Title: Guitar Hero
Author: Basched (me!)
Characters: Connor/Abby, Becker, Matt, Jess, Emily, Lester
Rating: PG-13 for Becker's and Matt's bad language. Nothing much else.
Spoilers/Warning: None really.
Summary: Connor invites his friends round for a night of Guitar Hero.
Word Count: 3,346ish
Author's Note: This is my Connor focus fic for the Primeval Denial team fest. I came up with this idea a little while ago and it had to be done. I did put it up on the prompt list, but then decided to do it my own self. I have done extensive research into this--research being having friends round and playing the game Guitar Hero for hours--and it has made writing this so much fun! I've even taken some real life quotes from myself and friends when playing this. The band name is actually the band name we used as well. It is most awesome! Beta'd by the lovely Fred! Cheers so much! Enjoy peoples.
Orange. Blue. Blue. Red. Green. Orange/yellow. Blue. Red/green.
Connor was on fire. His fingers were an utter blur over the fret buttons, catching the coloured notes on the screen exactly on time and even managing several ‘whammy” bonuses as well.
He flipped the end of his guitar controller up and ignited the special bonus, turning the screen and all the notes blue. Not making a single mistake, his fingers continued to fly over all the frets, ignoring the curses and swearing of his two friends.
They couldn’t keep up and well, to be honest, Connor didn’t really expect them to. They hadn’t played this game before, though Abby was the exception. Her singing Paul McCartney’s lines was amazing, almost perfect and it made Connor chuffed to bits that she had taken over the vocals from Matt.
There was a very discordant sound as Becker missed several bass notes.
“FUCK! Fuck this fucking thing!”
Connor smirked. Even Becker’s mistake and swearing didn’t deter him and the song continued. Matt made several mistakes on the drum kit, yelling afterwards that he hadn’t ‘ballsed up’ and he was ‘hitting the right bloody one’, but Connor thought he was doing well considering, as he caught a quick glimpse at Matt’s meter. The drums were not the easiest instrument to play on this game.
The solo came and Connor eased his way through, even posing and strutting as a much more complex arrangement of coloured frets needed pushing . He slipped his fingers up the slide bar several times and then winked at Abby as she danced with the mic in her hands.
At that moment he wished he hadn’t invited Matt and Becker around. Connor would have preferred Abby to be playing this game and doing that same little dance in her underwear, as she sometimes did. She did the dance much better with just those clingy short-knicker things on and the vest that clung to her stomach and breasts.
He zoned out as his eyes fleeting looked away to the mammaries in question.
He’d missed some notes and several chords! The horrible distortion and Becker’s call of his name snapped Connor out of it and to his horror, his daydream of Abby had ruined what should have been a perfect score. He had no problems with getting back into his rhythm but the damage was already done.
When the song ended, the score came up on the screen for his guitar section. 93%? Oh that was pitiful.
“That just plain sucks!” he moaned, dropping himself down onto the sofa with a hefty thump.
“You should’ve been paying attention to the game and not my breasts, Connor.” she said wagging the microphone at him. “Besides, that’s not a bad score on expert level.”
“That was expert level?!” Becker interjected, slinging off the guitar controller he had been using and dumping it next to the drum kit. “Connor, I don’t play this stupid game! Why on earth did you put us all on expert level?”
Connor looked to Matt, who shrugged his shoulders. Connor had to say it.
“Becker… your setting was on easy, mate.” Connor grinned. He tried not to say anything about the three stars and 72% score Becker got, because the head of ARC security looked to be angry at the whole thing anyway and Connor didn’t want to infuriate the man even more.
But trust Matt to wind him up.
“I thought it was fun.” Matt said. “I don’t know all the songs, but I could get used to it. Though one thing puzzles me Becker… you can actually play the guitar, why was that so difficult for you?”
“You play the guitar, Becker?” asked Abby in surprise. “Wow! I never knew that!”
“He’s all right at it.” Matt chortled and stared at Becker, not even attempting to keep a straight face. “So you screwed up… on easy level! That is really… quite sad, Becker. How did you manage it?”
Whilst Becker started bickering with Matt, blaming the game and saying how inaccurate it was, Connor decided to flick through all of his high scores.
This was a great game.
