Post-Elation Devastation Original
Publish date: 02-07-02
Note: I got inspired for this fic while reading one of
Jane's Addiction fan fics. I was going to write a very short sketch about the
elation of being onstage and contrast it sharply with the major let down of the
moments after the show, but it turned out longer than I expected. Please read
and review! Thanks. :)
if you want to. You just try and
make me sad right now.
She smiles her dark
smile, sweeping her 'scary' gaze across the crowd from left to right and back
again. She sometimes meets the avid gazes of adoring fans, the ones who bother
to focus on her?and that's quite a few, really. Billy is not the only rock god
in this band. James is not the only musician. Jimmy is not the only source of
raw power. There is her, also. Always her.
She is the 'darkly
eloquent nightmare', the 'frightening', 'evil' one. She is blasting the
audience's minds to oblivion right now. She is tall, slender, an ice queen
dressed in black and silver, shining with make-up and divinity. The bass line
underpins it all, you see. It holds everything together. Without bass, this
sound would be a mere Billy dream, never fulfilled. Without bass, this song
would sound like shit.
She smiles, she
laughs, she runs nimble fingers along her bass without really thinking. The one
thing she actually knows is that she can barely see ahead of her, thanks
to the spotlights she is drowning in. They make her white, like a ghost. She
blinks, realising that if they are taping this show, she will look like a
ghostly owl on playback. She smiles shakily, wanting to look less like an owl
for just one moment, and more like...
smile that much. She shouldn't be smiling if she wants to look like herself.
She should just turn her face up into the light, pretend that she's standing at
the gates of heaven, and play. Play, play, play, as if her life depended on it.
Perhaps it does.
Billy looks like a
lost little boy. A six-foot-four lost little boy. That's how he wants to look.
He is turning his face up to the light. Perhaps it isn't her place to do
the same. For this song, 'Soma', the light is all blue. The stage went dark
before those blue lights kicked in. Billy is bathed in blue darkness, while she
is off to the side of stage, hidden in the shadows. That isn't because she's
'just the bass player'. It is for theatrical effect. Billy is the centre of it
all for this song. The lights make him blue, and then the main spotlight blinks
on, and he is all white, illuminated, delineated in all his celestial glory. He
looks like an angel to her. She feels dizzy, but she never once messes
up her bass line.
Soon she is finding it
hard to breathe as she stares out over the ocean of fans, screaming, singing,
waving, swaying fans, all staring straight at her, turning their faces to
Billy, back to her, to James, craning necks to try and catch a better glimpse
of Jimmy, and then glancing back at her again. She looks away. It's 'me-time'
now. They've had enough of her attention. She holds them all in her thrall,
grinding away at her bass guitar, thrilling at the feeling of power at her
fingertips, the power she gets from driving that bass line home. Right now she
is driving it through the middle of 'Zero'. Just try and bring me down from
here, she murmurs inwardly, nodding gracefully to the crowd before swinging
one booted leg out in front of her and bending the other at the knee, holding a
'cool' pose for the span of ten seconds. Then she straightens again, bending
over her bass, smiling secretly to herself. This is a magical night.
Encore swings around
with surprising rapidity. The band doesn't even go off stage. Well, she
doesn't. Maybe the other three do, without her realising it. She just huddles
there in the curtains at the side of the stage, hunching her shoulders in
anticipation, hearing the roar of the crowd. She blinks stupidly down at the new
bass that has been placed in her hands. Better put this on.
They are on stage
again, and she knows that the crowd loves her, all of them. They paid to come
here. They paid to see her, to see all four of them together. We are cool.
We are so cool. We're the ones they love. We inspire them, and
I'm a part of that. No one can take that away from me. She smiles
her grim smile as the arena suddenly sinks into the bass solo of 'Silverfuck'.
She can hear the screaming of the crowd better now. Not just screaming.
Whistling, humming, electricity, buzzing, moaning, singing, all of it... They are
loving her for this. She is giving them what they want, the bass, just the
bass, this is her moment to shine, and then Billy starts to sing, and she feels
a momentary tearing at her heart, for their attention is on him now, on him,
all him, him him him...
A tear leaks down her
cheek as she continues to play. The song powers up again, and her fingers take
on a life of their own, running up and down the frets, making their own powerful
tune. She is really mastering it this time; she is the lord of this bass line.
She hasn't slipped up once in this song, and only a few times this whole night.
She is feeling quite like a goddess, and she knows that she is one, because
they love her, they love her so much and they want to be her.
She notices then that
her fingers are no longer moving. She sees Billy walk across stage and past
her, towards the side of the stage. There is no sound but the crowd, the huge
roaring cries of the crowd begging her for more, for her to start playing
again. But the show is over, she realises, and it's time to leave. If she dared
start another song, Billy would kill her. They are probably all tired, totally
fucked and ready for bed, or at least a long hard drink before bed. They don't
understand that she needs this. She needs to be here longer. Once she leaves
this stage, she is dead. Why don't they understand that?
"D'Arce." The voice is
gentle and soft, as soft as the touch she feels on her hand. She starts and
looks to the side. There is Jimmy, smiling slightly, holding her hand, pulling
her gently from the stage. Her ears are ringing, but she wasn't sure if it was
from the playing or just from the crowd roaring. That roar is suddenly sucked
into a vacuum as she walks between the folds of side-stage curtain, or is lead
at least. She passes between folds of black curtain and the roar is muted
suddenly. She is separated from the crowd now, heading down into the corridor
that leads to 'back stage'. She doesn't let go of Jimmy's hand, but she doesn't
hold onto it either. She just lets herself be lead, lead like a child.
The 'back stage' area.
They are all here. All four members of one of the greatest bands on earth.
Billy would say 'the greatest band on earth'. He is like that.
She just settles for 'one of the greatest', as that is usually good
enough for her. She did feel like the best when she was out there,
though, out onstage. It never lasted long enough.
They stand around,
staring at each other, at the floor or the table top, and even at their hands.
She stares at the wall for a while, and then allows her gaze to slide sideways,
meeting Billy's, then James's, then Jimmy's.
Jimmy starts it, and
James finishes. Now Billy raises his eyebrows and murmurs, "It was fucking
awesome. D'Arce..." He just stares at her, his lips parted slightly, shaking his
good, wasn't I? she thinks, knowing
that this is the time to smile. She not only blew the fans away, she blew the
fuck out of these guys, her band-mates, too. They are staring at her in
amazement, she is sure it isn't just her imagination. She knows she
should be smiling right now, for she has triumphed in the most awesome, loud
way. She outstripped them all tonight.
He doesn't get to
finish the sentence, for she suddenly feels her face crumpling, and she is
raising shaking hands into the air in front of her, opening her mouth, loosing
a wail of anguish so heart-wrenching that she sees one of the others wince. She
wails, and presses hands against her mouth in an attempt to stifle the sound
and the pain. Tears stream down her face as she sinks into the nearest chair,
dimly aware of one of the others sitting next to her, putting an arm around
her, awkwardly trying to comfort her over something that can never be fixed,
can never be healed.
Out there onstage she
is D'Arcy, ice queen of the stage, teaser of crowds, sultry bass player and
enigmatic introvert. Out there, she is what they all loved and craved. But in
here, in back where no one can see, she is just a girl; a hopeless, useless
girl that nobody wants. Even the momentary bouts of onstage time are never
enough to fill the void within her. She doesn't know how to exist like this
isn't sure who she is supposed to be back here, or how she is supposed to stay
happy so far away from the stage.