For Whom The Bell Tolls
We were in awe as we watched the band FORCE KIN practice. What we thought as a bunch of freaks, turned out to be a very professional band. What astounded me the most was the fact that they had 4 guitarists; 2 leads, 2 rhythm. Their lead guitarist, Kirk, was extremely fast and precise on the guitar solos. I know that only Nagato can outperform him. Their second lead guitarist, the man that they call as Seb, was a very unusual performer. He wasn't wearing any shirt, and as he performed, most of the metal piercings on his face were jingling like car keys; and I also noticed the he has metal piercings on both his nipples. Their bassist, Alton, whom we saw earlier crying on the middle of the road, was very much the opposite while performing. He was a total beast on the bass, his performance was uncannily the same as Robert Trujillo, even the 'crab walk' and 'gorilla walk' was the same. On the other hand, the man named Patrick was totally different; he played all the rhythm pars so perfectly, but it seemed that he was petrified. He just stood in place just like a statue but his eyes are staring straight at the petite twin-tailed member of HTT. The man named Joseph was the only regular-looking character in this band, he was like Patrick; but only more relaxed, he seems to be enjoying what he was doing, and he was NOT staring at anybody like some depraved pervert. Their vocalist was also very impressive, can hit both the very high and very low notes of the song with ease. He was headbanging like a madman, it seemed like his nickname 'Ferris the Madman' was based on truth. One member puzzled me the most, the drummer; he was flailing his arms like a total lunatic and was shaking his head nonstop, but he never missed a single beat.
As the band finished their last practice song, I saw Ferris wink at Mio-san, whose face grew bright crimson and nearly fainted on the spot.
"And that's it for today!" Kirk spoke on the nearest microphone.
"Get some rest for tomorrow, we'll practice early."
As I looked at my watch, I was surprised on how absorbed I was at listening to FORCE KIN practice. As I went to our practice hall, I felt at tap on my shoulder; it was Haruhi.
The way she looked and spoke, something was obviously bothering her, and I had a really bad feeling about it.
"Hey Kyon, do you know the bass riffs for Orion?"
"I know the riffs for most of the song, but the solo parts are really difficult. Why did you ask?"
"That's because we'll be playing it tomorrow! And I expect no less than perfection from you!" She grabbed my tie and dragged me back to our practice hall.
"Wait! How do you expect me to memorize and play all those songs?"
"You're a member of the SOS Brigade, and there's nothing that we can't do!"
After hearing those words, I knew I was screwed. Could someone else be so kind, and kill me? Where's Ryoko Asakura whe you needed her? I can't take it anymore!
It was after practice when someone approached, it was the ever-smiling Itsuki Koizumi.
"Can I speak with you for a moment?"
"What is it? Is it about Haruhi?"
As we went outside, Koizumi's face became more serious; as if the world is about to end.
"Kyon-kun, I feel what she is feeling, and it's not good. She wants you to shine tomorrow, but your current attitude is driving her on edge."
"Is it a Closed Space?"
"Yes, A rather large one."
As Koizumi headed back inside, he muttered one last line, and it disturbed me.
"Kyon-kun, make her proud."
As I entered the practice hall, I saw Haruhi barking out some orders as I was too exhausted to complain.
"We'll be back here early tomorrow; we still have to practice with those HTT gals. Kyon, you must practice Orion, it's not a request, it's an Absolute Order! Don't be late, or it's the Death Penalty! SOS Brigade is dismissed!"
As I packed up my bass, I felt somebody approach me. I thought that it was one of Haruhi's pranks.
"What do you want now?" I said without turning.
"Uhm, Kyon-kun, I have a favor to ask."
It was not what I expected. As I turned around, I was surprised on who my new acquaintance was. It was Mio-san.
"What is it, Mio-san?"
I noticed her blush a bit, but I didn't mind.
"Uhm… Can you teach me the bass parts of your songs? I want to learn those before we have our joint practice tomorrow. So, can you please teach me?"
"I'll gladly help you, Mio-san! So, where will we practice?"
"Over at my house."
'What? Her house?'
"Don't worry, my parents are away, they're in a business trip to Sweden."
My heart started racing as the thought of me and her practicing alone at her place.
'Calm down, you fool! It's just practice.' I tried to reassure myself that what I'm about to do is an act of goodwill and nothing more.
As we headed to her place, I could sense something wrong, it's like we were being followed. As I looked behind, I could see nothing more than a beautiful sunset behind us.
'I must be imagining things…'
"Here we are!" my beautiful companion said with jest.
"Hey, we live in the same neighborhood! My house is just a few blocks away."
I somehow felt disappointed on how I never met this beautiful maiden before, yet we lived so close to each other.
As she opened the door, I could see inside her house.
"Come on in, Kyon-kun."
As I entered her house, the scent of lavender greeted me.
"Sit here for a while, Kyon-kun. Let me change to something more comfortable." Mio-san ushered me to a large sofa in the living room as she went upstairs.
