Welcome to yet another multi-chapter fic I will try my best to finish! :D
This one won't be long, probably about 3 chapters. This was born out of an anonymous request in my tumblr for a "band!AU fic where Allen is lead singer and also does the song writing and Kanda is just the disgruntled bass/guitar player Lavi (who is the drummer) forced to join." So thank you for your prompt, dear Anon! I made some tweaks here and there from the initial attempt on tumblr.
I always like writing these boys in different situations-their dynamics are always fun to explore! I hope you'd enjoy this one too while waiting for The Walk (which I will update soon, promise!). :)
Disclaimer: DGray-Man and its characters belong to Hoshino Katsura.
Chapter 1: Not Just a Pretty Face
Sometimes, changes could bring good things. Allen wondered if this was one of those instants, as he stared at the numbers of viewers under the video they had just uploaded around last week. In such a short time, it managed to get quite the attention.
All because of the latest additional to their band.
"More than a thousand views already?" A low whistle sounded from his left and Allen turned his head to find Lavi stealing a look on his monitor. "In one week, man! I knew dragging Yuu into this would give us a boost!"
"Because of his girly face," Allen muttered begrudgingly. As if to prove his point he scrolled down to the comments which mostly consisted of girls fawning over the new member of their band. It annoyed him for some reason, even if he kind of had expected this.
Lavi laughed and patted his back none-too-gently. "Oh, c'mon, Al! You know he's not just a pretty face! Don't let him hear you say that, by the way."
"I know." Allen murmured under his breath. As much as he didn't want to admit it, Kanda was a great bassist and his style brought a refreshing color to their music. It even blended nicely with Allen's voice and guitar in a way he had never expected before.
The pretty face was a nice bonus. Not that he would say it out loud.
It went without saying anyway.
The Outsiders. Allen wasn't quite sure what they had been thinking when he and Lavi came up with that name, but it had sounded cool at the time. It was just your typical high school band started by a group of friends who played just because they loved it. It had started as a hobby, they liked doing covers of famous songs—adding their own colors to the music.
Of course, Lavi had been the one to initiate it, just because one day he found out that Allen was pretty good with the guitar. And the piano, actually, but Lavi claimed the guitar was enough to start their little band. Somehow, he convinced Allen that his singing voice was unique-kind of soft and androgynous, which quickly became their band's trademark.
Originally, Allen and Lavi had their good friend Toma as the bassist, but just last month, barely one year after their band was formed and when it started getting noticed on YouTube, Toma had to move away for college. Allen had wondered if it would be the end of it-but Lavi didn't want to let go of what little fame they had been gaining.
"I know a guy," he'd claimed at the time. Then, he grinned and added, "actually, you know him too."
When Lavi's grin widened just so, Allen couldn't help but get a bad feeling about it.
His intuition was proven correct when, the next day, Lavi showed up with a grumpy, long-haired prick Allen hadn't seen since said prick graduated high school along with Lavi and Toma.
"Ugh." Allen didn't even bother hiding his dislike. "It's you."
"Shut it, Sprout. It's not like I want to be here."
"Now, now, please get along!" Lavi pulled them both into one-armed hugs with each arm. "Yuu, you've seen our videos. You know Allen's not even half-bad. And Allen, you might not know this but Yuu's ridiculously good with bass. Why not try jamming and build up some chemistry between you two-"
"Did you even agree to this?" Allen couldn't help asking, because honestly? It was hard to believe that Kanda would even want to join them.
Okay, so Kanda and Lavi was close-been friends since junior high (or so Allen had heard), so it was probably not that weird Kanda was willing to help Lavi, but as Allen remembered, the first time they had formed The Outsiders, around the end of his first year, Lavi had offered the bassist position to Kanda and had been rejected on the spot. Something about it being too troublesome. Then again, they had been about to enter their senior year. Lavi was just simply too smart and Toma loved music too much.
"I didn't," Kanda finally replied with snort after a rather awkward pause.
"I have his weakness!" Lavi announced merrily and barely dodged a punch from Kanda. He went on without a care, "Yuu owes me one for that one time and I'm just askin' him to repay it now."
"Do I want to know-"
"No," Kanda barked through gritted teeth and walked away further into the basement-turned-studio where the guitar stand and the drum set were set up. "Now, are we playing or not? Don't waste my time."
