Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this fic (those belong to Ngozi), nor do I own any of the music featured in this fic (which belongs to a whole bunch of different people, none of whom are me).
A/N: This is basically a playlist wrapped in a bit of narration, and I'm not apologizing for that. I'm also not apologizing for the fact that some of these songs came out after 2015. This isn't meant to be taken too seriously.
"Thank you all for coming," said Shitty when everyone had arrived at the Haus. Ransom, Holster, and Lardo were squashed onto the green couch; Jack had claimed the armchair and Bitty had pulled in a chair from the kitchen, while Ollie, Wicks, and the frogs had claimed the floor. "We are here because it's Valentine's Day, and most of us are single, and that is not a tragedy! We are here to celebrate the power of friendship, and we're going to do it in the best way possible: with tub juice and karaoke. The rules are simple: pick a song about friendship and serenade your pal with it. I'm going to kick us off. Jack, this is for you."
Shitty had somehow rigged his laptop up to the Haus TV, and he pulled up a karaoke version of Taylor Swift's "Long Live" on YouTube, grabbed a corded microphone—where had he gotten that?—and began singing. His voice was only kind of okay, but what he lacked in skill he made up for in enthusiasm. He barely even glanced at the screen, keeping his eyes mostly on Jack, and it really was a serenade.
Jack was grinning by the end, but all he said was, "I highly doubt anyone's ever taken us for a band of thieves in ripped-up jeans. For one thing, we're the richest guys on the team, and for another, you don't really wear pants."
"The point, my dear Jackabelle, was that I've had the time of my life fighting dragons with you," said Shitty, but he was still smiling. Clearly he knew Jack was just chirping him.
Jack's smile grew softer. "I know. And don't worry. Fate won't force us into a goodbye, and, even if it did, I would definitely tell my children your name. Once they got to a suitable age, of course," he concluded, grin becoming wicked once more.
Shitty opened his mouth to respond, but, before he got a chance, Holster broke in: "Yeah, yeah, your friendship is adorable. We get it. It's time for more singing! Rans?"
"Nah," said Ransom.
"What?!" yelped Holster.
"I'm just not feeling the singing, bro," said Ransom.
"But—" Holster started.
Lardo stood. "I'll sing with you, Holtz. Come on. I've got a good song." She pulled up a karaoke version of "What You Own" from Rent and said, "I'll take Roger; you take Mark?"
"Lards!" said Holster, almost reverently, bounding to his feet and offering a hand for a high five. "That's perfect!"
Everyone already knew Holster could sing; the surprise was that Lardo could, too. Both of them clearly knew the song backward and forward, and they even got the harmonies right. At the end of the song, they high-fived with the hands that weren't holding their mics and just stood there for a moment, grinning.
"All right, all right," Ransom grumbled, leveraging himself up off the sofa. "You got me. I want in. Can I have that mic, Lardo?"
"Sure," said Lardo, handing over the microphone and sitting back down.
"Swawesome," said Holster. "I've got the perfect song." He pulled up a karaoke version of "For Good" from Wicked.
Ransom made a face. "Seriously, bro?"
"Don't knock it!" said Holster. "Wicked is amazing."
Ransom sighed. "Fine."
Holster took Glinda's part and started singing; Ransom, surprisingly, knew the song well enough to get the tune right on Elphaba's part. Elphaba had the melody, which made things easier for Ransom, and, despite his initial grumblings, he was smiling softly at Holster by the end of the song.
When the song was over, Ransom and Holster just kept gazing into each other's eyes until Bitty stood up and took Holster's mic. "Y'all can keep making eyes at each other on the disgusting couch. It's my turn to sing."
Holster looked at Bitty questioningly. "You know that 'Halo' is not a platonic song, right, Bitty?"
"I do know songs by people other than Beyonce," Bitty retorts.
"Really?" chirped Ransom. "Why haven't we found that out until now?"
Bitty rolled his eyes and pulled up a karaoke version of "We're Going to Be Friends" by the White Stripes. "My best friend in middle school loved the White Stripes," he said. "There's no accounting for taste, but it's coming in handy now. Shitty, this is for you."
Shitty wiped at his eyes, and it didn't seem fake. By the time Bitty got all the way through the song, his voice steady if not rich, Shitty was openly crying.
Jack stood as soon as Bitty released his last note. "Okay, if it's time to make Shits cry, I need to be a part of this," he said, taking the microphone from Bitty and pulling up a karaoke version of "You're My Best Friend" by Queen.
Shitty cried harder but managed to say, "I'm not sure that song is even platonic." Jack just winked and started singing. His voice was kind of gravelly but not bad, all things considered, and he barely needed to look at the TV at all.
When he finished, Holster said, "Holy shit, yeah, that is definitely not platonic."
"I don't care," said Shitty, wiping his eyes one more time. "I know I sang to you already, but I need to respond to that." He stood, took the mic from Jack, and pulled up a karaoke version of Owl City's "Firebird." He couldn't be quite as energetic on this song as he'd been on "Long Live," but he sang with passion anyway. He was off-key, but nobody seemed to care.
