Hey everyone, so I know it's been forever since I posted and truthfully, I'm very conflicted about this story. This chapter I wrote a year or so ago when I was still working on the story, so it's in the same style.

My writing style has changed A LOT since this story and I feel as though this story is just my quintessential Mary-Sue story. Depending on the reaction to this chapter plus my own feelings, I may or may not continue. Also, thank you for your enthusiasm (and for being the 50th replier) Spirit-of-the-Rain.

Chapter 14


"Akane-sama? What are you doing home so early in the evening?" Shima questioned stoically, watching as the girl flew through the open doors. Six inch heels in hand, Akane ascended the stairs, only spinning around to face many surprised servants once she had reached the top of the balcony.

"Shima, could you please fetch a box of that chocolate puffs cereal?" Akane asked suddenly, causing everyone to completely turn their heads in surprise. As they all clearly knew, Chairwoman had forbidden any sugary, fatty, or greasy foods from the house. All were completely clueless as to what had suddenly possessed the quiet, solemn ghost-like girl that usually inhabited the building.

"Of course, Akane-sama," Shima answered without refrain, not even a questioning look glinting in her eyes. Years of wisdom had caked her mind with understanding, and it was all the woman could do not to smile for jubilation.

Akane bowed to everyone quickly before sprinting to her room and shutting the door quietly behind her. Without hesitation, Akane leapt around her enormous room, throwing her tortuous, stiletto heels into the air, not caring in the least if they never came down. Freedom had swept over her entire body, consuming her no longer obedient being. It was if she was Atlas, and suddenly someone had decided to lift the looming vault of the sky from her aching shoulders and telling her that her time was up.

Dancing to the closet, she grabbed out her plain, black orchestra dress and twirled it around like an invisible partner. Spinning her invisible partner, a sudden shatter broke her dream like state. Hastily throwing her dress to the floor, she gazed in awe as her blue china vase had burst into a million, delicate shards. Though what truly caught her was the fact most of the shards were vacant of the leafy, sky blue pattern that had familiarly cascaded down the vase's gentle frame.

Tenderly, she grasped one of the pieces in her lithe fingers and stared. Painted, as if by the gods themselves, was the strong wing of a bird, outstretched in flight. Arranging more of the pieces, Akane saw every shard comprised of a bird or part of a bird, until a flock of graceful doves basked before her eyes.

It was amazing, that even though the outside of the vase was beautiful, one of the most gorgeous and elegant Akane had ever laid eyes upon, the inside was baffling. The sweeping wings and sky called out to her, in a way none of the shopworn, fragile figures on the outside could.

"I've always truly loved that vase," Shima's voice answered apathetically, the elderly maid emerging from the doorway with dominating wisdom. "You probably didn't even notice last time you broke it, but that pattern has always been there. It's strange, how some things have to break down completely before they see what they truly are. The facade is never as beautiful as what's on the inside."

"It's strange, how everyone around me sounds like a fortune cookie lately," Akane smiled at the woman, her back to the birds that flew like snowflakes across the porcelain surface.

"Here's your cereal, Akane-sama," Shima replied, her face still unwavering by Akane's rare smile.

"Now there's something not so philosophical," Akane grinned, taking the tray of chocolate cereal from the woman with gracious thanks. Turning to exit, Shima paused and glared at the black dress that lay disheveled across the floor.

"What a horribly dull dress," The woman calmly proclaimed, nearly spitting on the dress with her mere gaze. "Akane-sama, if I may be so bold, there are a few dresses kept here for Ms. Grantaine for the short time she stayed here, and there is one in particular that may service you better than that table cloth."

"Really? Why didn't you say so earlier, Shima?" Akane quickly exclaimed, bursting from her mouthful of cereal and sprinting out the door, dragging a listless Shima by the arm.

"I demand to speak to that dirty child this instant," The chairwoman's aggravated, yet stiff voice calmly transcending through the phone.