Allen's eyebrow twitched. This guy seriously acted so high and mighty! He wondered if it would really be worth it bringing him into the band.
"C'mon, Al," Lavi persuaded gently. "Just give it a shot. Play anything and let 'im follow your lead."
Now, those white eyebrows rose in curiosity. "So, I don't have to decide with him what to play-"
"Oi. I'm right here, morons. The hell you keep talking like I wasn't?" Kanda asked bitingly as he took his bass out of the case and slung it over one shoulder. "Well? Come at me, Bean Sprout."
"It's Allen!" He corrected out of habit and rolled his eyes. Allen did as he was told, though, and went to grab his guitar, meeting Kanda's challenging look with his own.
As he adjusted the strings, Allen wondered if this was really going to work. A band needed more than just skilled members, but also a good chemistry between them. Now if the members hated each other, how was that going to work?
Okay, so Allen had to admit he didn't really hate Kanda. The guy was just impossible to get along with, unless you were Lavi, but.
Allen began strumming a melody-and it wasn't any of the songs they had covered. It was actually a song he was writing in his free time that even Lavi didn't know about yet. Allen decided if it wasn't going to work, might as well make it clear from the beginning, right? If it was a song Kanda didn't recognize, he doubted the guy could-
A soft, deep melody flowed along, creating a harmony with his own guitar that Allen hadn't expected. Yes, it was a little awkward in places because Kanda didn't know this song but after one round of Allen playing, he seemed to have figured out the base keys and chords and played accordingly. But what surprised Allen most was-the melodious bass. It wasn't like Toma's whose sounds blended into the background, taking the role of a supporter. Kanda's bass demanded attention with its continuous, rhythmic melody and yet it could sync neatly with Allen's guitar.
Kanda's bass wasn't a supporting role like Toma's. His demanded equal attention without going overboard-like a duet.
Then, the drum joined them, and it was then that Allen noticed Lavi was already grinning behind it, effortlessly creating a beat that matched the mood of the song Allen hadn't even introduced: not too soft but melancholic and soulful and-
Allen almost felt like crying.
They finished the song like they'd known it by heart, letting Allen close with the same melody he started it with. When Allen fell silent for a second too long, Kanda had to be the one to break it:
"What song was that?"
"Ah." Allen's right hand came up to sheepishly scratch the back of his head. "Just something I came up with-"
"Ooh, you've finally decided to do originals?" Lavi asked in excitement, which had Allen cringing a bit inwardly. Not that Allen could blame him. They'd been doing covers for a year now, even their long-time fans were starting to wonder if they'd ever do originals. And the reason they hadn't—well.
Lavi had ears for music and creating just the right beat, but not poetic enough to write lyrics. And they had agreed since the beginning that if they would ever create their own song, it would be up to Allen—who even before this band was formed, had been composing small pieces here and there.
"No-not yet." Allen finally replied with a nervous laugh. "I've just been toying with the melody a bit. It doesn't even have lyrics-"
"Then write them." Kanda pulled the sling of his bass off his shoulder, then looked straight into his eyes and added, "With the right treatment, that melody has potential. You're actually decent enough with a guitar."
"In Yuu-talk that means you're awesome, Al!" Lavi grinned widely. "Enough to impress him, at least."
"Tch. Shut up-"
"Thanks, I guess?" Allen cut him off and walked closer to Kanda, smiling widely to hide his warming cheeks and said, "You're not half-bad yourself. I kind of like-"
"The sound of his bass! The way he plays-"
Lavi burst out laughing and walked up to them only to ruffle Allen's hair and ignore the way Allen protested in favor of asking, "So he passed your test, right?"
"Well." Allen cleared his throat. "He's good, I'll give him that."
"Oi. Again, I'm right here-"
"Great! So Yuu," Lavi sing-songed as he took a few steps to his self-proclaimed best friend, "You'll join us, right?"
When those thin lips pulled into a self-satisfied smirk, Allen was starting to have doubts this was a good idea. Especially when Kanda looked at him with that smirk and said, "If Bean Sprout here asks me nicely, then maybe I'll consider it."
"Wh-" Allen wanted to say no. Say that they could find someone else if Kanda was going to be a dick, but at the same time?
