saga/title/fandom: Juke Joint, Blues and Whiskey

author: Candylyn

rating/genre:(PG-13) - Drama

warnings: Hints of racism and violence

summary: After moving to Xavier's Chamber finds a special place in town. Fluff.

comments/disclaimers: I don't own any of the characters in this story, I do however own myself. This piece is dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaugh, Jimmie Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Freddy Mercury may they rest in peace while their music still stirs my soul. And to Bobby Blackwood and his family, I still love and miss y'all. I don't know if you guys are going to like this. It's kinda pointless, but then again so are most of life's little moments. I was going through my CDs and got inspired. This story has a major Mary Sue character... sorry. I write what the voices tell me to write. Also, since Jono can only speak telepatically his lines are in italics!

So like over a year ago, this man starts to come in here like twice a week, right. Half his face covered up. Orders the same thing everytime, beer with a whisky chaser. Damn thing is he never drinks it. He just sits in the back booth and listens to the band then leaves. He pays and all for the drinks but it's damn spooky.

Anyway, he comes in here last week and the place is packed, tends to be on Friday night. It was rare to see him in here on a Friday or the weekend, but I fancy him a blues lover and with Bonnie Raitt doing a quick set I figured he couldn't resist.

After scanning the room, he walks up to the bar and sits down right in front of me. "What's your pleasure, Sweety?" I asked him like I always do.

Beer with a whiskey chaser. He replied like normal. I sighed as I poured the whiskey into the shot glass and filled the stein with Guiness, I figure with that accent he's British. Funny thing about his voice, I swore it's in my head and not in my ears. As I passed the drinks dow nto him, I could just hear the subtle sound of a humming coming from him. Like something you would hear when you are around a gas powered generator.

"I suppose you ain't gonna drink that?" I asked. I kinda leaned over the bar a bit, trying to get in what little of his face was uncovered. He just looked me up and down, more down than up. When you are stacked like me, you get those lingering looks below the neck. Snickering, he turned away from me and looked at the stage.

It would be another fifteen minutes before Bonnie would come out, so I made my rounds with the college kids and old heads here to see the show. Finally, I made it back to him. Before I could say another word to him, the show started. As always Bonnie was beyond excellent.

But as the show progressed, I noticed that the guy started to play air guitar. Nothing special about that, only he had the finger placement of a seasoned guitarist. He plucked at the invisible cords perfectly. I play a little myself, so I knew what he was doing.

His eyes were closed and like any possessed musician, he let the music carry him away from here. Especially when Bonnie played Jimmie Hendrix's 'Little Wing', minus the vocals, just the guitar rifts. My God, the Man was in his zone at that point. Like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders and he had floated away, right up to heaven with Jimmie himself.

By the end of her set, my 'friend' clapped and cheered like a mad man, though deep in his eyes I saw an unimaginable sadness. A few of the neanderthal college kids saw him; they whispered amongst themselves and moved towards him.

*Shit!* I thought to myself. The last thing I needed was another fight. Logan trashed the place enough. Luckily he was either outta town or over at Harry's. Still those kids had looked like trouble from the word go and I wasn't in the mood for this shit tonight.

As the first of the punks reached him, I leaned against the bar with my back to him while keeping an eye on the developing action. He is a man after all, might as well let him handle his own business. That is unless this turned real ugly, which I was fearing that it might.

"So, Mutie, like the show?" The biggest of the bunch spat at him while the others grunted sarcastic laughs.

*Shit* I thought again, it had never crossed my mind that he could have been a mutant. Not that it mattered, I'd seen enough racist/macho/propaganda bullshit in my 25 years to know better than to judge anyone except by their heart. And though we had only exchanged a handful of words in the year or so he'd been coming in here, the man was okay with me. Sides, I still remember what my Grandmomma said about my own Granddad hanging from a tree, damn if I was gonna let anything like that happen to this Man.

"Okay assholes, back off him, you saw the sign out front EVERYONE WELCOMED. But I better rmind myself to change the sign to exclude COLLEGE PREPPY RACIST TRASH like yourselves." I shouted over the dying cheers.

The biggest of the bunch, mind you it's always the biggest, looked at me with cold cutting eyes. I already knew what he was thinking *Who does this black ass bitch think she's talking too? I got a jag, my Daddy is rich and I got a trust fund!* But when I flashed him the handle of MY Daddy's old Desert Eagle, he and his rich boy crew bounced out the front door like the little schoolgirls they chase after.

"Sorry, I don't cotton to bullshit around here," I said to him. His eyes danced with part amazment and part gratitude.

You got a name gel? He asked with a hint of curiousity in his voice.

