A/N: First chapter, basically background info. Completely fictional, in case you're wondering.

The alarm went off, filling the darkened room with a loud rhythmic thump. A hand reached out and slammed the nearby alarm clock repeatedly, finally finding the right button just as a screeching voice began shouting untranslatable lyrics. Righting himself in the darkness, he attempted to wipe the sleep from his eyes and the drool from his mouth. "I really need a new alarm clock."

He reached for a desk light on a small dresser near his bed, almost falling to the ground in the process. After fumbling around for a few minutes, he found the switch, filling the room with light and forcing him to shield his eyes.

Other than him, almost everything in the room was black. The walls were decorated by line after line of his favorite songs and poems, written in spray paint to mimic graffiti. Clothes were strewn across the floor, mostly black T-shirts with smart-ass sayings and jeans. There were two main piles, one mostly rumpled and hastily discarded, the other actually folded and taken care of, though dropped there carelessly.

After a few minutes of letting his eyes adjust, he arose, revealing that he slept in the nude. Leaving the unkept bed, he rummaged through the neater of the two piles until he found suitable undergarments, then repeated the process for the rest of his clothing. Once fully dressed, he grabbed a pair of sunglasses from the dresser and switched the light off.

Putting the sunglasses on, he opened the door and ventured out, squinting off the sudden change in brightness. On the back of his bedroom door hung a large black trench coat, which he immediately donned before wandering through the house.

As he made his way through the house, which was, much to the contrast of his room, brightly colored, he began to hear the sounds of the rest of his family as they ate their breakfast below him. His mother called out to him as he began to descend the stairs and his father, once seeing that he was awake, invited him to join them, although the invitation was cleverly disguised as a threat.

He wandered into the kitchen, half growling in discontent at his younger siblings, who were yelling too loudly amongst themselves to notice his presence. This, unfortunately, didn't last long, the younger of the three quickly made his way over and leaped onto him, wrapping his body around the young man's leg. The children at the table began pointing and laughing, as did the parents. He looked down at the leech in disgust and attempted to free himself by shaking his leg furiously.

"Mother, what have I told you about the devil spawn hugging my leg?"

The little boy on his leg looked up at him. "What's a devil spawn?"

After emitting a long hiss, he bent over and removed the child forcefully with one arm and took a seat, his brother still suspended and struggling in mid air. The family was still chuckling. After a few minutes and through much force of will, the mother managed to put on a stern face. "Aidan, put your brother down."

"I'd rather not do that until his straitjacket arrives."

The mother looked sternly at the father, who immediately ceased his laughter. "Aidan, listen to your mother and set Jeremy down."

Obeying without a discernible interest, Aidan set his brother down with a loud thump. Jeremy didn't seem to mind too much, he managed to amuse himself by crawling under the table as made his way back to his chair. Once seated and after he resumed his swift consumption of ungodly sweet cereal, he looked up again. "What's a straitjacket?"

Aidan growled at the question, interrupted by his mother, who took the chance to set a plate of eggs in front of him. "He just means that he's looking forward to taking you shopping."

"You're right, what good's a straitjacket without a gag and some chains to suspend him from the ceiling, and it would be much easier to get the right size by bringing him with."

The older two siblings began chuckling again, though the father tried to maintain a serious look. "Actually Aidan, that's why we called you in here. School starts in three days, they need supplies, and your mother and I are too busy to go with them."

"You should have thought of that before I bought concert tickets in New York. I'm leaving tomorrow morning, and I'm not getting back until three or four the next night."

The mother took a seat next to him and began picking at her own food. "And exactly what are you doing today?"

Aidan paused, shoveling a load of food in his mouth mid-thought. "Apparently, I'll be regretting telling you that."


The children ran outside as he sat back, hissing at the thought of them crawling all over his car. They began pulling at the locked doors as he joined them calmly. "First of all, ground rules. No touching things in my car. No talking. Your name tags are in my trunk, wear them. Otherwise, I'll have to write your names on your forehead."

The girl, the middle aged of the three, giggled and looked at him. "You know our names."

"Whatever you say, Jonathon."

The other two began laughing while her face turned red. He pressed a button on his key-chain, opening the trunk. 'Jonathon' was the first one to dig through it for her name tag, followed by Jeremy. Once she'd pinned it to her shirt and turned around proudly, Aidan read it and smirked. "Hey, Michelle, she's got your name tag."

