**Standard Mice Disclaimer**
Mice is in no way associated with the Marvel Comics Group. She is merely trying to write a story and this is all she has to show for it. A noble effort. Though she would one day like to be paid for writing, please don't send her any money (send mail to urmonkeyifudo@yeahright.com on instructions to send her money). Bobby Drake, Jubilee, Paige Guthrie, and Hank McCoy do not belong to her, but to the Marvel Comics Group. Annie Peckenpaugh and Harpo Lubbock are of her own mind. Any archiving of this story that is unaware of her attention will be ily received (Read: Tiki Curse). If you e-mail her, explain your intentions to archive the story and address of your archive, she will be MORE than gracious and will probably do something nice for you, like bake you brownies, not to mention permission to archive the story. In truth, she just wants to know where she can drool over the sight with her name. *G* If you want to e-mail her comments (read: FEEDBACK), do it at mice5k@hotmail.com. Good or bad, you'll still probably get some brownies out of the deal, but it's not really that great of a reward because she can't cook...except for spaghetti. She makes goooooood spaghetti.

Author's Note: This is part of a larger series called, "Everyone Says I Love You" (Are the Marx Brother references getting through yet? *G*). It's mook-lite, honest! Where can you find the rest of the series? Why, at Alyson Hurt's (un)frozen!

Bands of Gold: May 1981
by Mice

Chapter 3

William looked at his wife once more with an almost wild amazement. "I told you, Maddy, that I don't want my boy in dance class. What makes you think that going to this dance recital is going to change my mind?"

"I just have a feeling that after you see these kids in action and Bobby's face, you'll change your mind," Maddy explained calmly while making pulp out of her program. "And besides, this is your nephew's dancing debut, don't you want to be here for that?"

William grunted as he shifted in his seat. "A dance recital in this place in July. Haven't these people heard of air conditioning?"

"Shush, William. Jacob and Hollis are here." Maddy waved to her brother from her seat. "Where's Mom and Dad?"

"They're back stage wishing Cliff luck," Jacob said with a guilty smile.

"Is Bobby back there with them?"

"Not in the sense that he's back there getting ready to dance, William, no ... " Jacob went on nervously. As he sat down next to his sister, she promptly hit him.

"Bobby will be out before long, Willie," Maddy said with a small smile.

William grabbed his hat and stood up. "Hmmph. I'm going out for a smoke before this thing begins."

"It's going to begin in a few minutes!"

"Then I'll be back in a few minutes then, won't I?"

"Ah think Ah'll join Will for a bit ... keep him company ... " Hollis excused herself quickly.

Newly alone, Madeline hit her brother again. "I don't know why I ask you to lie, Jacob. You've never been able to do it. Never."

"Hollis is having another affair, Maddy."

Maddy sighed. "Still not an excuse, Jacob."

"Still a problem, though."

"Only because you're still with her. You need to leave her. I know if William ever cheated on me or even thought about it ... " Maddy shook her head. "I just don't know."

The lights in the Port Jefferson Theater for the Performing Arts dimmed and the audience was mostly hushed. As hushed as you can be in a performing arts theater will several children and miffed adults in the stifling July humidity with no air conditioning. The almost silence was drowned out by the voice of David Byrne on the loud speaker.

/And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack/

William Drake looked tenetively up at the stage where a group of girls Bobby's age were dancing in spangled black spandex costumes. Out of the group there were only three boys and William instantly doubted the power their father's had in the house. Who even knew if they had fathers?

/And you may find yourself in another part of the world/

Cliff, clad in black spandex leotard and a matching black head band with sequins, attempted to do a flying leap and landed clumsily on his knees, grinning all the way because people were looking at him, unaware of the idiot he was making himself out to be. William chuckled to himself, resolving that no son of his would ever wear spandex. Not his boy, his spitting image. After all, like father, like son.

/And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile/

William looked over to Hollis who was sitting next to Jacob. Proud of the woman that was beside him, and unaware of the idiot he was making himself out to be. Like son, like father.

/And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife/

Maddy nudged William to make him look back up on the stage where one of the other boys got up to take his turn at a solo. Clad in the same spandex outfit as Cliff, William's mouth fell open as he saw his only son spread his arms open like a bird and began to spin his way into sissydom.

/And you may ask yourself Well ... How did I get here?/

"But I liked dance classes, Mom ... !"

"And I liked watching you dance, Bobby."

"I was GOOD!"

"You were an angel."

"Then why do I have to quit?"

"Because your father doesn't want you to do it."

"That's all?"

"Isn't that enough?"

It was a lazy Wednesday afternoon. Bobby would have been playing with Cliff, but he was at dance class. Where he should have been. Where he would have been if his father wasn't such a jerk. Instead, Bobby was riding his bike around Port Jefferson, waiting until his swimming lessons were over. No one was going to make him get in the water if he didn't want to. Not even his stupid father.

Bobby looked at his watch; he had about half an hour until he should have been home. He contemplated going around the neighborhood once again on his bike, to help purport the myth that he was learning how to swim, but something in the young seven year old snapped. "I don't wanna lie anymore," he said in a small, sure voice.

He peddled down the street with nervous excitement. He had never gone against his father before and wasn't quite sure how he would take the news that Bobby wanted to continue dancing. Surely his father would listen to him.

Bobby ran up the few steps to the house, not noticing the extra car that was parked up front. Bobby looked around the house for his father, careful not to yell out for him. His father always got mad when he yelled inside the house. Not finding his dad anywhere, Bobby went to check his parent's bedroom. "Dad?" he asked in a quiet voice. "Are you in here? I need to talk--"

Bobby's seven year-old eyes finally digested the scene that was in front of him that didn't seem too terribly real. He didn't understand it fully, but he had seen and heard some things in his few years of living, and he knew that this was one thing that fathers were not supposed to do with aunts.

"Dad...?" Bobby asked once again, his voice now choked up with confusion. This time, his father heard the voice of his son and looked at him.

"Robert!" William's voice wasn't angry, just surprised, but it was enough to frighten the boy, Hollis, and himself.

Bobby opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. Instead, Bobby backed up and ran out of the house and rode his bike down the street, trying to forget about what he just saw.

The Drake and Bass family gathered around the elder Bass family's back yard for a private celebration of Jacob and Hollis's eleventh anniversary. Seth was at the grill cooking everything but chicken, being sensitive to his wife's dietary needs. Cliff and Holly were playing a game that had something to do with the toilet plunger. Maddy and Jacob were talking privately underneath the maple tree, too engrossed in each other to notice their respective spouses were at opposite ends.

At the far end of the backyard where no one could see, Hannah sat on the porch swing, rocking back and forth with a dull smile. Next to Hannah was her grandson Bobby, who eyes were now puffy and red after a good cry. He tried his best to try and tell her in his seven year-old grasp of English what had happened, but could only get a few words out at a time before he began to cry again, then Hannah would try her best to soothe him by stroking his hair. Hannah knew exactly what her grandson was trying to tell her. This was why her smile was dull and her touch was gentle.

Hannah turned her attention to Hollis who kept to herself, rather than throw herself at William. She shook her head as she tried to understand why out of all the people, William, the man she had always known to be solid and strong would do something so horrible to his family.

Bobby moved himself a bit to get more comfortable on the swing and Hannah leaned down to kiss his head. It would be a long time before anyone in the family would ever be comfortable again.

Two weeks later, Hollis Bass left her family. Eight months later, she gave birth to a baby boy.

Bobby Drake never took another dance class.

William Drake never forgave himself.

Madeline Drake never had a clue.

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