventive profanity wafted out from the house. “I don’t actually want him to be miserable.”
“Maybe he’ll finally learn something.” Smith suggested, as the back door slammed open, and Davey, still stomping, returned to his chair, looking as though he’d eaten all the lemons and half the limes in the refrigerator.
“Well, all I can say is, he’d better make sure he’s back here in time for the tour!” Davey snapped, brandishing his water bottle. “And he better not be expecting any of us to carry his ass because he’s all worn out from his month-long orgy with Ro-tund-an!”
“Or, not.” Smith sighed.
*This is German for “Always after me Lucky Charms!”