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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 15. Little Drummer Boy

---Ryder---

As Teddy began to wind in and out of back roads in an effort to lose paparazzi I couldn’t help but get flashbacks to when we were young. Back when we could effortlessly drive these roads without anyone following us. My doctors keep telling me I need to forgive myself, and Teddy keeps telling me to stay in the present, but how can I do any of that? I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, and I’m just supposed to move on like they didn’t happen? What happens if I start to make them again?

“We’re here.” Teddy let out, snapping me out of my own head. “I think we lost everyone too.”

“Yeah I think so.” I nodded, quickly climbing out of the car and opening the back door. “You did a good job driving, I’ve had security who couldn’t lose paparazzi.” I smiled, pulling out my large suitcase. “You guys warn Oli to keep this a secret?”

“Yeah.” Teddy nervously exhaled. “But that doesn’t mean he’ll do it.”

I nodded my head once more, but this time moved a little closer to him. “It’ll be okay, this, it’ll work out.”

“You really think so?” He asked, looking back towards his house.

“Yeah.” I quickly lied, trying my hardest not to overthink it. The truth is I’m terrified of this moment. I’m absolutely petrified of facing his parents and what I’ve done. But if this is what he thinks is best for me then I’ll do it. No hesitation, no backing out, just, following Teddy.

As we began slowly making our way to the front door I heard the familiar bussing of a drone grow louder. “What the hell is that?” Teddy asked as I threw my hood over my head.

“Just keep moving.” I instructed, reaching out and pulling him towards the house. “They’re just looking for the car.”

“Well they’re gonna find it!” He yelped, beginning to fumble his keys as we reached the door.

“That doesn’t matter.” I tried to comfort as he finally got it unlocked. “That’s why you parked on the street. The important part is they don’t find us.”

“Then quickly!” He shouted, pushing open the door and darting inside. “Come on!” He encouraged as I turned back to take a quick look at it. Before I knew it I felt a hand grab onto my arm and yank me inside.

“What was that?” I heard his mother call out as the door slammed shut behind us.

“Nothing.” Teddy quickly replied. “We’re home!”

His mom turned the corner and took a long look at the two of us before shaking her head. “It hasn’t even been a minute yet and you two are already starting trouble?” I couldn’t help but stare at the woman in front of me. Age had clearly taken its effect on her, and yet she still looked just like the woman I remember.

I let out a nervous breath as I noticed her doing the same. Sure, we’d seen each other a few days ago, but that was in a poorly lit hospital room. Now, now you can see everything. “Sorry Mrs. Haner.” I finally forced out. “We won’t cause any problems.”

“You’re not the one I’m worried about.” She sighed as a door slammed upstairs.

Suddenly the sound of running filled the air as like a bat out of hell a small blur darted down the stairs. “Hi.” A young voice nervously let out, standing at the base of the stairs.

“Come on.” Teddy began, sliding in front of the kid. “Let’s go get you moved in.”

I slowly nodded my head and followed him to the stairs, yet as we passed the child I couldn’t help but ruffle his hair. “Are you really going back to music?” The young voice asked, following us up the stairs. “I saw the interview in Teddy’s car.”

“I wouldn’t call that an interview.” I shrugged, making my way through the already familiar house. “But yeah, I plan to.”

“With Messiah?” He quickly followed up as we reached Teddy’s room.

“Probably not.” I shook my head as Teddy slowly pushed open the door.

“Let him get settled in.” Teddy warned turning towards his younger brother.

“I’m helping welcome him.” He argued, not bothering to take his eyes off of me. “Right Ryder?”

“Yeah.” I quickly nodded, trying my hardest not to step on anyone’s toes. “He can hang out with us for a little bit.”

Teddy exhaled a long sigh, but let us both into the small room anyway. “You live here now. It’s okay to tell him to go away.” Teddy encouraged as Oliver tried his hardest to stay close. “And Oliver, Ryder’s not here for playdates, you can’t hang around him all day.”

“No one calls them play dates anymore.” The boy muttered, taking a seat on the bed and staring at the two of us. I honestly think he’s just curious. Sure, part of it is that he’s obsessed with Messiah but I am moving into his house. I think he’s just eager to see what it’ll be like.

“It’s fine Teddy, really.” I nodded and forced a smile. “Besides I need someone to help unpack my suitcase, it’s going to take all day man.”

“Did you bring that much stuff?” Teddy asked, taking the bait harder than Oliver was.

“Yeah.” I groaned taking a seat next to the kid. “And you said you had all that paperwork to get done today.”

“Oh, shit, yeah!” Teddy finally let out, catching on to what I was doing. “How about I do that while you two unpack?”

