An Early Rehearsal

Teddy Bear: "Hey guys, what's up? We're going to try to type this as fast as we can cause Queen has to go to Alabama tomorrow to visit her brother."

Suddenly Queen Dagger crawls in, acting as if she'd been beaten up.

Queen Dagger: "Aagggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Teddy Bear: "What's wrong with you?"

Queen Dagger: "We had a drama meeting for the plays we're doing. It...It was... FIVE HOURS LONG! AGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!! So many lines...So many..."

Teddy Bear is totally wierded out.

Teddy Bear: "Ok...I think you should just start the story now..."

Garnet's eyes immediately widened at Marcus's reply. Her mouth opened slightly ajar. Old blushes began to color their way through her porcelain skin as she recalled their last encounter.

"Ah." Said Marcus, his blue eyes twinkled at the love-struck princess. "You do know 'im."

Ruby rolled her eyes again, softly scoffing at the image of the man she detested most.

Before another word could be spoken, a blonde smiling girl burst through the front door.

It was Roxi. Roxi was a very upbeat and chipper member of the group. She was always smiling and rarely ever cried, or even frown. She was very experienced in the acting field, having starred un twelve plays during her seventeen years of existence. She was a master at any role, however Roxi lacked the skills of memorization when it came to speaking lines, so she was usually cast small roles, or parts that required dancing.

Roxi had bright blonde hair, that bounced up and down in its loose ponytail as she bounded over to give her three friends hugs. Marcus's had been the longest, Ruby and Garnet noticed with great interest.

Roxi smiled a smile that was literally as wide as a jack-o-lantern's.

"Hey Rox." Greeted Marcus. "What's up?"

"Oh, you know. The usual!" She giggled in reply. "Anyway, guess what?! Cinna's bringing a friend of his, to try out for the part of Marcus! And he's sooo cute! GASP! Oh! Here they come now! Quickly! I'll arrange the chairs!"

And before anyone could say anything else, Roxi bounded over toward the stage to manage the seating arrangements.

More people then made their entrance. A red-haired boy, an older-looking boy with a slight beard, and to Garnet's joy, Blank.

"Oh, hey guys!" Squealed Roxi in the background, as if she had been there the whole time. "Come on over! You can help me arrange the chairs!"

Cinna smiled and immediately headed towards her direction.

Blank gave a small warm smile to Garnet before following his friend, causing Garnet's heart to pound.

The red-head, whose name was Amarant, followed without uttering a word, his face hidden in his long dark rose red locks.

Cinna was a natural at acting, he had only done it for three years, but many thought him a good actor because of him being capable of making himself cry.

(a/n: ⌠I'd just like to add, in case is you've pondered it, Garnet has been acting for only two years-but her excellence makes up for the short experience!")

Amarant, was definitely not of the talkative type, and 'I Wanna Be Your Canary' would be his first play. He seemed to like tackling only serious roles, and always seemed annoyed whenever his fellow peers goofed odd. Nobody knew why he even joined the theatre group.

"Hey, wow!""Ruby suddenly said, causing Garnet to jump. "D' you know that I have a lipstick that same color?" She pointed to Garnet's soft purple lips. "That same eye shadow too!"

Garnet immediately gulped. 'Maybe I shouldn't have went through her cosmetic bag after all...' She put on her best innocent look. "Oh. Really?" She said.

"Awesome how long that stuff lasts, eh?" Continued Ruby, ignoring Garnet's reply. "Tha's a special brand. A friend sent it to me. From Lindibulm. Isn't it great?!"

"Oh. Oh yeah!" Garnet laughed nervously.

Thankfully, Marcus unknowingly came to Garnet's rescue. "Hey, as much fun it is to secretly discuss how awesome I am, I want you guys to come over here. I want us to look professional and ready when Baku comes."

Baku was the director. Although he jokingly flirted with Garnet, Ruby, and Roxi, he was very serious about the play, and did not tolerate slacking.

Just as Ruby and Garnet reached Marcus onstage, Baku entered, along with a panting Enero and Bonero; the ones that were to play bodyguards.

"G'd thing ya entered jus' as I did, or the door wuld'v been closed on 'ya! Bwa ha ha ha!" Baku laughed as if he had cracked a humorous joke.

Enero and Benero laughed nervously along, probably feeling that they had no other choice.

Baku was a man quite large in size. He often wore engineer-type clothes, along with work goggles. To Garnet, he resembled a big bear-a bear with goggles and purple hair.

"'Kay people!" He shouted, clapping his "paws". Le's get started with this thing!"

Everyone was seated in a circle onstage, all poised and ready-well except Amarant who had his arms crossed and his head drooped.

Baku sauntered over and plopped between Garnet and Roxi.

"How's me beautiful lasses, eh?" He asked, placing both arms around each girl's shoulder.