"I'm sorry, there are no dirty children in this house, perhaps you have the wrong number," Shima's solemn voice retorted, unphased at the Chairwoman.

"Please put Akane on the phone this instant or you will be out of work before your next breath," The Chairwoman spat, not even flinching as the cold, demonic threat echoed to Shima's ears.

"I could've left long ago, it matters not if—"

"It's okay, Shima, I'll take it. Hello, Sensei," Akane cut in, graciously taking the telephone from Shima's hands. The elderly woman bowed and walked off, allowing the girl privacy.

"I have received information that you not only left early from Kenjiro's party, but you were also caught embracing Kyouya Ootori very inappropriately," The Chairwoman seethed, stirring a cup of tea elegantly with her free hand.

"I also slapped Kenjiro's hand," Akane added, smiling at the refreshing memory.

"Have you completely lost your mind, you dirty child? I could easily send you to prison, where you deserve to be," The elderly woman answered, no emotion flashing onto her face.

"Yes, I do deserve to be in prison, but you know what? WE both know you'll never send me, because no matter how much to try to hush it up, their will be news everywhere. And you know that absolutely no company will want to continue business with a group that places their own children in jail," Akane retorted, smiling deviously without regret on the other side of the line.


"Sensei, if you please, may we continue this conversation after my concert. I'll be looking forward to it," She interrupted, ending the call then with a smirk deviating across her face. With satisfaction most could not even imagine, she slammed the phone onto the receiver and let the screech of the Chiarwoman's voice die away.

Sighing, her body tensed in excitement and dread. The phone had been ringing all day, mostly calls from Kenjiro asking for a date this instant. But Akane had known she'd have to speak face to face with Sensei soon. It was terrifying to even think about what she had just done, since the woman could slice Akane's head off at any moment. Yet, it was something that had had to be done.

Nervously, a strand of hair twisted beneath her fingers. She had barely noticed how long her hair had become, even without it ironed out straight. She couldn't recall ever having her hair this lengthy, since it always became a huge nuisance to play the violin with. Smiling, she flew to her room, shuffling through a drawer until she found her new best friend. The cold metal handle of the scissors grinned back at her, and Akane needed no further encouragement to bring a chunk of golden annoyance between its twin blades.

All eyes turned as a lone spotlight turned to the corner of the stage. From the mysterious shadows of the backstage emerged a lithe figure with a perfectly crafted, all wood violin in her hands. Akane Suoh was nearly unrecognizable as she sauntered onto the stage, her gorgeous dress forcing her to blend in like rose in a field of weeds.

While every other orchestra student wore the traditional black dress or tux, Akane had on a white strapless evening gown, the chest embroidered with an intricate black beadwork pattern, tapering of towards the waist. The pure white fabric flowed down in pointed sections, almost like flower petals to meet streaks of subtle gray that faded to black at the bottom.

And for the first time, many students saw Akane's naturally curly hair cascade and abruptly ended a few inches below her ears. From the choppy edges, it is easily detectable to see she had cut it herself. On her face there was little to no makeup, even so, her strong, graceful features were brought out without a spec of foundation.

Strides full of pride and unadulterated strength; she slowly flew across the stage to her seat at first chair. Mr. Kashikoi smiled warmly yet professionally towards his student, seeing the exact same student who had played every piece like it was her last performance. He felt like the woman standing before him had been in his room every day, but today was the first time she had come without the mask.

Akane nodded to her conductor, a grin matching his effortlessly gliding onto to her naked lips. As she took her place at the first chair, she couldn't help but offer Kenjiro, her petrified stand partner, a sly wink, the speechless expression on his face only fuel for her grin. Without pretense or distraction, she lifted the gorgeous instrument to her chin and began to tune, her bow strokes swift and her strings already perfectly in tune.

With one nod from Kashikoi, the orchestra began to play. Their tune was strange, a short and choppy buildup of haunting notes. The sound began to crescendo, the pressure of each bow on the strings increasing until for one brief measure, the tension let go and Akane's eyes slid shut.

