Title: Melodies Of Life

Author: Atariel Tsukai

Date: March 5, 2015

Summary: [AU] The Lindblum High School Theater Club is invited to perform at Alexandria High. Can a weekend trip turn into something more for Zidane, who has been dreaming of an opportunity like this?

Rating: T

Authoress's Note: Okay, so I think my plan of alternating which story I'm updating is going to work out pretty well! This first chapter has come so easily to me and I still have ideas in mind for You're Not Alone! Hopefully I can keep this up and you guys don't get too upset with me for working on two fics at one time! Enjoy! (Also, yes, the chapter title is a play on one of my other fandoms: Ouran High School Host Club! w)

Disclaimer: Nothing different for this new story. I still don't own Final Fantasy IX or its characters.

.ix.

Chapter I: Lindblum High School Theater Club

"'An' they lived happily eva after!'"

"If we do one more play like that, I swear I'm going to throw up all over the stage."

"Well, I sure don't hear any of y'all comin' up with anything, Sugar!"

"I swear, if you call me Sugar one more time. . . "

"Oh, pardon me, I forgot you'd rather go by Shorty, ain't that right?"

"Zidane, aren't you going to stop them? They've been at it the entire ten minutes of class now. It's getting a little ridiculous. This is supposed to be a relaxing club period."

Azure eyes blinked a few times, then wandered lazily away from the beautiful world outside the window and back into the comparatively gloomy classroom. "You two should just get married already. You act like an old couple," the bored teen said. He had long blond hair that was pulled back from his face with a sea green ribbon, which matched the vest he wore over an old-fashioned white sleeveless shirt complete with frilled collar and another ribbon. If he was not part of the Lindblum High School's Theater Club, people probably would have questioned his – and the rest of his friends' – choice of attire.

His gaze was met with a death glare from a pair of terra-cotta eyes that belonged to his best friend. Blank was a short redhead with an even shorter temper. He wore a thick leather band across the upper part of his face, which usually covered his eyes whenever he was not around his friends and helped hold his spiky copper hair up, as well as a tank top and shorts both also made of leather that showed off his small, but noticeably built body. "What the hell is wrong with you today?" he asked, crossing his bare arms over his chest. "You're usually right up there with Rubes, acting out some ridiculous scene."

"Ridiculous? Why in tarnations are ya in a theatre club if ya think actin' is ridiculous!?" Ruby put both gloved hands on her hips and leaned towards Blank, her white low-cut blouse showing off more than was allowed according to the high school's dress code. The silver-haired female took a few steps closer, her asymmetrical teal skirt swishing back and forth around her thin legs as she moved. She brushed back part of the sky blue bow that held her hair in place so her onyx orbs could get a better look at the redhead. He, however, just rolled his eyes and sidestepped her, moving closer to Zidane.

A slightly exaggerated sigh escaped the blond's lips and he shook his head a bit. "It's just a really nice day out. Can you blame me for not wanting to be cooped up in here? I think I'm gonna skip classes for the rest of the day."

"No the hell you aren't, Tribal. Not on my watch," a gruff voice said as the classroom door opened and a rather large man stood in the doorway. He had purple hair on top of his head, as well as in the form of a mustach and beard, and thick goggle-like glasses that he wore all the time, keeping everyone from knowing exactly what his eyes looked like. His outfit had so many colors and pieces that Zidane sometimes wondered if he was colorblind, or just completely lacking a sense of style.

Azure eyes rolled. "Of course you decide to do your job as soon as I want to leave. Couldn't you have waited a little longer and just yelled at the rest of them for letting me go?" Zidane grumbled under his breath as he pulled his feet back onto the windowsill he was sitting on.

"You know, little shits like you are the reason I hate my job."

"Hah, really? And here I thought I was your favorite! Damn," the blond said sarcastically with a cocky smirk. "Anyways, when are you gonna tell us what the club is doing next? We're expected to put on a play some time soon, aren't we?" Zidane asked. He would never admit it, but he actually enjoyed arguing with Baku, the leader of the Lindblum Theater Club and the teacher in charge of him and the rest of his friends for this particular period. It was always entertaining, to say the least. The man was not afraid to tell things like they were and treated them all like his own children, rather than students, which seemed fitting since they were all orphans.

A frown came to the grown man's lips. "You mean Marcus hasn't told you yet?" Baku asked in an annoyed manner, turning his attention to the only junior in the club.