"Sure, but don't call me a gel, name's Candylynn Bryant and you?" I asked with my hand out for him to shake.

Jonothon Starsmore, but most me mates call me Jono. His eyes seemed to twinkle with a smile when he accepted my hand and shook it vigorously. Well Ge... Candy mind if I smoke a fag in the lu?

Okay, at this point my eyebrow shot up as if my name was the Rock. He looked at me, my confusion must have been clear as day on my face, "You wanna smoke a WHAT in the WHERE?"

He lowered his head and I could just hear a whisper of a laugh flicking through my mind, Can I smoke a cigarette in the restroom?

"OH!!...No, against state law, but you can step outside." I pointed at the back door. He lowered his head then sat down. "What?" I surprised myself with how much concern was in my voice.

I forget... sometimes.

"Forget what?"

I can't smoke anymore. Can't do much of anything.

"Well smoking is bad for you." I tried to cheer him out of the funk he'd slipped into.

I wish that were the only reason but my...condition forbids it. With those very cryptic words he tucked his finger under the hem of his mask and lowered it a bit. A bright glow of energy, like the glow of firefly, flickered then died as he snapped the fabric back into place.

"Wow," I felt like an idiot after having said that. I don't gawk, even at the oddest thing, but this 'condition' was down right beautiful. But I imagined that it gave him more grief than joy.

I used to smoke after seeing a show like that, kind of a tradition.

"Like sex eh," I blurted out? His eyes smiled again and I had to laugh. Few people throw me for a loop, but twice in one night he had.

I better be going, got to get back before they send Jubilee after me. I had to laugh, I knew her. 'They' sent her in here a lot to drag Logan home. Lord knows some of the funniest moments I have had since moving here came from seeing her try and drag that Onery cuse out of here. I guess both of them live up at that Institute people around here seem so scared of.

"Well won't want that, she might actually hurt you." Without another word he tossed three bills on the bar, winked one eye at me then vanished out of the door.

It wasn't until the following Thursday that he finally showed up again. Same deal, only this time he sat at the bar. He ordered his drink, but this time I cut him off at the pass. "Sorry pal. The Whiskey patrol said no more wasting the good stuff on you. And since there is a minimum purchase to stay here, I figure that we'll have to find some new way for you to pay for your seat."

He looked at he, clearly stuck between being pissed at me and amuzed by me. So what I did next had to shock the hell out of him. I reached down under the bar and recovered my Daddy's old guitar. I don't know nothing about make or model, I only know that he could make the strongest man cry when he strummed the blues on it's cords.

I handed the guitar over to him, "Play for your seat Jono." There was a small round of applauds and whistles encouraging him to get on the stage and play.

I haven't played for a crowd in...

"It don't matter, play what's in your heart... play what moved ya last Friday. "Little Wing", remember? I am sure Jimmie won't mind." He nodded. I watched him move towards the stage and started whistling. I love cheering for the under dog. I knew he could play, that was obivious by the way he held his hands while playing air guitar. I only hope he remembered that he could play. All the talent in the world can't help a man when he don't believe in himself.

Crossing my arms, I leaned against the edge of the bar and waited. Curtis, the drummer, started it off. Jono wrencthed his neck then gingerly placed his fingers where they needed to go. He began to play, he tripped over the first few notes, but before the first 'boo' from the crowd he recovered. And what a recovery. As he and the band played on, my heart sank, I had heard this song played everyway imaginable. Fast. Slow. Rock style. Even classical. But never had I heard it played like Jimmie really played it, full of the blues. Jonothon Starsmore was a man in pain and the music that he blessed us with reflected that clearly.

The rest of the band stopped playing, that was a first. They were so impressed by Jono's version of this treasured song, that they wanted him to play it solo to the end. The lack of back up only seemed to improve his playing and the rift mellowed even more. Damn, there I was crying. I was crying for joy that the sad Man dressed in black that came in here over the last year was finally releasing some of his bent up stress and I was sad cause, not since my Daddy died had I heard that guitar played with so much passion.

The small crowd erupted into cheers and whistles as he finished his set and departed the stage. He handed the guitar back to me, his hands were shaking slightly. Nice wood.

"My Daddy's."

Your Pop has great taste.

"Had. And well..." I smiled at him, snap decisions being my speciality I said, "It's yours. I got my own ax and nobody has played her like that since my Daddy died. I hate to sell her to some novice. At least with you I know she's in good hands."

Jono looked at me strangely. I can't... I... I can't.

"You can and you will. Now here's the case, all I ask is that you stop by and play for me once and a while, okay?"

Bet. He said. He placed the guitar in the case and made his way to the door. He looked back at me once and waved. I just smiled. Another happy customer...

home         fiction gateway