I nodded my head, and kicked over the heavy suitcase, making sure it would land with a hard thud. “You’ll help right?” I asked, turning towards Oliver.

“Well, I will, but I have homework to do first.” He nervously let out, looking from it to me. “Like this history project that’s,”

“No you don’t, quit your lying!” I called out giving him a pat on the back. “You don’t have to help.” I laughed motioning towards the door. “We’ll take care of it and hang out with you later.”

“You really will though?” He asked, looking into my eyes. “Like maybe we can even play music together?”

“If you’ll sing.” I shrugged as he jumped to his feet.

“Maybe.” He muttered more to himself than me, before disappearing out the door and around the corner.

“Where’d you learn that one?” Teddy asked, quickly shutting the door behind his brother.

“Messiah's got a lot of young fans.” I explained thinking back to all the different meet and greets I've worked over the years. “It’s just stuff you learn being around them.”

“Yeah? Well you’ll have to teach me some day.” He let out, looking from the closed door to me.

“Seriously though.” I exhaled, bending down and unzipping the suitcase. “Where the hell am I going to put all this stuff?”

“I cleared this dresser for you.” Teddy shrugged, pointing to a small piece of furniture. “and there’s some space in the closet, but other than that, we both just have to make do.”

“Okay.” I nodded my head, staring at all the clothes that needed to be put away.

“But before that.” Teddy exhaled, pulling out a small plastic bag. “I have something for you.” I raised my eyebrows as he handed me a small electronic watch. “This is so that I can monitor your heart while I’m at work.”

“Teddy.” I sighed, looking down at the slim band.

“I’m serious.” He nodded his head. “It’ll tell me if your heart rate drops, if you leave the house, or if you take it off.” He explained, beginning to stare right into my eyes. “Don’t take it off.” He warned in a serious voice.

“Doesn’t this feel a little, extreme?” I asked, looking from him to the watch.

“Nope.” He shook his head. “You’ll wear that all day, and whoever is home will give you your medicine from where we’re hiding it.”

“Teddy, I don’t need to be babysat.” I groaned but forced the small watch around my wrist anyway.

“I’m not saying you do.” Teddy shrugged before turning back to the suitcase. “But if you think I’m letting you move in here unmonitored you’re crazy.”

“Fine.” I surrendered, knowing it was easier just to go along with it. “Are you going to help?” I asked, reaching down into the case and grabbing a pile of shirts.

“I will, but I have homework to do first.” He teased, mimicking his younger brother.

“I hate you.” I sighed, trying my hardest to balance the clothes with opening the drawer.

“I’ll help, I’ll help.” He laughed, pulling it open for me. “Just be careful, they’re old draws.”

“They’re old what?” I asked, dropping the clothes in before turning back for more.

“Draws.” He repeated louder.

“What the fuck is a draw?” I couldn’t help but tease noticing the jersey accent.

“Where you put your clothes.” He rolled his eyes. “Don’t get all nitpicky with me, you say the same thing.”

“I haven’t said draw since I moved out of Jersey.” I protested, grabbing another handful.

“I’m very proud.” He sarcastically mocked. “And you’re wrinkling most of your clothes.”

“It’s fine.” I grumbled. “They just get wrinkled when I put them on anyway.”

“Then you’re not putting them on right.” He laughed, watching me closely. “You’re like a five year old in a thirty year old’s body.”

“And you’re doing a great job of helping.” I let out, noticing he was just standing and staring.

“I’m not diving headfirst into your suitcase.” He laughed, taking another look in it. “You tell me where to put stuff, or hand me stuff and I’ll help.”

I let out a short groan but handed him a small pile of jeans. “Just, wherever there’s room.” I shook my head as he took them from me.

“You really don’t have any organization?” Teddy disappointedly asked.

“Nope.” I shook my head. “What’s the point? It’s not like I spend most of my day getting dressed.”

“So you know where you’re clothes are.” He quickly responded, the complete opposite of me when it came to living conditions. “This isn’t going to be easy, is it?”

“Did you think it was?” I couldn’t help but asked as I turned back to him.

“No.” He confessed with a shake of his head. “But we don’t exactly have an alternative, so let’s make the best with what we have.”

I nodded my head and kept moving until finally the suitcase was empty. It wasn’t pretty, and all my clothes were crammed into the drawers, but we found a way to make it fit. “Is that all?” Teddy asked amazed that it was all I had brought.

“Yeah.” I shrugged my shoulders. “I mean, I have more clothes in other houses but that’s all for here.”

“Other houses?” Teddy repeated. “And just how many other houses do you own?”

