Lost On Puckworld: The Military

By Drake Freewind

Stand Out

Drake walked up the stage and nodded to the drummer and the other performers. He began to play and started to sing.

Open up your eyes, take a look at me
Get the picture fixed in your memory
I'm driven by the rhythm like the beat of a heart
And I won't stop until I start to stand out
To stand out

Drake sang on the stage beautifully. When he played, all eyes were on him, all ears listened intently. Mal noticed that everybody in the club looked at him as friend. As an equal. They didn't look at what was outside but what was inside. To them, he was someone to respect, to admire and to look up to.

Some people settle for the typical things
Living all their lives waiting in the wings
It ain't a question of 'if', just a matter of time
Before I move to the front of the line

"I don't know which is better. The sound of the guitar..." Damone said.
"...or the sound of his voice." Choly added.
"To settle things. They're as good as each other. What do you think about his music, Mal?" Noble asked her but she seemed like something had possessed her.

And if you're watching every move that I make
You got to believe that I got what it takes

"Mal?" Wick nudged the redhead and Mal jumped because Wick had poked her in the ribs.

"Uhh... Sorry about that." Mal apologized.

" You like his music too, don't you?" Constance asked. All eyes turned to her cause she seldom spoke to anybody else except Drake.

"Yeah." Mal answered and turned back to Drake.

To stand out above the crowd
Even if I got to shout out loud

Drake flashed a smile in Mallory's direction and she smiled back shyly. He's amazing alright. She thought and swayed to the rhythm.

Till mine is the only face you see
Gonna stand out, til you notice me

The drummer kept on doing his and Drake stood for a moment, walking into the crowd, still playing and singing his heart out.

If the squeaky wheel's always getting the grease
I'm totally devoted to disturbing the peace

Wick shook her head and laughed as he did his impression of a bad boy and winking to every other girl in the crowd. He knew his capabilities and she sighed. If only the rest of the world could see how wonderful a person he was. Duck or *no* duck. This guy knew how to be a friend to anyone.

And I'll do it all the again til I get done
Until I become your number one

Once again he shot a glance in Mal's direction, she blushed, Wick and Melancholy burst out laughing and Noble gave her a thumbs up sign.

No method to the madness and no means of escape
Gonna break every rule or bend them all outta shape
It ain't a question of 'how' just a matter of when
You get the message that I'm trying to send

Mallory rested her chin on her fist and wondered, remembering the whole thing this morning. He's so at ease here... they respect him... his music and everything else... irregardless of the fact that he isn't like us. He's... 'at home' here.

She smiled and clapped her hands above her head and stood making her way to the dance floor where a small group was growing. I'm getting his message alright.

I'm under a spell and I'm in over my head
And you know I'm going all of the way til the end

He struck a chord on his guitar and slid to his knees at the center floor.

To stand out above the crowd
Even if I got to shout out loud
Till mine is the only face you see
Gonna stand out, til you notice me

"Yo Drake! You the du-- I mean man!!!"
"You go Drake!"
It's so different from back there at the dorms. Mal smiled and continued dancing. There's no teasing, no taunting, just... fun.

Man she's pretty. Drake smiled to himself. A thought suddenly caught him and he nodded to himself. It's time for me to put on several more skins over this face o'mine.

If I could make you stop
And take a look at me instead of just
Walking by

He pulled out a pair of shades Dive had given him a while back via mail and slid them on. He timed it, Please, please, please.... so that when Mallory passed, he pushed them down as if to show he was watching her. She laughed at this and winked.

There's nothing that I wouldn't do
If it was getting you to notice
I'm alive

He strode to her and sang *to* her. He heard someone call out his name and whoop. He mentally thanked whoever whooped. I don't care who ya are... but thanks. He smiled at hearing a few more encouragements from the crowd. I hope she's actually enjoying this...!

All I need is half a chance
A second thought
A second glance will prove
I got whatever it takes
It's a piece of cake

And he jumped back onto the stage and resumed his choreography.

To stand out above the crowd
Even if I gotta shout out loud
Til mine is the only face you see
Gonna stand out, stand out, yeah
Stand out, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Stand out, oh!
Til mine is the only face you see
Gonna stand out
Til you notice me

And the lights went out.

* * *

"You were terrific there tonight Drake. They must really respect you over at Underground." Mallory and Drake snuck back into the academy. It was well past two in the morning and they were making a beeline for their rooms.

"I go there to get away. I forget everything that happens here. There... all the bad memories seem to just..."

"Vanish into thin air?" She supplied.

"Right." He smiled as they entered the hallway. "So, see ya around?"

"You got it..." She opened her door, and glanced over her shoulder to smile at him, "Wind."

To be continued...

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