Proud Member
Feb 28, 2018
Title: Viral
Summary: An AU Fic. The Jackson 5 are used to being splashed all over the internet, a YouTube video made them famous when Michael was just 9 years old. A tweet sent from the wrong account is about to start a chain reaction that will make Michael go viral for all the wrong reasons.
Warnings: Depictions of violence, physical violence, implied/referenced child abuse, emotional/psychological abuse
Notes: An Alternative Universe Fic setting Michael and The Jackson 5 in an era of social media and technology.
Michael is sixteen in the "current" day but chapters based in his early teen and childhood will appear. I have kept the Jackson 5 career line as it was, for example they are signed to Motown when Michael is nine, they still release the same songs, Joseph is still abusive.
Status: Ongoing story.

“One member of The Jackson 5 continues to make shockwaves this morning as a photo of the youngest Motown hitmaker went viral on various social media platforms. The photo shows the teenage singer half clothed.......”

“....the tweet aimed at father Joseph Jackson was sent in the early hours of Sunday morning......”

“....many are starting to wonder, is fame simply getting too much for Michael Jackson?”

The headlines and various Op-ed pieces blur before his eyes as he stares down at the tablet in front of him.

“Michael! Open this door, Michael!”
He sits with his back against the wood as it shudders beneath the hammering fist of his irate father.

He covers his ears with his hands and tries to drown him out.




A kick.


“If you don’t come out I’m gonna come in and drag you out”

The tablet slips from his lap.

Michael scrambles from the floor as the wood splinters on its hinges and the furious beast of Joseph fills the doorway to his bedroom.

He has nowhere to run.

Joseph grabs him by the front of his shirt.

The screen of the tablet crunches beneath his feet.

Michael cowers beneath his fist.

Chapter 1: 3 years prior
3 years prior

Twitter is a buzz with the latest Jackson 5 single. There’s a poll questioning whether it’s better than their debut I want you back and a million cropped pictures of Jermaine shirtless from the music video. Michael itches to interact with a joke at his brother’s expense but he’s got to toe the Motown PR party line.

He is not to post that Jermaine Jackson snores like a foghorn and wore the same socks two weeks running on their tour of Europe.

He is not to break the hearts of teenage girls everywhere by announcing his brothers have screwed nearly every groupie they have encountered from Gary Indiana to Encino, regardless of whether their younger brothers may or may not be sleeping less than a foot away from them.

No religion. No politics. No opinions. No cold hard truths.

Just half baked lies and fairytales.

He is to smile, tweet the occasional selfie and announce that his favourite Jackson 5 track is whichever one is currently racing up the charts thanks to Spotify or Apple music.

He is not to mention his solo music outside of a promotional setting and he is under no circumstance to mention the fact that he has been writing his own songs since he was 11.

He is definitely not to mention what being a member of the famous Jackson family is really like.


Each brother has their own account, and have done since they burst onto the scene after Motown snapped them up when their cover of I got the feelin’ by James Brown went viral on youtube when Michael was nine. They are monitored and managed by one of Motown’s social media moguls who are scarily good at making their tweets sound like they came from the mind of a teenage boy.

A very bland, squeaky clean teenage boy.

@MikeJ5 regularly posts about his favourite Tiktok dances, snacks, and movies.

But he never posts anything of substance.

Michael wonders what would happen if something he really thought escaped onto the web.

What if he posted one of his candid photos of Diane and captioned her as smokin’?

Maybe Motown would explode.

He stifles a giggle. Lights were meant to be out half an hour ago.

If he gets caught on his phone, he’ll really get it.

He scrolls aimlessly through the twitter feeds. There’s the usual fangirls, the ones who love everything they do. There’s the haters. The trolls. The ones who post unflattering photos, ones that would never be approved by Motown.

There’s the usual discussion about his voice. About what he’ll sound like when it changes.

There’s a lot about who will marry Jackie. Or Jermaine. Tito gets an occasional vote.

A new post pops into the fray. Motown are working overtime tonight.

@MikeJ5 Thx for the support guys. Shooting the video for “Little Bitty Pretty One” was so much fun! Great to cover the classics.

Michael frowns. He has nothing against the classics, it just burns him up he can’t record his own. He’s sick of being told what to sing and how to sing it.

He’s sick of being controlled.

Before he can think about it, he finds himself setting up his own email account, one free of the Motown ideology. He uses it to set up another twitter account.

@Soulfan72 I think Michael shud be allowed to sing more free. Imagine if he cud sing James Brown like he used to.

He presses send and away it flies.

A real opinion. All of his own.

No party line needed.