Connor had fond memories of playing this and he recalled his first time… setting it up in Duncan’s basement and the two of them joining with Tom in battle mode. They had spent days playing it, trying to improve their scores, whilst snacking out on cheesy puffs and downing Doctor Peppers and Pepsi. Of course Tom had been the best out of all of them, mastering the frets so easily, but soon the three of them had been competing for the title of top Guitar Hero. Duncan had even made a trophy.
Connor looked around and saw it sitting on a shelf. Rex was curled up by it, clearly still shaken from when he had gotten too close to one of the drum pads and had nearly been hit by Matt’s sticks.
Connor missed his friends. Duncan was doing well, but they never seemed to have the time to meet up anymore let alone play Guitar Hero, which was why he had invited Matt, Becker, Jess and Emily around to play. He needed to indulge in one of his favourite hobbies, he needed to make new memories and keep the tradition going. He wanted to keep Tom’s memory alive and that would always be so with Guitar Hero.
Tonight was going to fun. This was going to be the best ever.
The cheese puffs had gone down well with Matt and Rex and the Doctor Pepper too as neither of them had tasted them before, but Abby and Becker stuck to their usual tea and coffee and chocolate digestives. Emily and Jess needed to finish their shifts at the ARC first before joining them and Connor hoped that it would be soon.
Connor had considered doing a little competition between them all, to see who could win the trophy, but he figured it would be a little unfair, especially if the others weren’t as good as him.
Keep it fun. Keep it light. Just enjoy the songs and music, enjoy each other’s company. No shop talk, no anomalies or creatures.
The bickering couple finally stopped bickering when Matt said Becker could choose the next song. Instead, the same Paul McCartney song was selected—prompting Becker to complain profusely about the ‘crappy’ controller—but rather than pausing and going back, the group played on.
Just as the chorus was about to kick in, Matt’s phone went off and the rather poor start was thankfully stopped as he answered it.
Connor hoped it wasn’t anything serious or anomaly related, he really wanted this evening to work.
“Okay, thanks Jess.” Matt shut off his phone and headed for the door. “We got a call guys. We’d best get going. We’ll take my car.”
“Shotgun!” cried Becker.
“We’re not in sight of the car yet, Becker,” Abby stated. “That’s cheating.”
“Who said I was talking about the car?”
“We are not using your shotgun!” Matt warned. “I have some EMDs in the boot.”
“Why do you always spoil my fun?”
“But—!” Connor never got a chance to say anything as Becker and Abby followed Matt out of the front door. He looked at the paused game and the abandoned controllers, then he looked at Rex who had flown down to the unguarded bowl of cheese puffs.
So much for a Guitar Hero night.
“Hey! Wait for me!”
“Okay…so there’s quite a few of them then.” Connor pressed his face against the window and looked out at the group of theropods skittering in and about the sports centre.
As civilians fled the scene, directed by some of Becker’s men, the team got out of the car and Jess relayed what she knew to all of them as they geared up.
“Emily is already on scene with Greaves, inside,” Jess’ voice spoke in Connor’s ear. “They’re dealing with the anomaly as we speak, but there are a number of incursions.”
“They look very much like Coelurus,” Matt said, throwing a small EMD to Becker and looking intently at a few of the creatures running about by the front entrance. “Late Jurassic, though they’re normally from North America. Right, Abby?”
“Yup. Those tails look as if they have more weight behind them; we ought to be careful about those.”
“But give yourself a gold star, Matt.” Abby and Matt grinned and even did a little high-five before Matt handed Abby an EMD rifle. Abby saw the look of disappointment on Becker’s face and the two immediately swopped weapons, which made him smile like a child who had just been given an ice cream.
“Right, let’s get them contained people,” Matt ordered. “Becker, have your men already set up a containment perimeter?”
“Emily says they did that when they got here. Some police and ambulance crews are waiting on standby. They’re also keeping back the media… how they got here so bloody fast I don’t know!”
“Good, I want you and Abby to concentrate on the Ceolurus’ and getting them back to the anomaly, Connor and I will get any civilians still on location to safety. Clear?”
“Technically they’re not actually Ceolurus’…”
“Fine, Connor. But do we get the gist?”
Everyone nodded and Becker and Abby ran off first, Becker issuing orders and requesting updates from his men on the radio. He and Abby quickly dealt with the few Coelurus by the entrance and then disappeared around the side of the building, Jess directing them to a back way.
Connor was about to head off to the main entrance himself but Matt grabbed his arm.
“Why did you bring that along?”
