*IMPORTANT CONTEST INFO*
Wow, this took forever. Anyways, onto the announcment of the winner! For those of you who forgot what the constest was about, I asked the fans to design a cover for the BlackStar arc, and the winner would get a first glimpse of the alternate Airship Grigori first chapter! There were a lot of good submissions, all done by talented artists, but a winner has emerged! The winner is...
Scotty1994 on deviantart!
Congrats to Scotty1994. Your piece really stood out to me as a good representation of not only BlackStar and Tsubaki's relationship, but the happiness that they were both striving for during the whole arc. I will message you on dA as well with the details of how to get your prize. For all the readers, you can find a link to the winning piece, as well as the other contestants' work on my user page.
Thanks to everyone who participating! You'll be able to read the alternate beginning in a month or two, so don't feel too bad. Now, back to the story!
Maybe We Should Just Have A Vegas Wedding Instead...
"You did WHAT!?"
Tsubaki cringed, trying to focus on peeling the potatoes she would used to make tonight's dinner as two incredulous blondes stared her down. "I don't see why you two are making such a huge deal about this," Tsubaki said, squirming uncomfortably. "He offered to help, and who am I to turn him down? BlackStar and I want to get married as soon as possible."
"That is no reason to let KIDD plan your WEDDING!" Maka nearly shrieked. "Of everyone on board, you picked Kidd?" Liz nodded, agreeing with Maka wholeheartedly.
"No one else offered!" Tsubaki protested.
"I would have done it!"
"So would I!" Maka agreed. "Hell, I still have some contacts from back home, we could've gotten you a professional planner!"
"Then you should have said so earlier," Tsubaki said. "I trust Kidd to do a good job. It could have been worse. BlackStar wanted to do all of the planning himself." This prompted another shudder from both Liz and Maka, and the two woman reluctantly backed off, focusing on fixing dinner.
Tsubaki couldn't stop thinking about it though. Had she made a mistake letting Kidd be in charge of planning what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life? Kidd could be a bit of perfectionist sometimes... okay, most of the time, but surely he would put her wedding before his obsessive compulsive.
Kidd picked that moment to come through the door, his sights set on Tsubaki as he power walked closer. "Tsubaki! There's a huge issue," he said seriously, causing the poor woman to nearly have a heart attack.
"What, what's wrong!?" she asked, heart in her throat. She needed this wedding to go smoothly and the planning done on time, or all of her family and friends wouldn't be able to come. They were scattered across the world, and the time frame during which they could all come was small.
"I've done some calculations, and there is an uneven number of people in the wedding party!" Kidd nearly wailed, and Tsubaki felt her heart crawl down into her stomach. "You'll have to get rid of one of your bridesmaids."
Liz and Maka, who were both bridesmaids, immediately pointed whatever kitchen utensils they were using at the doctor. "Not on your life," Liz threatened. "I already picked out my dress."
"But it will be hideously asymmetrical!" he said, affronted. "Don't you want Tsubaki's wedding to be perfect?"
"Kidd," Tsubaki said gently, cutting in before Liz threw the wisk at Kidd's head, "just because I have more bridesmaids than BlackStar has groomsmen isn't going to ruin my wedding, I promise you." Kidd seemed to contemplate that for a moment.
"Well, it is your wedding," he said slowly, looking as if admitting that fact pained him. "Are you sure-"
"Yes, yes I am," Tsubaki said quickly. "Now, did you need anything else?"
"Oh! Yes I do! I have some swatches here for you to look at!"
As the two became more absorbed in their planning, Maka and Liz shared a look. Though one crisis had been avoided, they had a feeling that the two months leading up to the wedding would be much, much worse.
"How has no one died on this ship yet?"
Maka looked up at her friend with a quirked eyebrow, her hip popping out to the side. "What do you mean, Soul?"
Soul huffed, leaning against the hull of the ship. "I mean how has no one on this ship died yet?" he repeated. "Kidd is nuts!" Maka snorted, looking back at the emblem on the side of the Grigori. The wedding was in two weeks - hopefully, but no one was sure anymore - and the whole crew was busy cleaning the ship, inside and out. Maka was busy repainting the emblem on the side, random splats of paint covering her from head to toe. Soul was focused on a rather distracting spot of silver paint on her collarbone, but quickly looked away when Maka looked back at him.
