Notes: I was listening to Lute's image song Marionette, and this popped into my head. Something to note though, not all of this happens in the manga, and the stuff that is, is somewhat guesswork. I haven't been able to read all of the manga, but I know in general what happens.

Warnings: Spoilers for the manga, shounen ai, angst

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

By Rosethorn

I've always loved you. I know that you were older than I by several years, but I loved you just the same. I loved your smile, or that sheepish expression when your mother would catch you again at something you really shouldn't have been doing. Or when you'd get so excited about the bubbles we used to play with. Keh, sometimes you acted the same age as I.

He called me gay, did you know that? Your sister's (and I shudder to use this word) "consort" called me "gay" and proceeded to dress one of his friends—Raiel, I believe—up in a dress and tried to, oh God, "look at his panties". I had never been so mortified in my life, I swear. The bastard has the nerve to call me "homo nii-chan" to boot! Imagine my disgust to find out that Coronet, my little sister, was infatuated with him! Knowing you, you would have found it amusing. Keh, you probably would have joined in teasing me if you could see me now. Really see me, I mean…not just as that marionette strung along by Bass.

My hair's grown a bit since you saw me last, I'm afraid. You always kept yours cropped short. Mine's now down to my ankles, or thereabouts. And I've taken after my mother rather than my father. Remember her? She's was a delicate, fine-boned lady. Unfortunately, my features decided to go that route, much to my dismay growing up. At least it was suitable enough for mage-work, I suppose.

I…I've taken your place in the Magic Corps. Well, not exactly, I suppose. You were known as the "Mazoku of Sforzando" by the Mazoku of the north, did you know that? Keh, you probably did, but you decided it didn't matter.

I miss you. I still remember when Bass' army attacked the first time. I was about ten then; you were sixteen, I think. Little Flute-chan's birthday. You came storming out and defeated Drum first, then began to battle Bass himself. I remember watching in awe as you continuously battered him back.

But that all changed when your staff was broken.

It was torture then, to watch you get knocked around like you were one of your sister's first rag dolls. Just as I thought you were going to die, Bass stepped on the crystal part of your staff, somehow remaining intact. And then the whole world exploded.

I remember you channeling the last of your strength to save Flute-chan and deliver her back to her mother. I remember watching with horror and disbelief when you attacked Sforzando. It was then that I knew Bass was still alive, when I saw his head in your hand. I felt betrayed. Sometimes I still do.

It hurts. It hurts to remember your demise and then remember you running down the halls after a butterfly or playing tag with the younger children. Keh, I still remember that incident with Percuss' soup. How you managed to get the frog in the first place, I never want to know. That and convincing the cook to add all that extra pepper—or whatever it was.

You were always so nice to me. Me, the shy book-worm who didn't know how to make friends…still don't actually. You always made sure you had time for me, no matter what. That's probably one of the reasons I fell in love with you. Oh, I did my damndest not to show you, but I think you somewhat figured it out when I'd be blushing around you all the time. You were never stupid.

Your mother used to despair about you. Sometimes after you'd leave the throne room after your latest prank, she'd just put her head into her hands and sigh. Though when she'd catch sight of me, she'd give me a wry smile and tell me to go find you. Which I would promptly do. It was those times that I think you forgot I was six years your junior. You'd rant to me like I was your peer about your mother.

It was rather entertaining at times to watch. It was also another reason for my infatuation.

I know I wasn't supposed to fall in love with you, and God only knows I tried not to, but you proved to be one of the few people who wormed their way fully into my heart. I wish you were here for me to tell you that in person, but at the same time, I'm rather glad you're not. Does that make me a rather selfish person?

I defeated Drum again. Took a lot of work, but that bastard is now dead. Guitar escaped my grasp however; I was too drained from fighting Drum. I still think I'm an idiot for letting that happen. You wouldn't have been that exhausted…and even if you had been, you would have found a way to go on.

Your sister has gone with Hamel and Raiel to search for the Box. Trom and Coronet are with them, I believe. These days, things are so chaotic enough that I honestly don't know anymore. God, I wish you were here. You'd be able to help in so many ways. But Fate decided otherwise. For reasons all her own, she decided to put you with our enemies.

Do you have any idea what it's like…knowing that you're going to one day have to fight the person you love most? And you're going to have to either kill them or allow yourself to be killed. I don't know anymore which result would happen.

I think I hear your mother screaming. Something about…my God…So it's happening already. You're going trying to rebel against Bass to save your sister. You're mother's crying out to her, and I…I am going through the portal to help. I know this is the battle between us, because I know Bass will use you against me. I don't still don't know the outcome, but I know this:

I love you, Lute, and I'm coming.


Well, that's all. If you couldn't tell, this is done from Clarinet's perspective. In case y'all are curious, the fight kinda came out in a draw. Clarinet was (to the best of my knowledge) able to get Lute semi-freed from Bass, but was almost killed in the process. Lute managed to save Flute, but because his body had been inhabited by the Mazoku for so long, it quickly crumbled. Which is why I'm calling it a draw. Just thought I'd be informative…