Before the pressure could fade, Akane's violin broke into the spotlight, her fingers flying across the strings. Each note was perfect and clear, like reading a book without one misspelled word or smudge to obstruct your reading. With a long note, she slowly faded out, only to be invited in again, this time more pure and iridescent notes spilling from her instrument. Akane paused again, creeping into her solo once again with rapid bow strokes and not one slurred or stuttered note.

The orchestra returned to their mysterious build-up, Akane's violin joining in with short, spicatto strokes that had her bow controlled as it bounced against the strings. The volume grew, until Akane could deny the music no more and the entire orchestra followed suit. With fire-like passion, Akane's fingers danced across the strings, her bow dancing rapidly back and forth with raw energy. Each time the orchestra called to her, the violin answered in blindingly accurate speed, nothing but raw passion burning into the audience's ears with each note.

The orchestra's pace began to slow, but not before Akane entered in, every beautiful note resounding across the theatre. With strokes like lightning, the energy began to build continuously, the tone growing louder and faster and faster and faster until with one stroke the room exploded with an uncontrollable fire that consumed every audience member. The entire orchestra was bursting with power, the sound flooding through Akane's body and blazing with force she had never felt. And with one final stroke, the emotion bloomed and the radiant sound faded.

Before silence could even grip the orchestra, the theater exploded with applause and Akane's astounded eyes shot open. Every member of the audience was on their feet, all because of her three minute brilliance. Kashikoi elegantly turned around and bowed to the audience, a smile Akane would never forget plastered onto his face. He then turned to her and bowed as her body curtsied in return, Akane feeling as though she had absolutely no control over her own limbs. She turned to face her audience and as she bowed, another explosion of cheers blasted to meet her. As Akane straightened, she surprised herself; there was not one tear upon her cheek. Glancing up to the cheering crowd, she caught a familiar pair of onyx eyes. They smiled at her, coaxing her as Kyouya clapped slowly and carefully. Bowing once again, Akane caught a falling rose as onslaughts of flowers were tossed onto the stage.

Pulling her gaze upwards, she caught another pair of eyes, these cold and seething, attempting to wrench their way into her soul. Akane merely curtsied to her granmother, who remained seated and stoic, though Gilbert next to her was throwing a huge thumbs-up her way. Turning back to Kashikoi, she nodded and lifted the violin again to her chin, an untouchable glow radiating from her face.

It was near impossible to move, between all the astounded, cheering, questioning people that nearly smothered Akane. It hard to believe she could still breathe with all these people around. Some girls stroked her hair in remorse, still jealous as to how soft and naturally gorgeous it looked, even in its disheveled appearance . Struggling to find anyone who didn't have twenty-thousand questions to chuck at her, she caught Kyouya's gaze. Without hesistation, he pointed a single, lengthy finger upwards, Akane nodding in turn without even thinking. She could wonder about his hint later, but at the moment, she felt a muscular hand sucking her from the vortex.

Turning, she found herself being dragged by a smiling Gilbert, pulling her from the insanity. Gratefully, she let her feet follow suit, mentally preparing herself for the confrontation. She was unsure of what exactly her grandmother would respond to her rebellion, but more than anything, her gut was encouraging her on. She had never felt more sure that things were going to be alright than at this moment, even when the Chiarwoman's murderous gaze fell slowly upon her. They stood in a secluded, empty classroom, nothing more than a table and some dusty chairs set in the back corner. Everything else melted into darkness though as her grandmother's murderous eyes, that could've easily frozen Medusa herself to stone.

"Hello, Grandmother," Akane greeted, her tone sliding into a buisness-like stature. Her tormented eyes had settled, the storm finally abandoning the tortured sea. All that remained was defiance and will, flaring out from the young woman just as the sun releases his scorching heat.

Do as you please.