Roxi giggled.

"Um...Fine. Just fine. And you?" Said Garnet. She gave him a warm smile, although she really wished to set his hand ablaze-although that was a task only Vivi could accomplish.

"Nev'r been better." To Garnet's relief, he released both his arms. "So, Marcus. What's happen'in? We weren't plannin to have rehearsal til Friday. Why's it two days early?"

"Well I heard Garnet was havin' a bad day, so..."Marcus answered, his eyes sparkling towards the princess's direction.

"Is that so?" Baku faced Garnet. Before she could answer, he wrapped his arm around her shoulder again. "Well you always have us, and I'm sure rehearsal will help make 'ya feel better!"

He then embraced Garnet in an awkward bear hug.

Garnet slyly gave Marcus an evil glare. Marcus smiled in return, and tried hard not to laugh, for he knew how much she hated to be touched by Baku.

"Alright now!"Said Baku, releasing Garnet. He had immediately been switched to serious director mode. "So le's start. 'K. You guys know where our binders are, so...yea..."

Nobody moved a muscle.

"Um...Baku..." Began Marcus, speaking in an uncertain tone.

"Yes?" Baku asked, facing him. He didn't seem fazed by Marcus's attitude at all.

"Well..." Marcus bit his lip and made a face. "You see, we were wandering when you were going to start casting...The play's in only twenty-two days..."

"Bwa ha ha ha! You mean that the 24th is in 22 days?! Hmm...Wow. Where did all the time fly, eh? We have enough time though, we'll just hafta have a heck alatta rehearsals is all..." Answered Baku, rubbing his belly.

"Um...Ok..." Said Garnet, in a tone as uncertain as Marcus's. "When do you think casting will be?"

Baku gave a fake sigh of irritation. "You and ur casting!"He said. "Alright, I guess I hafta chose a casting date fer Garnet here." Garnet blushed at this, and looked down at her feet shyly. After a moment of consideration Baku formed a conclusion. "How 'bout...uh...Next Saturday? On the...eh...twelfth?"

Everyone seemed to agree with the deadline.

Although it worked for her, Garnet could not feeling nervous that she only had ten days to prepare┘

"Alright!" Said Baku, breaking Garnet's thoughts of inner worry. "Le's begin already!"

The practice was two hours long.

They had begun with a couple breathing exercises, ones that Garnet found quite silly and unnecessary.

They then took turns reading lines of ever character of their same gender. Garnet read all the lines of Cornelia, Cornelia's sister, and maid. Roxi and Ruby did the same.

Marcus, Cinna, Amarant, and Blank all rehearsed the lines of Marcus the lover, Marcus's dear friend(there are two, but Baku decided to pretend there were only one) Marcus's other friend(the "betrayer"), and the personal top guard of Cornelia's father; which did not have that many lines and appeared only in the beginning of the play.

Already Garnet had out in her mind what the cast would look like: Amarant as the top guard, Roxi as the maid, Cinna as the dear friend, Ruby as Cornelia' sister, and herself as Cornelia. She was at loss, whoever of whether whom would be Cornelia's lover, Blank or Marcus.

But as if to help her decide, Baku announced that he would have all audition for Cornelia and Marcus act out the final, tragic scene of the ending..

Garnet took a deep breath. She was to soon act alongside with Marcus, after Ruby was done.

"...And for my love Cornelia!" Cried Marcus, as he held up a wooden sword to strike Baku.

Just as Marcus took a step and thrusted towards the big man, Ruby stepped in the way.

"Ngh!"Went Ruby, pretending that the false sword had stabbed her in the abdomen. She fell to the wooden floor.

Marcus gasped in surprise toward his fallen lover.

Baku had a look of sorrow on his face as he kneeled to tend to his "daughter."

The scene looked so real, that Garnet felt as if she would cry.

"F-Forgive me...Marcus..." Ruby said in a voice that was soft but still hearable. "For...I still...love...my father..."

Her upper body then fell back, signifying that her character's shoul had left the world.

"What have I done?! Am I never to hear her loving voice? Am I cursed to never again to feel her soft touch? Oh, cruel fate! Thou hast robbed me of all I treasure!"

He then lifted the wooden dagger, and pointed it towards his chest.

"Ngh!" He went, as he thrust the sword next to his shoulder, making it seem as if he had been impaled.

"Marcus!" Cried Cinna, as Marcus fell toward the floor.

Unfortunately, Marcus had not planned out which part of the floor he would hit, for he plopped right on top of a seemingly dead Ruby.

"OOF!" She went, her air having been forced out of her lungs like a balloon being deflated. She gave Marcus an evil glare.

"OUCH! MARCUS! THAT HURT! WATCH WHERE 'YER FALL'IN!"