“I don’t know.” I shrugged once more. “You’ve seen my will, you know.”

Teddy shook his head in disbelief and took a seat at his desk. “Well there was like two pages of houses listed, so I have no clue.”

“Then two pages worth.” I smiled lying back on his bed.

Teddy rolled his eyes and shook his head once more. “So we’re going to get you a financial advisor.” He decided, turning away and pulling out a stack of papers.

“I have one.” I laughed, staring up at the ceiling. “How do you think the houses get paid for?”

Teddy let out a sigh and turned to me. “Do you know how much money you probably waste a month?”

“A lot.” I shrugged as our eyes connected.

“And that doesn’t bother you?”

“It does.” I swayed my head. “But right now, just, what’s the point. I have more important things to worry about.”

“Fair enough.” He nodded his head. “But when you get better we’re going to take a look and sort it out.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I let out, just waiting for the adult conversation to pass. Yet as I saw Teddy going to work I couldn’t help but sit up. “What are you doing?”

“Paperwork.” He mumbled, more focused on what he was writing than on me.

“I thought you took the day off.” I moaned, as his focus only seemed to grow stronger.

“I did.” He nodded. “But I still have like an hour and a half’s worth of work to do.” I let out a long groan at his words and fell back onto the bed. “Go play with Oliver if you’re bored.”

“I will.” I decided standing up, but hesitating as I realized where I was.

“My dad won’t be home until tonight if that’s what you’re worried about.” Teddy sighed, reading my body language. “And my mom won’t give you a problem.”

“I-I wasn’t worried about any of that.” I lied, walking towards the door. “But thank you anyway.”

“You’re a child!” He teased as I walked out of the room and quickly shut the door behind him.

As I walked down the tight hallway I couldn’t help but laugh as my own voice echoed through it. This kid really is obsessed. “Oli?” I forced out, standing outside his door.

“Yeah.” He excitedly yelped as the door flung open. “What’s up?”

“Teddy’s busy, so I wanted to see if you,”

“If I want to play some music?” He excitedly asked, grabbing a couple of drum sticks off his counter. “Wait! First look at my room.” He smiled grabbing my arm and pulling me inside.

All I could do was shake my head as old posters of Messiah decorated his walls. It was as though you could monitor my growth through his pictures. From young eighteen year old me, all the way up to thirty year old me. As I scanned it I couldn’t help but stop at a collection of C.D.s that caught my eye. “Teddy gave them to me.” Oliver quickly explained, noticing where my eyes had rested. “Pretty cool huh?”

“Yeah.” I nodded my head. So that’s what he did with all that stuff? I guess it makes sense, but still, he didn’t keep any of it? Not even a small reminder?

“He was being a dick about one of them though.” Oli pouted, forcing his way past me and out of the room. “That white one you gave him.”

“He showed you that?” I gulped, as my emotions pulled a one-eighty on me.

“Sure.” Oli nodded his head. “He got really mad at me, and made me listen to some of it. He wanted me to know how much you mean to him or something.”

I nodded my head and fought off a flood of emotions. “Do you know where it is now?”

Oli shrugged his shoulders and led me downstairs. “He hid it somewhere in his room.”

“Oh.” I exhaled, trying my hardest to hide my growing smile.

Mrs. Haner seemed to shoot her son a cautious look as the two of us made our way through the living room and to the basement door. “Oliver.” She let out in a strict voice. “Are you forcing Ryder into doing something?”

“It’s okay.” I answered for him. “Teddy is stuck doing work, so I figured I’d check out these drumming skills I keep hearing about.”

She nodded her head but as Oli began to climb down the stairs she waived for me to hold back. “He can get a little, excited when he drums.” She warned in a serious voice. “His brain works faster than his hands, so he can’t always do what he thinks he can. If he starts cursing and throwing fits don’t be afraid to call it a day. You’re the adult, not him.”

“Sounds good.” I nodded my head, amazed she was treating me normally. She could give me the cold shoulder, or grill me over everything that’s happened, but instead she’s just accepted me as part of her house. Between her and Harry, well I never imagined she’d wind up being the relaxed one about all of this.

As I quickly made my way down the stairs I couldn’t help but get flashes to my past. The basement looked exactly the same way it did thirteen years ago. Sure, the furniture is worn and old now, but everything is the exact way I remember it. That is, until you reach the furthest corner near the basement door where a giant drum set laid.

Okay, maybe giant is a bit of a stretch. It’s sized for a thirteen year old after all. But still, to have all those pieces at such a young age. This kid must have some level of skill. “Like it?” He asked, noticing my stare.