Matt pointed to Connor’s back and the guitar controller he still had strapped to it. He knew he had brought it along, but as for any specific reason other than the fact he just hadn’t put it down before running out of the apartment? No.
Matt grinned and opened up his coat.
“Don’t worry; I still have the drumsticks in my jacket.”
Connor laughed, pleased that he wasn’t the only one, though the drumsticks were a lot easier to conceal than a plastic guitar with coloured buttons on them.
“Let’s rock!” Connor did the devil horns with both of his hands and head banged to a guitar riff only he heard in his head. Matt smirked but tried not to look impressed or amused by it.
“Did you really just say that Connor?”
“Yeah…it was a bit cliché wasn’t it? Sorry, ‘bout that. I’ll… I’ll just leave this in the car then shall I?”
“It’s for the best; we’ll need it for later.” Matt pressed some fingers to his earpiece. “Jess, tell me how many potential civilians we still have inside and Emily have you and Greaves sealed the anomaly yet?”
Connor slipped off the controller and was about to put it back in Matt’s vehicle when out of nowhere a lone Coelurus emerged. It leapt up onto the top of the SUV, its claws scratching at the paintwork as it tried to find its footing. Matt went to take a shot at it with his EMD, he raised it up to get the right line but the Coelurus turned and its long tail whipped round. It slammed into Matt and the weapon was knocked out of his hand.
The Coelurus turned again and lunged at him. Matt fell to the ground with the creature landing on top of him and the two of them rolled through the momentum. The claws on the Coelurus’ tiny arms scratched at Matt’s chest, ripping his shirt and drawing blood, its jaws was snapping at Matt but it was kept from biting his face off as he grabbed it by the throat.
Connor reacted instantly.
Grabbing the guitar controller by the long end, Connor rushed up to the theropod and, just as if he had been playing rounders at school, swung the plastic instrument directly at the creature’s back. The impact knocked the thing off Matt, but the plastic also snapped and broke, and Connor was left holding the shattered remains.
The Ceolurus was incensed and scrambled to get back up on its little spindly legs. Its vocalising screams made Connor squint, his ears hurt from the sound, but it didn’t stop him from dropping down to his knees and picking up Matt’s EMD. He fired two shots directly at the theropod just as it was about to jump. It slumped into unconsciousness and after a few tense moments of Jess’ voice and other’s shouting down the coms, Connor let out a huge whoop of joy.
“Whoo! That was so cool! Did you see that Matt?” Connor held out his hand to help Anderson to his feet. Seeing the scratches on his chest and the rather devastating rips in the leather on Matt’s jacket, the smile faded. “Oh Matt… are you okay mate? Your… your jacket! I’m so sorry!”
“It’s okay; it’s not your fault but thanks for the save, Connor. Nicely done.” Matt hissed as he touched at the bloody marks on his chest, and there was a very slight—but Connor noticed it—saddened pout as he checked out the jacket.
Connor looked at the wreckage of his has been controller.
“Yeah… it worked a lot better than I thought it would.” He said sighing. “I’m gonna need a new one, do you reckon we can pick one up on the way home?”
Matt nodded and took the EMD from Connor.
“Sure, but let’s concentrate on getting the rest of the civilians to safety, shall we?”
“Sure! Party on, Matt!” Connor did the devil horns and waited for the reply.
Then Connor remembered it was Matt he was teamed with on this op, and he probably didn’t know about the reference he had just made or that he was supposed to repeat it back to him. The puzzled look upon Matt’s face said it all really.
“That’s where you’re supposed to say, ‘Party on Connor’ and then we go and get…” Connor’s voice trailed off. “Never mind.”
Connor bobbed his head in the affirmative.
“Wayne’s world. I’ll loan you the DVD.”
Connor beamed proudly at Matt’s unintentional quote and the two of them headed towards the sports centre, Jess and Emily directing them to the stranded civilians still inside.
There had not been a night like this in ages.
It was truly epic, cool and awesome all in one.
Connor sat back on the sofa, grinned and watched with utter pleasure as his friends continued on with his Guitar Hero night. As Abby snuggled up with him, picking a hand full of Monster munch—thanks Jess—from the bowl in his lap, Connor wished that Jenny was here, and Sarah, Danny, Stephen… and most of all Cutter. He wished that all the people who meant so much to him could be here. For a moment, he could imagine them all joining in with his new friends, laughing and joking and complaining just as much as Becker was.