"He's a good doctor," she said with a shrug, "and normally he tries to keep his OCD out of the medical bay. Maybe because the situation isn't life-threatening, he's just letting himself be... well, Kidd."
Soul hummed thoughtfully, dipping a finger in the blue paint and smearing it on her cheek, smirking when she squeaked. "True, but he's been driving BlackStar crazy, and Tsubaki looks so stressed that I doubt that she'll be able to enjoy her own wedding," he said, and Maka had to admit that it wasn't only Tsubaki and BlackStar that were annoyed by Kidd. Liz had flat out stopped speaking to him, and Patti had, once again, dumped him - this time for being a "selfish fuckwad". Blair, who had designed Tsubaki's wedding dress and was sewing it herself, had banned Kidd from the entire back half of the ship.
"Should we talk to him?" Maka said, wiping at the paint Soul had smushed on her cheek, stopping when Soul shook his head.
"I don't think that would do much, honestly. Tsubaki keeps talking at him and it's just in one ear and out the other," he said, turning to look for the bride-to-be, and instead seeing a much more unwelcome crew member heading their way. "Speak of the devil," Soul groaned, hiding his face in one large palm.
"Maka! May I speak to you?"
"Lord help me," Maka whispered to the sky, grimacing before turning to Kidd with a plastic smile. "Kidd!" she said with false cheer. "How can I help you?"
"Oh, I just noticed that you were repainting and wanted to give you some suggestions for a new emblem, since we're all cleaning for the wedding and such," he said with a grin, and Soul groaned again, pinching the bridge of his nose. Maka's glare could level all of New Death Haven, and Kidd's smile faltered.
"What on god's great Earth does my emblem have to do with Tsubaki and BlackStar's wedding?" Maka asked, her grip on the paintbrush in her hand tightening until it was close to snapping in her palm. The pilot was very proud of her ship, including the logo, which she had designed herself.
"Well, nothing, but I figured since you were repainting it anyways, that I could-"
"Walk away Kidd," Maka said, pointing a paintbrush at him. "Just walk. Away."
"But it's so asym-"
"I swear to god if you say asymmetrical I will shove you into the ocean."
Kidd smartly chose to walk away at that, making a beeline towards a very-stressed Tsubaki. Maka could see the dark circles under her eyes from where she stood nearly 40 feet away, and her heart went out to the bride-to-be. This was supposed to be the happiest time of her life, not the most stressful.
"Kidd gone?" Pilot and captain looked towards the voice, Soul's eyebrow raising when Liz peeked around the edge of the ship.
"Yeah," he said, motioning for her to come closer, "you just missed him."
"Thank god," the gunwoman said with an relieved sigh, straightening the bandana that held back her hair. "I need a word with you both."
"If it's about Kidd, there's not much we can do," Maka huffed. "Tsubaki won't fire him, and Kidd isn't listening to anyone."
"Who said we had to make him listen?" The grin that stretched across Liz's face was pure evil, and Soul quickly took a few steps back when Maka's answering smile held the same amount of wicked glee. "You still have that rope we bummed offa' Ox's ship?"
"You thinking what I'm thinking?"
"I'm walking away so I can claim plausible deniability when you two inevitably end up in jail," Soul said as he quickly walked away, turning on his heel and power-walking back towards the ship ,and the safety of his bunk, when Kidd called out his name and started rushing towards him. Liz and Maka stayed behind, the open cans of paint forgotten as they began to plot.
"Kidd, there's been an issue with the dresses!"
Kidd spun around quickly from the desk he had installed in his bunk, looking at Maka with wide eyes behind his half-moon spectacles. His desk was covered in papers and plans, and Maka made a mental note to come back down here when the... situation, was taken care of, and grab everything important.
"What's wrong?" he asked, standing from his seat and quickly making his way to where Maka hung onto the ladder.
"The skirts are all different sizes, and two of them are darker than the others," she relayed, her face scrunched up with worry. Kidd looked like he was about to have a heart attack on the spot, and quickly climbed the ladder, dodging Maka to get to the top faster.
"I told you ladies that you should have left the dresses to me!" he said, looking down at her as he pulled himself out of the hole. "Now we'll have to have Blair fix them all, or maybe even have to reorder the-"
A long, lanky arm wrapped around Kidd's narrow chest, holding his arms tight to his side as a sweet-smelling cloth was pressed to his mouth and nose. The doctor struggled for only a few seconds before falling limp, slumping back into the taller woman behind him.