“Sure.” I nodded my head. “Looks kinda let Tommy’s setup.” I offered, but was shocked to see disgust enter his face. “I thought you loved Messiah?”

“I do.” He nodded. “And Tommy’s pretty good, but his drumming is just, boring.” Oli shrugged, taking a seat behind the kit. “It’s just generic, like he’s depending on the rest of the band to do all the work.”

I shrugged my shoulders and bit my tongue. He was brash about it, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. A lot of the drum parts for our music were written by me then worked over by Tommy, a process that didn’t exactly scream genius.

“Alright kid.” I sighed, taking a long look at him getting set up. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

He quickly swept from right to left, hitting each piece on his way through. “What do you want to hear?” He asked fighting off some stage fright.

“Something original.” I shrugged, seeing how far I could push him. “You play something good, and I’ll follow it up.”

“Alright.” He nodded his head. He went to play but caught himself and let out a deep breath.

“It’s just me and you.” I comforted with a forced smile. “I won’t judge, I promise.”

He nodded his head, but this time didn’t hesitate. He started out slow and precise, playing something you’d hear out of a 1970’s band like Rush or the Who. But as he slowly got comfortable he began to expand his range. Slowly but surely he unleashed into a much faster paced solo. One that screamed old school heavy metal, and no doubt found its origins in his dad’s taste. As he looked up to me and smiled he changed gears into something that sounded just like Messiah. The harder he went the more flare he threw into it. Stick twirls, head bangs, jumping up in his seat, the whole nine yards. And the double kick drums and symbols that intimidate even drummers my age, well he’s got them down pat.

Yet as good as he looked, he never seemed to get comfortable. He never fully eased into what he was doing, something that was noticed in his sound. Don’t get me wrong, he was great, especially for a thirteen year old, but bits and pieces just weren’t right. He was missing, well, the fun.

“Great fuckin job kid.” I nodded my head, walking to him as he huffed and puffed in his chair. “But you need to relax, you’re thinking too much.”

“What do you mean?” He forced out in a heavy breath.

“Don’t focus on the next part, just listen to what you’re doing.” I shrugged. “And don’t hold the sticks so tight, you’re going to snap it before you can even play.”

“Show me.” He smiled, holding out the drum sticks.

I went to take them but pulled away as I looked at the kit. “Maybe another day.”

“We had a deal though.” He insisted standing up and forcing them closer. “You promised.”

I let out a deep breath but nodded my head and took the sticks from him anyway. “No videos or pictures, just you and me, got it?” I asked, noticing the phone in his hand.

He nodded his head and quickly slid his phone back into his pocket. “So come on, how do I get good?”

“Well you are good.” I encouraged with another forced smile. “You did a lot of things right, so don’t be putting yourself down. You’re creative, and passionate, but you have to loosen up a lot.” I explained, showing him my stance. “Just let your body feel the music, and naturally flow into it.” He nodded his head and secured his ear protection as I went in for a solo of my own.

It’s odd, I’ve lost my love for music. I’ve lost my ability to write. My ability to draw from my past and create. Yet, I’ve never lost my ability to play. Slowly but surely I found myself lost in my solo. It wasn’t overly heavy, hell I barely used half of the kit, but I tried my hardest to show him what a relaxed solo would look like. What it would mean to open yourself up to the music world. It’s one thing to be as technically good as Oliver is becoming, but another to find yourself lost in it the way John Bonham and Keith Moon did.

I couldn’t help but smile at the look on his face as I wrapped up the short solo. He went to say something but stopped himself as he stared at the kit. “How’d you do that?” He finally exhaled looking over to me.

“Do what?” I asked, standing back up and handing him his sticks.

“What you just did.” He let out, too star struck to go into specifics. “You just, it was like you weren’t even here anymore. You were in another world.”

I shrugged my shoulders and waived for him to have another go, but he stayed silent patiently waiting for my answer. “It’s just something you learn to do when you give into music.” I replied, trying my hardest to come up with a good answer. “One day you just fall into it, and you no longer have to think about this or that. Your body just does it.”

“Can I ever get to that point?” He asked a combination of fear and hope entering his eyes.

“I don’t know.” I shrugged, trying my hardest not to lie to him. “I think you have the technical skills to, but you have to let that wild side of yours take control.”

Oli let out a deep breath but shook his head. “That’s when my drum sticks break and I mess up.”

“Then keep working on it.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Until you harness that energy, I don’t know man, you’ll never hit that point you want to.”

Oli nodded his head along with my words but slowly began to eye up a guitar in the corner. “Can you play with me?” He softly asked.

