It wasn't often he could do this.
But Buck was out for the night, and the phone was unplugged, and JD was alone.... so he felt safe.
He slid into the large room at the basement of the apartment complex and uncovered the special set that sat there, smiling as he did so.
Two bass drums. No snares, toms and cymbals from two kits. Smiling in satisfaction, JD lifted out a CD from the jewel case and set it into the player.
He moved a lever to 'Zero' and sat behind the modified kit, lifting out the sticks. When it felt right, JD closed his eyes. "I'll be back in two hours," he said softly.
Then he nodded. Reaching out blindly, he hit the button on the remote control.
Piped synthesizer music filled the air, then a single piano.
JD's eyes, oddly altered, popped open and the drumming began. A few moments later the familiar voice shot from the CD.
"Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I break my back to make a livin'..."
The smile that spread across JD's face was not one any of the other six would recognise. This was JD's private joke with the world.
The man who wore JD Dunne's form was no longer JD Dunne.
And though the other three who had made the music nearly thirty years ago would never know it, their fourth had rejoined them.
It's only teenage wasteland...."
Buck arrived at the complex to find his apartment empty. "JD?" he asked, puzzled. He moved to the young drummer's bedroom and saw a door open in the back of his closet.
"Curiouser and curiouser," he said as he stepped into a short hallway with stairs. Trailing a finger along the wall as he carefully went down, he found himself arrested by music.
"Bite my legs and call me stumpy," he breathed, moving forward again. "The Who.... haven't heard their CDs in months...."
He emerged into the basement to find the final keyboard riff of "Won't get Fooled Again" playing. His eyes widened slightly at what else he found there.
JD sat behind the huge drum set, his head bobbing as he mentally counted off the measures of the drawn-out keyboard part. His t-shirt was soaked with sweat, and it beaded off his long hair, which was stuck to his face in random tendrils. He was gulping in air as he often did after a long concert. Buck's first thought was to go to him, but he stopped.... curious.... as JD's head suddenly began to bob faster and faster. He raised both hands and twirled the sticks between his fingers faster and faster, then threw one up and caught it without looking.
Not JD's usual mannerisms.
JD's voice, holding an odd accent suddenly screeched out, "TWO! THREE! FOUR! ONE! TWO! THR---" And he --- attacked -- the drums.
There was no other word for it! Buck just gaped, eyes huge, as JD's hands and feet were suddenly flying -- faster and faster and faster as the riff became more and more intricate, more and more driven.
Omigod, Buck found passing through his mind, .....even machine guns can't fire that fast......JD's good, but he's not THIS good.... He suddenly paled. There's only one drummer ever lived who's faster'n a machine gun --- and he's been dead 25 years.....
Before the song was done, Buck was on the move. He literally threw himself at the drums and knocked JD from the stool.
"Ey!" ripped from the boy's throat as the sticks went flying and he found himself flat on his back on the wooden floor. "Wot the bleedin' bloody 'ell is goin' on....." he growled as he struggled under the unexpected weight.
Buck didn't say anything at first. He gripped JD's chin and forced the eyes to meet his own. "Holy shit," he gasped out, seeing eyes the colour of milk chocolate look up at him. "You're not JD!"
The eyes blazed with anger, but the grin was pure cheeky bedevilment. "Not at the moment, no," he quipped, the accent pure London. "But just hang about another twenty minutes or so, and he'll be right back."
"Partially," the grin grew. "But of course, you layin' on top of me like some bleedin' hooker ain't gonna get you no answers."
Buck's mouth closed with a snap and he rolled off the boy, who sat up and rubbed the back of his neck. He turned and grinned at the staring older man. "I'm not him," he said bluntly. "I can't be --- he's been dead for nearly 25 years."
"But... I heard... your eyes.... your voice...."
"Let me put it this way." He picked up a drumstick and twirled it as he spoke. "Music is a form of energy. Energy can't be destroyed, only altered. So when I -- he -- died, the energy remained. Seems there was a young lad whose mother had passed away and who needed a lot of money fast. Now he had a good heart, and for him to take the easy way -- the way that killed his drumming idol -- and get into the drug scene was just something that made him ill." He lifted one shoulder in a shrug. "So I gave him what he needed to do it right. Made him the best damn drummer that hit a session."
"So it was you who brought JD into that record store?"
"Me?" A laugh that was definitely not JD's. "No, mate. That was all him. He felt drawn to that place. We don't understand why." Then he blinked. "Whoops, been two hours. Later, mate. Nice knowin' ya."
And JD's body fell backward into Buck's lunging arms.
"Kid?" he tapped the sweaty face. "Kid, c'mon..."
Hazel eyes opened --- blinked --- focused. "Buck?" that was pure JD. "Wha....what...." he looked around. "How'd you find this place? What.... where's...."
Buck took a deep breath. "Kid.... you an' me an' the others gotta have a long talk...."
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