It was the oldest one's turn to blush as the other two burst into mocking laughter. After they finished, the oldest one looked at him, enraged. "You know, you don't have to make fun of us, just 'cause we're younger than you."

Aidan maintained his smirk, staring the boy down. "I'm well aware that I don't have to mock you. I simply choose to."

Jonathon looked away in disgust, grabbing his name tag from the trunk. "Asshole."

Aidan pressed another button on the keychain. With simultaneous clicks, the doors were unlocked and the younger two crawled in. Jonathon remained outside, glowering at his older brother. Aidan walked right past him, getting in the driver's door. "Get in."

A few seconds passed before the oldest boy reluctantly boarded the car. The engine purred to life and seconds later they were off. "Anyway, back to the ground rules. No wandering off. No crying. Mom only gave me sixty dollars, so only twenty bucks each. If anyone I know shows up, we're not related. Any questions?"

The girl raised her hand. "What if we have to go to the bathroom?"

"Do you?"


"Then shut up."

Jeremy raised his. "Where are we going?"


Shifting through the CD holder, Aidan removed one and popped it in. The music began pouring through the car and Michelle again raised her hand. "Isn't that the music that mom said you're not supposed to play around Jeremy?"

"Yes, it is."


They had little trouble finding a parking space, it was still pretty early. Finding it again might pose a problem though. The kids poured out of the car before he even shifted into park and began running towards the entrance. He groaned as he exited, following them at a much slower pace.

They waited for him just inside the front doors. Once he passed through, Michelle and Jeremy immediately began begging him to take them to various places. Jonathon was apparently still upset with him, which at least meant that he was quiet.

He drew an array of stares from parents with their children and other teens, though he payed it little mind. He responded only to the girl literally pulling him around. He may have responded to Jeremy instead, but Michelle had won the battle of "who gets to cling to his trench coat and lead us places."

After a few minutes, Michelle was completely lost. Sighing, Aidan took the lead. After finding the desired section, Aidan leaned against a shelf and withdrew a copy of "Memnoch the Devil" from a pocket in his trench coat. "Go forth, be merry, and hurry the hell up. I want to be out of here by noon."

Almost as soon as they disappeared into the rows and rows of school supplies, he noticed someone standing behind him. A few seconds passed and he realized whoever it was wasn't going away. He replaced his bookmark and turned. "What do you want."

She was shorter than him by roughly a foot and guised as a wal-mart worker, though he recognized the signs; primarily the overuse of eyeliner, black fingernail polish, and of course the nose ring with a miniature skull hanging from it. He resumed reading the book. "No, my trench coat is not for sale, it wouldn't fit you anyway. I got it at Hot Topic. Now scamper off."

"My, you're certainly an asshole."

"So I've been told. If you don't mind, I'm trying to build up my immunity to the infectious gleefulness of children, so I'm not in much of a mood for a conversation."

"Ah, the twerps. Are they yours?"

Aidan paused, looking down at her from over the book, his right eye twitched slightly. "I'm sixteen. Their average age is eight. No, their not my kids."

"Sorry, you looked older. Then, I assume they're your siblings?"

"Yes, we are spawn of the same womb. Thank you so much for that reminding me of that revolting little fact."

"I can see the resemblance."

"Good for you. Can I get back to my book yet?"

"That depends."

There was a long pause, during which Aidan went back to reading his book.

"Aren't you going to say on what?"


She was beginning to get frustrated, and he could tell. There was a lopsided grin on his face as he closed his book and walked off. She followed him. "Wait, just give me your number."

"Not likely."

"Why not?"

"Give me one good reason why I should."

"I have concert tickets."

"Oh, I'm jealous."

"You said give you one good reason."

"And I've yet to hear it."

"Alright then, I get a huge employee discount."

"I've got parent's money, and normally I never shop here."

"I've got three friends who are rather experimental."

"Ah, now that's a pretty good reason."

"So are you going to give me your number?"

"No, probably not."

"And why not?"

"Because you're trying entirely too hard, and frustrating people is my favorite pastime."

She paused, looking at him with a cocked head. "So, are you saying that if I stop trying, you'd give it to me?"

"No, probably not."

"God dammit!" She turned and stomped off, leaving Aidan looking rather pleased with himself.