Author's Note:

Err, third chapter, everyone!

Disclaimer: States what is obvious. You'll get a disclaimer.



The word rang in his head like a bell, again and again, inevitable, loud and clear. The Ginta-boy looked at him in worry and uncertainty. "Alviss?" he called, yet he found himself unable to respond. Not now.

Crossguard had been disbanded. What a simple thing. He should have expected that. Crossguard was practically in degradation after Danna's death. Danna's son was a street musician; Danna himself supported his child's wish for freedom. It was nothing surprising to find out that Crossguard had been disbanded. Finally.

"In my way here, I visited the headquarter of Crossguard since the band members called me personally," Ginta spoke, voice barely above a whisper. "It turned out that they all wanted to disband the Crossguard. I was also shocked, yet could do nothing. Crossguard is nothing but remains of a crumbling band now."

Alviss balled his fists, drawing blood from his palms. He still remembered the days when he was in an orphanage, and the Crossguard paying a charity visit…. Danna's voice, soothing all the small childrenchildren with unknown pain…. He was one of them. Then, Danna picked him up, choosing him out of the other children, asked him to sing with himwhere he did, nervously, how Danna told him to join Crossguard when he was a grown-up. They had made a promise there and then. Also, Danna's death…. And now this….

"…I see," Alviss said curtly, not even portraying any emotion on his face. "I guess I just have to cancel my application. Thank you, Ginta." With that, he turned on his heels, back to his room, leaving Ginta staring at his retreating back.

Jack approached Ginta, Alta tailing behind merely out of curiosity. "I guess I blew it with that Alviss guy," Ginta sighed heavily, looking at Jack. "I did not expect to run on Dad's fan here."

"I am also his fan," Jack said. "And I found it hard to believe your words. Yet, were you telling the truth?"

Ginta shrugged. "Man, I won't lie about something like that," he said sombrely. "I still find it hard too, Jack. By the way, who's it?"

Ginta's eyes had found Alta's figure, and the said girl stepped in front, offering her hand to Ginta. "Hi, I am Alta," she introduced herself. "You must be Ginta Toramizu, no?"

"Yeah, I am," Ginta replied, shaking Alta's hand with a bright smile. "Glad to meet you, Alta. You play any instrument?"

Alta grinned. Oh, he was Danna's son all right. Meeting a stranger and that was the first question he asked. "Yeah, keyboard, some violin, and in inevitable events I sing too," she attempted a joke, grinning lamely. "My best pal, Cherii, wants to form a band of her own, and she is recruiting new members. I was a street musician before we met again after three years of separation. Now I'm travelling with her, trying to find some other musicians."

"Cool," Ginta commented sincerely, eyes bright and shining. "May I join?"

The girl froze upon hearing that. "Err, I suppose yes," said Alta hesitantly. "But it's Cherii's band, not mine. And you're Danna's son. I suppose you can find bands much better and more famous than us and get in easily." She gave a bitter laugh.

Ginta shook his head solemnly. "Nope," replied the spiky blonde boy. "Most bands want me just as ornaments, ya know. Just like a trophy, all 'cause my Dad is Danna. That infamous Danna. That's why I wanna be a street musician, free from Crossguard's fame. I'm glad that my Dad is famous, yet it makes my career kinda hard…. But I'm kinda tired being alone. To me, music is a group thing. Without the group work, there'll be no band. I wanna make a band better than Crossguard. Really miss the familiarity you got there. In Crossguard, everybody's family and everybody is everybody's family."

There was an awkward silence, yet then Alta smiled and said. "I understand," she said softly. "I'll ask Cherii to see you."

"If you're in, then I wanna be in too!" Jack added up, placing his hand on his friend's shoulder.

Alta laughed. "I know."


"You asked the Al-boy something to join our band?" Alta repeated in half disbelief. "And he refused?"

Cherii nodded, munching on some apple pieces. "Yup," she replied, in her customary flat tone. "Said he wanted to join the Crossguard. So you were saying that after my incident, Alviss met with Danna's son, who told him that Crossguard had been disbanded?"

Alta sighed. "Exactly," she mumbled grimly, curling on her bed. They shared a room with two beds. "He looked so stricken in one moment, yet in the next he was back to the terse and stiff Alviss. Sombre, solemn, and formal."

Cherii munched on another piece of fresh apple thoughtfully. "He has seen much," she concluded. "His playing is interesting, though."

