Author Notes: Another one of my one-shots that only includes one scene. I recently bought concert tickets for "The Killers" (can you tell I'm obsessed with Brandon Flowers?) and have been thinking of a band fic. I think rock band based fics usually end up cheesy, so I limited the cheesiness to one chapter (for my own guilty pleasure). Anyways, hope you enjoy!

Also, can any one tell me where the title comes from? ^o^

Disclaimer: The Rurouni Kenshin world and all characters depicted are a creation of mangaka, Watsuki Nobuhiro.

E flat diminished ninth

By Hoshi-ni-Onegai

"She's late."

Sano looked up from his sandwich and gulped it down when he saw the glare coming from his short friend. "Barely."

Kenshin narrowed his eyes, "She's twenty minutes late."

"And that's ten minutes early for her," Sano shrugged and proceeded onto his reuben.

Frowning, Kenshin glanced back at Aoshi who was stoically tuning his bass guitar. Yahiko had lost interest and was on the floor, next to his drum set, taking a nap with his headphones in his ears.

He glared back at Sano -his roommate, band mate, and best friend of four years. Judging by the look on Sano's face, he was not worried about the appearance of this mystery girl. If he hadn't foolishly started a fight the day before, breaking his left hand in the process, they would not be in this situation.

Tomorrow was their first real gig, and they were short a guitar player. Sano was pretty blasé about it, saying that his cousin was just as good as he was and could fill in for him. With a quick call that had Sano begging and yelling at the girl on the other line simultaneously, she had agreed. They were supposed to meet to practice at noon, but it was twelve twenty... no, twelve twenty-five now.

"She better be as good as you say she is."

Licking off his fingers Sano frowned, "What? You don't trust me?"

"I trust you as far as I can throw you."

"That's pretty far," Sano grinned. "Don't worry. Jou-chan can rip through any chord. She was in a all-girl band for while, they had a falling out so now she's free."

Kenshin rolled his eyes, "We only need her for the tomorrow."

"The doc said it'll take a few months for my hand to fully heal and I shouldn't exert myself. And with that crazy chord you have me playing in the middle of the third set -E flat diminished ninth- I could lose my finger to that thing if I'm not careful."

"And she can play that?"

"In my sleep."

Kenshin turned around to see a black-haired girl standing in front of the stage. Her expressive eyes caught his and she smiled, "Don't worry. I can out play that oaf any day."

Hauling her guitar case over the stage she pulled herself up, instead of using the backstage steps. She reached her hand out toward Kenshin, "Kamiya Kaoru, at your service."

Kenshin took her hand and frowned. He had expected something different; a girl with a ridiculous amount of piercings, colored streaks in her hair, and a lot of punk-goth jewelry. But she was normal. Wearing a Motley Crew vintage t-shirt, brown leather bomber jacket, distressed jeans, and grey chuck taylors -she blended into their group pretty well.

Remembering her tardiness he frowned, "You're late."

It was her turn to frown, "Seriously?" She looked down at her watch, "I'm pretty sure I'm five minutes early. Sano said twelve thirty."

Kenshin glared at the man in question. He should have figured that Sano would forget the promised meeting time. When he glanced back at Kaoru, he saw that she was already making the rounds and greeting Aoshi and Yahiko. Setting herself up stage right she took out a navy Fender strat. Plugging it into the amp she began tuning it quietly.

Sano went over to her and from his gestures Kenshin figured he was explaining what chords to play in the songs. This was going to take a while -if it ever happened. Kenshin sighed; maybe the best thing would be to cancel the gig. There was no way Kaoru could learn ten sets by the end of the day.

That's when he heard it streaming out of her amp. It was raised only high enough so that she and Sano could hear it, but Kenshin heard it clear as a bell. She was playing expertly through a song that had taken Sano three days to nail down. She stopped halfway through the song and asked Sano for more instruction. Sano was surprisingly unfazed by her skill and continued to tell her chords.

The second part of the song played through the amp and she nodded toward Sano. Grinning, the tall man looked toward Kenshin, "She's ready for the first song."

At a loss of a comment to give, Kenshin stepped up to the mike and glanced toward her one last time. He saw that she was ready and he nodded toward Yahiko.

The youngest of the group clacked his drumsticks together, counting the song in. The first note went to the guitar, Kenshin was doubtful she could do it.

She hit the note perfectly. Aoshi jumped in at the third measure, and Kenshin vocals started two bars in.

Kenshin glanced back in awe, along with the rest of the group sans Sano, as she played through a solo guitar riff. She was playing just as good, if not better, than Sano -and on her first try with the song. He had a feeling that this kind of skill didn't come solely from years of practice, but also from natural talent.

When he heard the chord signaling that his part was to come up soon Kenshin smirked. Sano caught his eyes. The taller man was frowning. He was shaking his head and mouthing, "Don't you dare."

Kenshin glimpsed back at the new guitarist and grinned, she hit the E flat with the diminished ninth without a sweat.

This was going to be interesting.