"I couldn't get a word in between Ruby and Blank fighting, Cinna's complaining, and Zidane's moping," the upperclassman said with a shake of his head. The theater club president was even more muscular than Blank. He wore a red bandana over his hair that, much like the redhead's leather band, usually covered his eyes. He had a blue sleeveless shirt and matching shorts, as well as wide belts around both wrists, diagonally across his torso, and around his hips.

"Oh, come on, Marcus. We all know that you love to hear yourself talk. We've never stopped you before," Cinna, the last member of the Lindblum High School Theater Club, otherwise known as Tantalus, teased with a wide grin. He was the only student member with facial hair, as if he were trying to make up for the fact that he was often teased by the other guys for having the face and body of "a creepy baby". Of course, it did not help that the brown short-sleeved shirt and shorts her wore were much too small for his body. Or that his eyes seemed to glow an odd gold from the sunken bags around them. Or that he did not really have any hair on top of his head.

Marcus just scoffed. "Right. Well, listen up. We're taking our show on the road this time. Alexandria High invited us to put on a performance for their school festival since they do not have a theater club of their own to do so. They're asking us to perform Lord Avon's 'I Want To Be Your Canary', which is apparently a fan favorite over there." A smirk came to the junior's lips when he was greeted by dumbfounded expressions from two of the four sophomores. "Of course Blank and Cinna haven't heard of it before, so this should be real interesting."

Zidane grinned widely, his attention now completely on Marcus as he spoke. "It'll be fine! You, me, and Rubes can carry the whole show, like usual!" the blond said with a laugh. He leaned in excited, further away from the window and in closer to his small group of friends.

Blank eyed his best friend for a moment and shook his head some. "Right. Anyways, what is this play about?" he asked.

The simple question had both Zidane and Ruby jumping up from their spots and hopping on the slightly raised section of the classroom that served as a practice stage. "'I Want To Be Your Canary' is a tale of star-crossed lovers! Princess Cornelia," the blond began with a dramatic gesture to the silver-haired female standing next to him.

She curtseyed in return, and then held a hand out towards him. "An' Marcus, a mere commoner who Cornelia's father, King Leo-" They both turned their open hands towards Baku. "-would neva approve of!"

"Right, so Leo arranges for Cornelia to marry the handsome, but boring Prince Schneider," Zidane continued quickly with a wave to Marcus, earning a death glare from the upperclassman and snickers from his fellow sophomores. "Cornelia and Marcus decide to run away together so they can elope and live away from the kingdom." He grabbed Ruby by the shoulders and they ran across the small stage, as far away from the others as they could get. "Leo comes with his men, Blank and Cinna, to strike Marcus down just before he and Cornelia can rendezvous. . . "

"Cornelia is about to join Marcus when she sees Leo about to kill him and jumps in front of her father's blade, so she is struck down instead!" Ruby finishes with a dramatic faint to the cool floor.

Zidane dropped down and took Ruby's face in both hands like he was going to kiss her, watching out of the corner of his azure eyes to see Blank's face turning a bright shade of pink, but instead took both of her hands and pulled her to her feet. They each held out a hand, waving excitedly. "Tadaa~!" they exclaimed in unison before each taking a bow.

Cinna clapped in awe and Blank turned away, clearly unamused by the blond's antics. "Well, someone's feeling better, all of the sudden," he mumbled with a shake of his head. He leaned against the nearby wall and crossed is arms over his chest, now taking a turn to silently brood.

Zidane grinned cheekily. "We're going somewhere I've only every dreamed of going. Of course I'm feeling better!" he said happily before turning to Marcus once more and asking, "So, when's the festival? When do we leave?"

"Right after school on Friday. We get to do three performances – one shortly after we get there, one around noon on Saturday night, and an encore early Sunday morning before we come back here."

"Friday. . . as in tomorrow? You do remember that Cinna and I don't know the play as well as you guys?" Blank asked, sounding annoyed.

"It'll be fine! You two are only side characters, so there aren't too many lines for you to memorize. And if it comes down to it, you can just improvise! You're both really good at that!" Zidane said with a reassuring grin.

Baku watched the five students with mild curiosity. The band of misfits were always a mess like they were right then, but one thing was sure - they were all in for a very interesting weekend.

.ix.

Authoress's Note: So, kinda short chapter, but I wanted to use this chapter to introduce our favorite group of actors (even though we all know and love them so much already, hahaha). Anyways, Zidane and Ruby doing a quick run-through of "I Want To Be Your Canary" is one of the funnest things I have written! It just seemed like something very Zidane-and-Ruby-like! I hope y'all loved reading it as much as I loved writing it! Please review, especially if you have any ideas that you'd like to see in this new story!