He knew Kanda was skilled. The way he played his bass was different than what he was used to hearing from even the popular bands and although he didn't want to admit it, Allen might have fallen in love with the sound of Kanda's bass. The deep, rhythmic notes that was surprisingly soft yet also powerful. It was almost like a jazz bass, with a sound of its own that is so full and rich, but not overpowering and it had worked to compliment his guitar-
He really wanted to know what it would sound like if he sang to it.
So, Allen swallowed his pride, looked up at Kanda with a determined look and said, "I'd like you to join us."
Kanda raised one eyebrow as if to say is that all?
Allen took a deep breath and added, "Please."
The smirk on Kanda's face grew wider and for the next two weeks Allen had to endure Kanda's smugness every time they met up for practice.
But at the end of the day, Allen grudgingly admitted that it was worth it.
"I told you just hide my face or something. Isn't it enough to show just my hands playing the bass?"
Allen tried not to jolt at the new voice, and when he turned his head, sure enough Kanda was walking towards them—still huddling in front of Lavi's laptop playing their first cover video after Kanda officially joined.
They'd decided to do Lost Star because they wanted to do a really popular song to introduce Kanda with. So yes, perhaps it was also one of the reasons how this video garnered over 1,000 views within a week. Not to mention Allen played both the guitar and the piano (recorded separately) besides singing, so he had his fair share of attention, but.
Half the comments were about how hot Kanda was. Allen tried not to laugh at the tick in Kanda's left eye as he leaned over to read them.
"Look at that, Yuu! Your face is a huge selling point—ouch, don't hit me!" Lavi whined and scooted away from the murderous aura from his long-haired friend.
Kanda raked his hair with one hand and sighed. "I thought you wanted me here for my skill, not how I look-"
"Eh, I'd say your girly look is still a plus," Allen finally said, barely managing to throw away his annoyance at those fawning comments. When he realized he was on the receiving end of Kanda's Death GlareTM, Allen quickly placed both hands in front of his chest in a placating manner. "Ah, I mean. You know how sometimes visual stimulation is more effective?"
"Personally, I don't mind if more people get to know about us because of your pretty face—" Allen dodged a punch. "I mean. Sure, that may be why they get interested at first, but our music is what will make them stay and want more. Right?"
"Hear that, Yuu! Your face is a perfect marketing tool-"
Allen elbowed Lavi on the ribs, because saying that was just going to be counterproductive.
"Tch." Kanda glared one last time at them both. "So, you're going to sell my face. What do I get in return?"
"Fame?" Allen offered.
"Not interested. Try again."
"Allen's bod-OW! Al, stop elbowing me, will ya?"
"Then please stop speaking nonsense," Allen hissed through his teeth while keeping his smile intact.
Kanda scoffed and called them idiots under his breath, before finally he said, "Let's do your song."
Allen blinked. "Uhm? But I don't have any-"
"Weren't you working on something? Write the lyrics, then we can work on the music." Kanda's tone left no room for argument-and he sounded so confident, too. Perhaps a little ambitious. "I want to do something original, not just covers."
Perhaps Lavi sensed his hesitation, so he ruffled Allen's hair and added, "But you can take it easy, yeah? In the meantime, let's work on another cover, 'kay? Didn't you say you wanted to do Sweater Weather?"
Humming noncommittally, Allen finally smiled and nodded his head. "Yeah. Let's do that first."
"Is it just me, or are you not really interested in working on your own original songs?" Kanda raised an eyebrow. "You do know you can't just do covers forever if you want to get anywhere—"
"I know that," Allen replied perhaps more than a little defensive. "The songs just aren't ready yet."
"Or maybe you aren't ready for them."
"You would know, wouldn't you? After being in the band for, what, a few weeks?" Allen finally snapped. Kanda had always had that effect on him—why was it so easy for Kanda to rile him up like this? "If you're so impatient then you're more than welcome to write your own songs—"
"Hey, guys, easy there." Lavi put an arm around Allen and reached out to pat Kanda's shoulder. "No need to rush things, yeah?" He looked to Kanda here and smiled—and somehow that was enough to make Kanda's mouth snap shut. "Since we now have a new formation, we should take our time building up our chemistry and all that, kay?"
Allen quieted down, and Kanda let out a huff but otherwise said nothing. At a glance, they might seem to end this almost-fight rather peacefully, but the atmosphere was even heavier than when Kanda and Allen would have their shouting match.
At least the three of them knew they still had a long way to become a solid band.
-to be continued-
Kindly let me know your thoughts about this AU, please? :')