Holster stood while Shitty was still singing the last line of the song. "If we're doubling up on our serenades, I need to sing to Rans again," he said when Shitty released his final note. He looked up a karaoke version of Taylor Swift's "I'm Only Me When I'm with You."
Shitty raised his eyebrows at Holster. "You gave Jack crap about 'You're My Best Friend' not being platonic, and now you're gonna sing this, brah?"
Holster shrugged. "I'd argue this is more platonic than 'You're My Best Friend.'" He hit the play button and launched into the song. It had some high notes, but Holster managed to hit them without even looking strained.
When Holster finished, he immediately sat down next to Ransom, who whispered, "Thanks, bro."
"Got your back," replied Holster, almost as quietly.
"Okay, frog time!" Chowder called, plucking the microphone from Holster's hand and scrambling to his feet. "Nursey and Dex, I hope you know I love both of you equally, but this song is for Nursey, because—well, you'll see." He found a karaoke version of "I'll Be There" by Walk off the Earth.
Chowder's singing voice was higher than his speaking voice would have indicated, but he sounded pretty good. He also clearly knew the song very well; he didn't look at the screen the entire time he sang.
By the end of the song, Nursey's arms were crossed, and he was frowning. "Did you seriously just sing me an entire song about Nursey Patrol?"
Chowder laughed. "You know it."
"Ugh! I can't believe you," said Nursey. "Just for that, I'm not serenading you back. Poindexter, come on, we're doing this." Nursey got to his feet and then held out his hand to help Dex stand, too.
"We're what now?" asked Dex.
"You. Me. Singing," Nursey clarified.
Dex sighed. "Fine. But pick something I know."
Nursey looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, "Wait, you said your sister Maeve likes musicals, right? Do you know Wicked?"
Dex shuddered. "Way too well."
Nursey grinned. "Okay. This is going to be our theme song if you ever visit me in New York." He found a karaoke version of "One Short Day."
"Okay, fine," said Dex, "but I'm Elphaba."
"Deal," said Nursey, hitting play.
Dex barely sang his first few lines at all, opting to speak them quietly instead, but after Nursey elbowed him he started actually singing, and his voice was pretty good. Not as good as Nursey's—that boy could do opera, holy shit—but still decent. Nursey started hamming up his acting as Glinda, and Dex got into character as Elphaba in return. It was hard to believe that the two of them had been at each other's throats just a couple of months ago.
When they finished singing, they bowed, and then Ollie got to his feet and took Dex's mic. "This is for Wicks," he said, pulling up a karaoke version of "Carry On" by fun. He had to stare at the TV screen most of the time to get the words right, but his voice was okay.
"Aww, thanks!" said Wicks when Ollie finished singing. He stood up, took the mic from Ollie, and said, "I suppose there's only one way to follow that." It turned out that he meant he'd follow it with another fun. song, "All Alright." He knew the song much better than Ollie had known "Carry On" and barely had to look at the TV at all. His voice was surprisingly good, too.
When Wicks finished singing, Jack got out of the armchair and said, "You're all going to chirp me for not knowing how to pick platonic songs again, but this one's for Lardo, for keeping us all in line and knowing how to deal with me being me." He pulled up a karaoke version of "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane and started singing. His voice was still gravely, and he didn't seem to know this song as well as he'd known "You're My Best Friend," but he still tried to face Lardo most of the time and give her a decent serenade.
Lardo hopped to her feet when Jack was done. "Thanks, Jack," she said. "That was really sweet. Mind if I return the favor?"
"Sure," said Jack, so Lardo pulled up a karaoke version of "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers. Her voice was just as good as it had been when it was blending with Holster's, but the solo gave her a better chance to shine, even though it wasn't terribly musically complicated. She clearly knew the song very well and was able to sing it directly to Jack.
To everyone's surprise, Jack stood again when Lardo was done singing, and he said, "Okay, I wasn't expecting to sing three songs tonight, but I just thought of another song. This one is kind of about how I feel about being your captain, because it's an absolute honor and I don't want to let any of you down." He found a karaoke version of Frank Turner's "If Ever I Stray," hit play, and started singing.
Bitty, Ransom, Holster, Shitty, and Chowder all stood when Jack was finished singing and mobbed him in what was basically an off-ice celly hug, and the rest of the team soon joined in. After several long moments, everyone but Bitty and Shitty withdrew from Jack, and Holster said, "Does anyone else feel the need to serenade someone they haven't yet serenaded?"
A chorus of nahs came from around the room.
"Swawesome," said Holster. "Because I know how we should wrap this up." He looked up a karaoke version of "525,600 Minutes" from Rent and asked, "Has everyone heard this song?"
Most people nodded.
"Cool," said Holster. "I know there are solos, but let's just all sing the whole song, and I'll take Joanne's harmony toward the end." More nodding, so he hit play.
It was hard to tell who started the scream-singing, but most likely it was Shitty. However it happened, by the time they got to "How about love?" everyone was at least halfway shouting. By the end of the song, everyone was full-on screaming, and they all mobbed each other in another off-ice celly hug after the final line.
"Happy Palentine's Day!" yelled Shitty.
"Happy Palentine's Day," everyone chorused back.