Everyone then burst into laughter, even Garnet cracked a small warm smile.

Marcus laughed too, as he gingerly stood back up. He assisted Ruby in doing the same. "Sorry Roo." He apologized. "It was pretty good up 'til that point, eh?"

"Yep. Indeed." Said Baku, making a note on a clipboard he held. " 'K. Next is now Marcus 'n Garn!"

Garnet took a deep breath. 'This is it!' She thought to herself. 'Just try your best!'

Then, with trembling knees, she headed over towards Marcus.

Marcus gave her a small grin of consolation before Baku began.

"Ngh!" Cried Garnet, feigning to be stabbed by a wooden sword.

Marcus and Baku then repeated their earlier movements and reactions.

"F-Forgive me...Marcus..." Spoke Garnet, in a voice that was as soft as Ruby's had. "For... I still... love...my father..."

She then went still as Ruby had, acting as if her soul had just escaped her body. A single tear escaped Garnet's eye, as if it were her character's final farewell towards her lover.

Marcus immediately reacted, crying: "What have I done? Am I never ti hear her loving voice again? Am I cursed to never again feel her soft touch? Oh, cruel fate! Thou hast robbed me of all I treasure!"

Then, just as earlier, Marcus thrust the false weapon underneath his shoulder. He pretended to wince in pain as he fell softly to the floor-without toppling his dead lover.

They lie there for a moment, Garnet beginning to feel very awkward from the silence and feeling of everyone watching her.

"Geez Louise!" Baku suddenly spoke, almost causing Garnet to jump. "I's quieter in here than a pharaoh's burial chamber! Bwa ha ha ha! Ahem. Bravo kids, truly excellent!"

The rest of the group immediately broke into claps and applause.

Garnet could not help but accept the praises, and gave a warm smile as she stood up.
Marcus had already been up on his feet, flexing his muscles and taking bows.

"Alrite! Alrite people! Tha's enough!" Ordered Baku. The cheers immediately ceased upon his command. " 'Kay. Next is...Garn and our 'lil newcomer, Blank!"

Cheers immediately broke out once again as Blank bounded over towards a blushing, awaiting princess.

'It's ok. It's ok...' Garnet tried to calm her nerves. 'He may be totally gorgeous, but you can do this. Concentrate!...Focus!...Just pretend as if this were all real-your father not permitting you to be with the man you love! Yes! That's exactly what I'll do!"

Garnet gave a small smile at her idea, and was quite prepared when Baku began.

"Pray Sweet daughter, come home to the castle with me!" He ordered, sounding just like an authoritive father.

'Just like real life...Just like real life...' Garnet reminded herself.

"Nay, father I shan't return!" Garnet shot back, far louder than she had intended.

A couple of people sniggered at Garnet's seriousness.

"Jesus." Baku muttered under his breath.

Garnet tried hard not to blush from being derided, and immediately abandoned her idea of pretending that everything was realistic.

They continued to recite the remaining lines just as the last round. Except when Marcus had feigned a declaring of love towards her, her heart did not beat as strong as it had for Blank's voice.

"...Thust robbed me of all I treasure!" Cried Blank in a husky voice that sounded heavenly to Garnet.

She was already on the floor, and heard a THUMP! Drop a few inches near her body. It was clearly Blank-acting out his death.

Garnet opened one eye to glance at the fallen boy.

His usual sunglasses had fallen off his face, revealing two closed eyes that appeared to be deep in sleep. His mouth was slightly ajar in a most innocent way; as if he were a child napping during the daytime. His soft pink lips were still. Garnet had a strong urge to kiss those lips, as if to wake him from his slumber┘

Suddenly, a sudden burst of revelry immediately freed Garnet from her trance. Her eyes immediately shot wide open, as did Blank's. They both averted their attention to their cheering fans.

"Bravo!" Went Cinna.
"Excellente!" Squealed Roxi.
Marcus gave a small grin.

The only ones that were not cheering were Amarant and Ruby.

Nobody has taken notice to them, however.

"Alrite, alrite!" Barked Baku, ending the applause once again. "We're almost outta here people! All we'v got left his Roob's and lover boy here!"

Ruby immediately paled at these words, her eyes expanding in complete horror. "Y-You...M-mean..." She stuttered. "M-me and...Blank?" She spoke the name as if it were poison to her tongue.

"Yes I do, sweet cake's." Replied Baku, not at all noticing Ruby's reluctance. "C'm ov'r here and hit 'im with what ya got sweet 'hart.!"

Ruby almost gasped at the command. To pretend to love the man she strongly abhorred with an ever burning passion?! She felt as if she'd rather mop up a pile of vomit.

"Come on Roo." Said Blank, flashing Ruby his ever-famous smile. "You know you want to. Don't try to pretend you're afraid to We all know it's just an act!"

