Madi had had One Day More stuck in her head for three days now. She had been really into musicals, Before. Mostly classic stuff, though she had taught herself the whole of Alexander Hamilton.
Then Ray had come and sat with her. That had been unexpected, she had never been that close to him. Nor to anyone except Billie Joe and Hayley, really.
"I heard you singing Les Mis as I was passing. I didn't realize you were into musicals, and you can do all the parts, together, really well, which is very hard. I should know, I tried."
"Don't patronise me, Toro."
"I'm not being patronising, you're good! I can't find many others here that would sing musical numbers with me."
"You're into musicals?"
"How did you think I got my name?"
"I'm half Puerto Rican. I was into West Side Story when I was younger. The Jets were all-American boys, the Sharks immigrants from Puerto Rico. Better dancers, but more likely to die in the ensuing mess. You knew that already, I know. But I thought, choosing my Killjoy name, you've got Frank naming himself after a swear word, G after something that stops the revels we all despised as teens, Mikey after a poisonous snake, and I decided I might as well say something intellectual. So I chose Jet Star, denoting a treasured member of the gang that would have killed me, had I been on their streets. I found it ironic, I suppose."
"You have a depressed side! I thought you were overly cheerful and 'everything's fine it will never go wrong' like everyone else here. I thought my house was the only one with issues, but turns out one of the Fab Four is a mess."
"All of the Fab Four is a mess, trust me. Four widowers, all lost our kids. I feel sorry for Frank. He had three, the rest of us only had one each, though Mikey's Kristin was pregnant at the time. That was his wife. You knew that too."
A slow nod from Madi.
"We all lost someone. My dads, for example."
"I'd never debate that. To be honest, yours was worst. We lost our families in the initial blast. I didn't see Christa and James. The boys wouldn't let me."
"James? Is that your son?"
"Yeah. Looked like a mini-me. I was teaching him guitar. We joked that we'd end up with a legacy band, Bandit singing, Rowan on bass, James on guitar, one of the Iero twins on rhythm guitar, Miles on drums."
"You know, I don't believe that you were a musical theatre kid. Care to prove it?"
Ray threw his head back and laughed. "What, like 'When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dying day'?"
"I was thinking Hamilton, but that works."
"I can do Hamilton. 'I'm just like my country, I'm young, scrappy and hungry and I'm not throwing away my shot'. Have you heard his version of Alexander Hamilton about Puerto Rico?"
They talked for hours, but in that moment Madi realised she had a family here outside of her house. He was one of the leaders of their compound and yet he was talking to her. Madi had found a friend.