Her house was furnished with Western-styled furniture, on the walls were a couple of family portraits and a replica of Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, The Last Supper.
On the table were a couple of lit scented candles, a vase with tulips and a platter of jelly beans.
As I quietly sat on the sofa, my mind drifted through all the things that happened to me the past few days. I started feeling sorry for myself as Haruhi dragged me helplessly through all her schemes and ploys.
As I wallowed in self-pity, a voice broke my train of thoughts.
"Kyon-kun, come upstairs to my room. I've prepared an extra amp for you.
'Her room?' I gulped nervously as I slowly ascended the stairs and knocked on her bedroom door.
As I entered her room, I was greeted by a very beautiful lady wearing a pink shirt and white shorts.
And Holy Crap! She wore her hair in a ponytail!
I was taken aback by the sheer beauty of my host. I may had stared longer if she had not blushed crimson and pulled me inside,
"What a magnificent room!"
"Don't say such things, Kyon-kun, it's embarrassing."
Indeed it was a splendid room. It had a nice carpet, flowery wallpapers, a large mattress, a hardwood study table, a computer, and at least forty plush toys can be found in her room. There was also a shelf of books and a small TV.
"Not as beautiful as the owner, though…"
"What was that, Kyon-kun?"
"Nothing, just a random thought crossed my mind…"
"Oh, I thought you said something embarrassing."
Mio-san blushed a bit before she went over her bass and picked it up from the guitar rack. I also did the same; I quickly unpacked my bass and some equipment from my case. I set up my bass over the spare bass amp.
"Kyon-kun, you use a wah pedal for your bass?" Mio-sam pointed at the said pedal as I plugged the wires to their proper sockets.
"Haruhi made me use this. She mentioned something about being a lead bass and a guy named Cliff Burton."
"Did you say Cliff Burton?" Mio-san's eyes sparkled as soon as she heard the name.
"What about him?"
"He the reason why I play bass in the first place!" Her expression almost resembled Haruhi's when she first established the SOS Brigade.
"He's like my favorite bassist!" Mio-san continued. "And Orion has my favorite bass lines."
"Funny thing is, Mio-san, Haruhi wants me to play that song but I can't seem to wrap my head around the bass solo parts…"
"Do you want me to teach you, Kyon-kun?"
"For a price."
"What is it? Name it, and I'll do it."
"Can you teach me the bass line of your songs?"
"No problem, if it's you, Mio-san."
We practiced until 8 pm without any incident. As I packed up my belongings, I saw Mio-san fidgeting a bit. As I headed to the door and was about to say goodbye, until Mio-san came up to me. She avoided eye contact as I noticed her blush.
"Can I ask you a favor, Kyon-kun?"
"What is it, Mio-san?"
"Can you be my boyfriend?"
"At least for tomorrow."
I became confused as I learned this shocking revelation.
"W-well, remember that guy, Ferris the Madman?"
"W-what about him?"
"He looked at me earlier today. It's like he's undressing me with his eyes, and by his looks, it's like he wants to rape me! So please, can you protect me?"
"S-sure. I-I have to go now…"
I awkwardly walked home as today's events are taking its toll on my sanity.
I slowly opened my eyes as the alarm clock rang. I was having a little problem breathing as Shamisen was sleeping on top of my chest. I shoved that ball of fur aside as I turned off the alarm.
I quickly got up and took a hot shower. The things that Mio-san said to me yesterday felt so surreal, it seemed like a rather strange dream. As I got out of that refreshing shower, I hastily dried myself with a towel, got dressed and went down the kitchen for some much needed nourishment.
After breakfast, I asked permission from my parents as I picked up my guitar case. I headed for the station in deep thought until a familiar voice called out to me.
"Good morning, Kyon-kun."
I looked behind and saw a beautiful lady approach me.
"Good morning too, Mio-san."
She walked beside me as we headed for the station. I was shocked when Mio-san suddenly held my arm as if she was my lover.
"W-what are you doing, Mio-san."
"I noticed that her face was quite red and she avoided eye contact.
"W-we'll just pretend, even just for today. I am scared, Kyon-kun! Please protect me!"
'Protect me'. This was the thing that straightened my resolve. From protecting my little sister from trivial things, to the endless summer loops, to when the world completely changed in December; it was my duty to protect everyone close and dear to me, and I can't stand the thought of any harm befalling to any of my friends.
"You have my word, Mio-chan. I will protect you."
I could feel her grip tighten as I looked at her eyes; tears. Those were not the tears of sorrow, but tears of joy and relief. It seemed that what I said removed the emotional and mental anguish that Mio-chan felt.
"Thank you so much, Kyon-kun!"
I didn't know what happened next, but I felt something warm on my cheek; Mio-chan kissed me.
I could feel my face turn red, if I was a weak man, I may have fainted on the spot.
Ooh! Kyon X Mio may be a good couple!
Mio's last line was a joke I came up while I browsed the K-ON! Facebook page (more like a brain fart).
Read and Review! Goddess Haruhi demands it!