"Yes," Alta admitted. "Beautiful, alluring…. There's something in his music that can attract people's attention, fully to him and to him only."

"Aptly given," Cherii stated. "Now, better we meet the counter boy and Toramizu boy."


"Believe that you can fly

'Cause, girl, I see an angel within you

Something that's pure and true

A shining light I won't let die"

"Stop," Cherii ordered, and Gintaalready dry and in new clothesstopped, rather abruptly. They were sitting in the gathering room, Jack taking out his drum set and Ginta being tested by Cherii. Alta was sitting next to her pal, sipping hot chocolate. Ginta had decided to sing his original piece of work, and Alta had to admit that it was pretty good. He had a good singing voice that sounded like an innocent boy's voice.

Cherii sipped her own hot chocolate, before sighing in content. Ginta stood there in front of the table, fidgeting nervously. Cherii placed her cup back with a soft clatter, then said, "Yup, accepted."

Alta grinned at Ginta. 'Another victim of Cherii's ignorant facial expression, her infamous poker face,' she thought, laughing inwardly. 'He had to be thinking that Cherii did not like his show or something.'

Relief was visible on Ginta's face. He sat down next to Alta, giving thumbs up at Jack, who by then was ready and was sweating a lot, due to nervousness.

"Alta, can you please be the singer?" Cherii asked, her professional mode on. It was a style Cherii had developed, along with the ignorant face mask, as if telling the world that she did not give a hell to anybody. That surely pulled most people's nerves, especially for those who were being tested by her.

Alta nodded, standing up next to Jack. "What are you going to play?" she asked the older boy.

Jack rubbed his chin, thinking hard. "Eh, probably the 'Go Up to the Moon', by Crossguard," he finally replied, sighing as if to ease his discomfort.

Alta waited for eight beats of Jack's drum set, then she began to sing.

"Darling, are ya there for me?

'Cause right now I'm freezing to death

But whenever I see into your eyes

I feel like I'm flyin'

Do ya know what I'm talkin' here?

What I'm babbling as I sing

Whenever I hear music, I jump off to my feet

Start singing with all my heart for you only

'Cause whenever I look at you

I go up to the moon and, man, do you know

That I don't wanna return

Wanna stay there, lookin' into your eyes

Yeah, I can go up to the moon…"

"Stop," Cherii said, and she was about to add a comment when Ginta interjected. "Man, that was the song my Dad often sang to my Mom when they were both still alive," he laughed, and the grief within his voice was visible, as transparent as glass. "I miss that song. You played it well, Jack. You too, Alta."

"Ahem," Cherii interrupted, clearly disliking the fact that her band member had just interrupted her. "We can play that song again with more complete members. Jack, from now on, you're the drummer of MÄR."

"MÄR?" Alta questioned. "That's the name of our band now?"

"Yeah," Cherii replied, not even bothering to take off her professional mode.

"Taken from MÄR Heaven, isn't it? How unoriginal," Alta mocked half-seriously. Then she grinned, wide and free. "But that's' cute."

"Well, we ought to have a cheer now, don't we?" Ginta suggested, looking around. Jack immediately jumped off to his feet. "I'll get it!" he shouted, running to the kitchen.

For MÄR. Their new band.


He had been watching, and he knew that that Cherii had good eyes and ears. Ginta's singing was undoubtedly incredible. Jack, although still slightly rough in technique, had good rhythm and improvisation skills. While that Alta…. She was not that good, yet she seemed to be able to imitate the original singer's voice, creating the right…mood for the song. Her singing had Danna's aura in it, just because she was singing his creation.

Alviss watched from his place, protected by the wall that separated the rooms with the gathering room. Perhaps they weren't too bad….

He eliminated the thought right when the front door, again in that night, flung open.


There had been light inside. Light, warmth, and music.

Body drenched and weary, she quickened her pace. Her step mother would never find her there. At least she hoped so.

Her clothes clung to her body, and her breath had since long turned into ragged pants. Her tears were long dried up, the rain soaking her cheeks instead. She arrived at the front door of the inn in the middle of the forest with much relief, and faintly she could hear music inside, someone singing, a pause, then another song, with another singer yet accompanied by drums.

It just…felt right.

Hope renewed, she pushed the door open and stepped inside.


Yay or nay? I know that it's kinda strange, so flame me if you want, okay?

Aqua Alta