Tim stood behind his bandmates, untangling cords and finding which jack should be plugged in where. He and Phil were spending the day monitoring Larry, the rhythm guitarist of the band, since the night before he had gotten so drunk he didn't realize he'd been extensively tattooed. Neither Phil nor Tim had their instruments with them; today was just a test for Larry. "Ah." He plugged in Larry's guitar to an amp. A deafening feedback screech followed, then faded out.
Larry winced. The amp was right next to him on the edge of the stage. Clutching his sensitive ears, he turned away from it and flung his legs over the edge.
"Here," Tim said, holding out Larry's guitar to him, "play me something, and not just any old thing—you're playing for teenage girls...and probably a few boys..." he trailed off, a fond look in his eyes.
"Yeah, you ain't playin' for your grandma," Phil added, standing behind Tim with his arms crossed.
The three bandmates were sitting on the stage set up for their concert the next day. There were bleachers and three sections of chairs set out for the concert-goers. Thankfully, the whole area was gated and the only ones inside the pavilion were Larry, Tim, and Cinderella. It was a little past 9:00 a.m., and the sky was a blinding shade of blue. Larry rubbed his forehead; the light made him feel dizzy. Tim and Phil were determined to make him suffer the consequences of his actions the night before.
He reached out for his guitar with his right hand, as his left still stung from the new tattoo covering his arm from his knuckles to his elbow. He clutched the instrument close to himself and pouted. The strap, navy blue and orange, and made specifically for him by his grandmother, was removed from the instrument, probably the doing of Tim, to make Larry's day that much more difficult. "You guys know I'm sorry, right? I'd never knowingly do something so...so..."
"You better be," Phil responded uncaringly.
"You gotta admit, though, it's pretty decent," Larry said, admiring the beauty of the ink in his skin.
"Larry, play something. Play me a riff from, oh...Freebird." Tim grabbed his paper Starbucks cup from the side of the stage and jumped off the side onto the grass. He then stepped back and stood next to Phil. The two of them stared menacingly at Larry.
Larry bit his lip and placed his guitar in his lap. He knew this was going to hurt. "Can I have some'a that?" he asked Tim, glancing at the paper cup, hoping that he'd get a little more time to relax.
"...No." Tim glared. "We're waiting."
"Can I have some?" Phil asked, leaning over the cup and peering into it. Neither he or Larry knew what it was, but they wanted it.
"Sure," Tim said to Phil, and he handed Phil the cup. Phil took it and sipped it.
"Oh man, I love this shit. If I knew they were still selling it I woulda got one for myself!"
Larry frowned pathetically and tuned out Phil. He gritted his teeth, then positioned his fingers on the neck of his guitar. The sting of the tattoo took away most of the enjoyment he got from playing. It was probably already infected. He played one chord.
"I think he's finally regretting getting that god-awful thing," Phil whispered to Tim.
"Shush," Tim whispered back, still keeping his eye on Larry. "That all you got?"
Larry muttered something insulting about Tim under his breath and turned himself away from the two inspectors. 'Stop being such a pussy! You did this to yourself and you have to deal with it!' he thought to himself. 'What kinda man are you?! Why would you deny the fangirls this!?' He smiled, remembering that he was the most attractive man on God's green earth.
"What are you doing?" Phil asked, breaking the silence.
"Shut up, Phil, god damn." Larry started strumming his guitar and grumbling to himself. The birds that were perched on top of the stage lights all flew away.
Phil clenched his fists, causing the paper cup to explode. He was speechless; who could possibly not require his glorious presence?! All he managed to sputter out was "Ugh!"
Tim took the cup from Phil and threw it onto the grass, where the lid had fallen just seconds before. Phil flipped himself away from Tim and stomped off into the rows of chairs.
"Oh, so you actually can play?" Tim said, sounding pleased. "Good. That means you can wear this. Your mother had it shipped to us a few days ago. 'Probably made it on some website. I think it'll look adoring on you." Tim bent over and picked up a box that was sitting on the grass near the front of the stage. The box had its flaps already opened, which was probably the work of Phil.
"What? My mom never sent me anything..." Larry looked over his shoulder at the box.
"Oh? 'Must be the wrong Cecelia DelGato." Tim tilted the box at an angle and squinted down at it to re-read the names of the sender and recipient of the gift, then smirked at how Larry's full name was written. Laurence Miguel DelGato. Only a mom would do that.
"Gimme the box." Larry reached back, grabbed the box and pulled it to himself.
Tim raised an eyebrow and looked down at his watch.
"Oh god, it stings!" Larry groaned, dropping the box down in front of himself. The sting of the tattoo felt like a thousand sunburns. "Fuck!"
Tim rolled his eyes. "'Need some help?"
"No," Larry said, shooing Tim away. "Go away. Your princess needs rescuing."
Tim chuckled at the rhythm guitarist, then seized the back of his shoulder. "When you find a rabid animal in your underwear drawer, you'll know why." He then strolled off after Phil.
"Pfft. 'When you find blah blah blah' whatever," Larry mocked Tim's threat. The box was still sitting there beside him. He reached in with his working arm and pulled out a navy blue t-shirt. "Oh wow. Well, I guess it's okay." The shirt had the band's logo on it; a flat circle with cat ears with x-eyes. The logo was Larry's idea, so of course, he thought the shirt was amazing. "Hey Tim!"
Tim looked back at Larry, very unamused. He raised his arms, gesturing 'what?'
"I'ma wear this for the concert!"
Tim threw his arms down and took his leave.
"Jealous of my momma," Larry said to himself, stuffing his new shirt back into the box.