“Oli.” I let out, looking at the guitar then back to him. “I can’t man, that’s a little too much for me right now.”

“Are you sure?” He asked, trying his hardest to shoot me puppy dog eyes. “It’d really help me practice. My dad’s too old to play with me like he used to, and Teddy’s Teddy.” I let out a deep breath and sat down as I tried to wrestle with myself over it. “We’ll play something easy and fun. You don’t even have to sing!”

He exhaled a defeated breath and began to play again as I kept my silence. I looked over and watched him carefully as he tried his hardest to follow what I had told him. He seemed to get the general gist of it but was struggling to put it into motion. He’s not at all like me. He has a loving family, and money to get him whatever he wants. But still, I know that look in his eyes. That determination to become something more than just another brick in the wall. Just like I was forced into a role I didn’t want to play, so is he. Even worse, just like I destroyed myself to get to the top, well, I get a bad feeling Oliver would too.

I took another deep breath before getting to my feet and motioning for him to keep playing. Before I knew it I was clutching onto one of the guitars in the corner and plugging it into an amp.

“What do you want to play?” He excitedly let out, halting completely.

“Pick something.” I shrugged, knowing the odds are I could play whatever he thought of, but not the other way around. “Something fun though, you promised.”

He nodded his head and carefully though things over. “Do you know Limelight?” He finally let out with a big smile.

“By Rush?” I asked, shocked he’s ever even heard of the song.

“Yeah.” He happily nodded his head. “They’re like, the best. Besides you of course.”

I shot him a curious look and laughed. “Your dad show you them?”

“Yup.” He smiled. “When I picked the drums he made sure to show me Neil Pert, and it just stuck.” He shrugged. “In terms of drummers, I’ve always wanted to be as good as him.”

“Then there’s the problem!” I let out, without even thinking about it. “You’re mimicking his motions instead of his sound!” I continued, surprising even myself at the analysis. “We’ll play Limelight but play it like Oliver, not like Neil Pert. If you can even play it that is.”

“Oh, I can!” He shouted in determination.

I let out a short laugh and shook my head. Leave it to Harry Haner to get his thirteen year old obsessed with Rush in 2030. “Count em kid.” I nodded, waiting for his go.

He took a deep breath before banging his sticks together. “Three, two, one.” He nodded as I began the slow rift to the early eighties hit. Slowly but surely he followed in with drums, but once more I saw him tightening up as he played.

I forced a smile and grew closer to him trying my hardest to get him to relax with me. Slowly but surely I found us both grooving and flowing with the song. Before I knew it he’d relaxed into it, and so had I. As the chorus hit, well neither of us could control ourselves.

I couldn’t hear his voice over the music, but I could tell he was into it, and that’s all that mattered to me. Before I knew it we were both singing the rest of the song and goofing around. I don’t know what’s gotten into me. I don’t know if it was seeing the threat of a young kid trying to follow in my footsteps, or just music being well, music. But whatever it is, Oliver has me excited about playing a song again. And whether it’s just this one song or a spark for something more, it’s ten times more valuable than anything that happened at the hospital these past two and a half weeks.

 

*Limelight- Rush (Moving Pictures, 1981)

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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It’s like I’ve said before, both Ryder and Oli will benefit from Ryder staying at the Haner house. Ryder is already starting to teach Oli how to control his behavior and Oli is helping Ryder enjoy music again! Both of them benefit from their interactions and relationship.  ;-)

 

But maybe Teddy is the biggest beneficiary since he gets a calmer baby brother and a Ryder who is beginning to heal.  ;-)

 

I’m still a little anxious about how Harry will respond to Ryder…  ;-)

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17 minutes ago, jaysalmn said:

They're definitely gonna have a problem with paparazzi. I'm sure that's gonna be so annoying!

Teddy and Ryder better make sure to keep the curtains, drapes, or blinds tightly closed at night!  ;-)

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What a good chapter. Rider really gets Oliver and Oli is just like a. Puppy dog lapping it up till the cup runs over,except in Olies case I don't think it can.

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19 hours ago, mogwhy said:

i think he already is. and maybe Oliver can give Ryder his music back

Let's just hope Ryder doesn't give Oliver his self-destructive tendencies ...

 

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...and I guess the kit had challenging cymbals rather than symbols.... darn spellchecker, eh?

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Structure (Teddy) and Chaos (Ryder) shows even whilst they’re packing clothes, maybe maturity is going to be the element that helps them survive this time around, as they rub off on one another. Alchemising obsession into passion is important in succeeding , Ryder seems to have provoked the initial changes in Oliver but we’ll wait and see where it goes. 

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