Pairing/Characters: Dill/Rachel, Rachel/Carnival; main party [claim → main party]
Spoilers/Warnings: AU. Mild profanity (see: Carnival). May be a bit confusing if you don't know who Mina and Alice are (if you haven't read Lye Street/Iron Angel).
Summary: don't want to forget that rainbow sky.
The band was always about the small things: an open microphone, a warm crowd, singing so late she was hoarse the next day. Her cheek pressed against Carnival’s as they belted their favorite song, harmonizing for the same microphone. Teasing Dill into sticking around for just-one-more-song until they all realized it was closing time. Alice making her keyboard croon like a harmonica and trill like an ocarina. Mina demanding a mic of her own until they all took pity on her and decided to go a round a cappella.
It was things like endless practice sessions, a sheet of notebook paper half-crumpled with lists of possible names, all scratched out. Carnival’s scarred hands around Mina’s drumsticks, with Mina’s hands on her wrists, guiding her slowly—Carnival complaining that she’d rather just whack away. Dill showing them his latest blisters and making fun of them to make everyone laugh. Alice holding up hastily scribbled sheet music and beckoning Carnival and Rachel over to try singing it.
Rachel supposed that the band was also the long days and nights in the van as they drove up to record a few songs. The nights especially—sitting in the middle of the backseat, watching the boxes slide and the streetlights disappear. The radio playing softly, with Alice and Mina singing along. Dill’s cheek pillowed on her left shoulder as he slept; Carnival’s on her right. Both of Carnival’s arms close around her waist.
And a few familiar bars on the radio that had everyone scrambling to jack the volume up, and the disbelieving silence that followed. And then, as soon as their song was over—
The elated squeal that broke out as Mina and Alice danced like dervishes. Carnival suddenly hugging her and Dill so fiercely that Rachel felt her ribs pop a little, screaming “Holy shit, HOLY SHIT!” all the while. The sugar-high giddiness that had her running to give each of her bandmates an ecstatic hug and kiss, and the laughter when Dill’s didn’t land on his cheek like she’d aimed it.
Yes, Rachel decided, that was what the band was about.
The look on Carnival’s face when they’d announced that the single proceeds were going to a shelter for battered women and children—was just a bonus beyond price.