Ruby gritted her teeth as she sauntered over to the conceited redhead. She felt as if she were a volcano ready to erupt.

'Easy now Ruby...'Her inner voice soothed herself. 'He 'jus wants to get ya mad in ord'r to git a good laugh. Don't give 'im wa he wants... Don't give 'im wa he wants...'

Ruby was fortunately successful in easing her anger so she'd be capable recited her lines, although her acting was far inferior than earlier. Even the most acting-challenged audience member would have been able to detect Ruby's loathing for Blank in the tone of her voice.

Garnet could not help noticing Ruby's eyes opening and watching Blank pretending to stab himself, probably hoping that he somehow managed to injure himself. Or maybe she just took pleasure in the thought of seeing Blank dying. Garnet nearly gasped at the thought.

"Um...Erm...That was...Great. Thanks guys!"Said Baku, giving a weak smile, although everyone was able to decipher his uncertain tone.

He scribbled some words on his clipboard-probably a note to never have Marcus and Ruby act alongside each other ever again.

Ruby sighed and walked away from Blank as far as she could.

"Alrite people!" Roared Baku, clapping his hands. "Great rehearsal! Let us meet again tomorrow at the same time!"

Ruby, Marcus, Blank, and Garnet mumbled in reply. They were all clearly tired, and ready to retire to their beds.

Roxi however, was not at all weary, saying that she'd make it just in time for a late ballet class that was to take place across the street. After blowing everyone air kisses, she skipped giddily out the door, not bothering to help rearrange the chairs.

"Where on earth does she get all that energy?" Marcus asked aloud tiredly, bringing his chair back towards it's formal table.

"Well..." Went Garnet, as she followed him with a chair of her own. She placed it close to his. "She didn't have to read as many lines as us, so that's probably why she's not as tired."

Garnet immediately wished she could take back the words she had spoken, for they had come out far more smug than she had intended to.

However, Marcus took no notice of such a possible attitude. "Yeah. But I bet she'd still be hyper as a squirrel even if she had a leading role."

Garnet merely nodded in reply.

"Alrite!" Called Baku. Like Roxi, he was not at all feeling exhausted. "G'd night people!"

"Good night." Everyone mumbled in reply.

Baku then made his exit. Amarant followed, walking as if in a somber air and wishing no one good-bye.

Garnet then decided to take leave as well. "K. Good night everyone. Safe trip on your way back home." She yawned.

"I'll lead you to the castle." Offered Marcus, whom clearly did not favor the thought of Garnet walking alone.

Garnet gave him a small smile and nodded-too tired to thank him for his chivalry.

Garnet then proceeded toward the exit.

"Hey Garn!" Called Blank. He smiled towards her direction. However, his words had went unheard to the exhausted princess.

Before he could try again, Marcus stepped toward him, holding up his hand in a dismissing manner.

"She's too tired lad."Said Marcus. "She's had a long, rough day. Save it fer tomorrow."

Looking astonished, Blank nodded in reply.

Marcus then followed the princess out the door...

Ruby watched them go as she stepped outside. She sighed, feeling a great pang of jealousy towards Garnet.

"Everyone cares about her...' She thought pitifully. ...Vivi...Marcus...Baku┘Everyone. She's definitely getting the part of Cornelia. Nobody care's 'bout me...'

She felt as if she would cry.

Suddenly, Blank seemed to materialized by her side.

"Wow." He said, grinning. "I just noticed. I don't live too far from you. Isn't this great?! We can walk together everyday!"

"Perfect". Grumbled Ruby in an unenthusiastic tone. Although secretly, she was grateful for the company.

Queen Dagger: "Phew!"

Teddy Bear: "Finally!"

Queen Dagger: "My poor fingers!"

Teddy Bear: "My poor back!"

Queen Dagger, Teddy Bear: "OW!"

Teddy Bear: "Oh well at least you're done."

Queen Dagger: "Yeah I know. Hehe. I liked the way I ended this chapter- it shows although she cannot stand his personality, there is still a small, small part of her that warms for Blank...I think that is something we should all remember as this story progresses."

Teddy Bear: "Yeah. You almost had Ruby scream at him and stamp on his foot in frustration remember?"

Queen Dagger: "Yeah, but I figured it was too immature, and plus, there was probably already too much feet stamping for one day. I just hope you guys aren't like: "Oh! You should have ended it like that instead!" xD

Teddy Bear: "Ok whatever shut up."

Queen Dagger: "K. Thanks for reading this long chapter! I hope you liked it! I feel so proud, I've written three chapters in one week!YEAH!" :D

Teddy Bear: rolls eyes and speaks to the audience. "Read and Review if you want."

Note: If I had gotten any of the 'I Wanna Be Your Canary' lines incorrect, please politely inform me. :)