Cutter would have been good at this. Connor had this feeling that he would have been—maybe not an expert—but he would have been good. A little tear swelled up in the corner of Connor’s eye.
It was not all about anomalies, world ending apocalypses, creatures and ARC stuff; it was about spending time with friends, comrades and those you love.
“How is this not working?” Becker yelled, as discord after discord happened during the song, as he missed more notes on the guitar. “Why is this stupid computer not doing what I’m telling it to do?”
“Relax, Becker!” laughed Jess as she strummed happily at the second controller, her fingers pressing the frets and her body swaying in time with the music and Emily’s vocals. “Go with the flow!”
“Go with the flow? Jess, are you kidding me?!”
“I’m bloody well bloody relaxed!”
“Oh I don’t think so! Have you seen your score?”
“Jess… don’t piss him off even more.”
“No… that’s your job, Matt. Oh! Quick, power bar! How do you activate it again?”
Even when his friends argued, Connor felt content. He picked at another handful of monster munch as again the four of them struggled to get through the remainder of the song. He was comfortable, happy to see them like this, away from the ARC and being more ease.
These were the moments where life was worth living.
“Are you all right, Connor?” asked Abby sitting up and wiping the tear that had fallen from his eye. He straightened up and pretended that she hadn’t just seen him well up.
“Yeah.” The word choked in his throat. He coughed and put on a more macho and deeper tone of voice. “This is great, a perfect end to the day. We should do this more often.”
“I don’t think Becker would like that idea. He hasn’t really cottoned onto this game.”
“He will.” Connor said, picking up a hand full of Monster Munch and popping the pieces into his mouth. “Then he won’t be able to stop--!”
All the arguing and complaining came to a halt when the door bell sounded. Confused, Connor looked to each of his friends and work mates, counting them to make sure that he wasn’t just imagining things. Abby didn’t know who could be calling at this time in the evening, but gestured for Emily to answer the door.
“Maybe it’s the batteries?”
“It’s a new controller, Becker.”
“You know what? Screw you, Matt!”
“Aw come on! Face it! You’re shit at this game!”
“Shit? Why you fuc--!”
The room went silent when Emily came back up with the new visitor. Connor was absolutely gobsmacked. This was unexpected.
Only Rex seemed pleased to see him and glided over to Lester to perch on his shoulder. Lester frowned with disproval and shrugged his shoulder several times to get the reptile off. Rex chirped, rubbed his face against Lester’s and headed back to the bowl of monster munch.
“This is a… pleasant surprise.” said Emily, when clearly no one else would say anything. “How can we help?”
Lester sighed as if this whole situation was rather tedious. He smoothed out the crumpled part of his suit and addressed Connor and Abby.
“Why was I not invited?”
Connor didn’t know what to say. He hadn’t invited Lester because this wasn’t his thing. He wouldn’t like this, surely! This was not what James Lester would do!
Connor’s mouth opened and closed a couple of times, still lost for the words that should have been easy enough to say, considering they were the truth. Thankfully Jess said them for him.
“Well, yes. This is hardly what I would want to be doing in my spare time, but as Miss Parker and Ms Merchant have been babbling on about it all day, I thought I would at least see what all the fuss is about. Exactly why I thought that is beyond me. So… what instrument am I playing?”
“Oh! You can have mine!” Jess gave Lester the guitar and backed away, grinning with absolute joy that this was happening.
“And the name of our band is? We do have a name, do we?”
Jess and Emily pointed to the name at the top of the screen.
“New Butt Steak? Are you serious?” Lester looked with disgust around the room. All the women pointed at Connor, Matt and Becker. “You three chose this?”
“We thought it was funny.” Becker said.
“Why am I not surprised? Very well… let’s do this.”
Connor watched as Matt and Emily explained the workings of the game to Lester, still gobsmacked that Lester had come here, to their apartment, but in a good way. Lester was here, the evening was complete! Never did Connor ever imagine they would all be here, but they were. These were the days’ worth living and things could not get any better!
“Here you go, Hero…” Becker handed Connor his controller. “Why don’t you take this one? You are far better than I am.”
Connor tried not to show such enthusiasm over such a nice gesture, but as he took the controller and stood up next to Lester, Emily and Matt, the grin spread wide over his face and more tears pooled up in his eyes.
“You guys… you guys are the best.”
Becker patted him on the back.
“Just play that funky music, white boy.”
They had to do this more often.