"We got him?" Maka asked as she reached the top, watching as Liz shoved the cloth soaked in chloroform into her back pocket, readjusting her hold on the unconscious man.
"Yeah," she grunted, hoisting him onto her back fireman style. "This should keep him down for few hours, three at the least. You got the rope?"
Maka pulled up the coil of rope from behind her back, grinning evilly. "As if I would forget it. Take him to the closet-"
"Did you two just knock out my wedding planner?"
Maka and Liz spun around, the older woman accidentally dropping Kidd to the cold hard ground as they stared at an unamused-looking BlackStar.
Over the past few weeks, fighting with BlackStar had become a spectator sport to everyone besides the stupid and suicidal. With Kidd constantly harassing him, and his bride-to-be being more stressed and sensitive than ever, most of the crew was surprised that the poor man hadn't called the whole thing off. He was acting with surprising maturity, trying to keep Tsubaki calm and happy, and if that involved not nearly taking Kidd's head off at least 4 times a day, so be it.
"Um, yes?" Maka said hesitantly.
"What's the rope for?"
It was Liz's turn to answer."Tying him up until the wedding is over?"
BlackStar just quirked an eyebrow at the two, and they squirmed, hoping he wouldn't turn his wrath on them.
"You're not mad," Maka asked, "are you?"
"Oh, I'm mad alright," he said lowly. After a few tense moments, a wide, shit-eating grin appeared on his face, and Maka and Liz both had to smile at the very BlackStar-like expression. "Mad you planned on doing this without me! I've been wanting to shove him in a closet for weeks!"
Maka held the rope out towards him, dangling it in front of the bluenette. "Wanna help?" she asked with an evil grin, a matching smile on BlackStar's face as he took the rope.
The three, carrying Kidd between them, made their way towards the medical bay, stopping only once when they passed Patti, who was eating a sandwich in the kitchen.
"... Do what you gotta do," she dismissed with a shrug, yelling after them to not break anything too badly on her sometimes- beau.
"We promise nothing!" BlackStar yelled over his shoulder, tossing Kidd onto one of the cots as Maka and Liz set up a chair. "So we're just gonna tie him up?" he asked, watching the two women move the knocked-out man to the chair.
"That's the plan," Maka grunted, shoving Kidd into place. BlackStar sighed, rubbing his temples.
"As much as I'd like to keep the rat bastard tied up until the wedding, Tsubaki would probably get all upset," he said. Maka and Liz exchanged looks, looking at the rope the weapons tec' still held in his hands.
"So... we're not tying him up?" the pilot asked, confused.
"No, we are," BlackStar said, the wicked grin coming back. "But from this point on, we're doing this my way." Liz opened her mouth and BlackStar cut her off with a roll of his eyes. "No, we're not gonna kill him. What part of ex-assassin do you people not seem to get?"
"Well then," Liz huffed, "what are we gonna do to 'im?"
BlackStar just smiled.
Kidd woke up with a killer headache and the uncomfortable feeling of rope burning into his wrists. The room he woke up in was dark, but the familiar hums and ticking of machinery assured him that he was in his infirmary. His memory from the moments before he was knocked out were a bit fuzzy, but there was only one person on the ship that had access to chloroform 24/7.
"LIZ!" he roared, tugging at the restraints that kept him tied to the chair in the middle of the room. "LET ME GO IMMEDIATELY! LIZ! MAKA! I SWEAR YOU TWO-"
The lights flicked on, and Kidd quickly closed his eyes, his tirade cut off as the sudden bright light seemed to pound into his skull. He groaned, slumping back into the chair.
"Good, you're awake."
Kidd's eyes snapped open at the very male voice that spoke, watching as BlackStar brought his hand back towards his body and away from the light switch. He was leaning back in his own chair, twirling a small dagger in the air as he stared Kidd down. The light caught the sharp edge of the knife menacingly, and Kidd swallowed thickly.
"Were you the one who put Liz and Maka up to this?" he asked, trying to seem authoritative though it was clear that BlackStar was in charge of the situation.
"No, they did that on their own," the bluenette responded easily. "They were tired of your crap, and decided to take matters into their own hands."
"I've done nothing to warrant this kind of treatment-"
BlackStar caught the dagger in midair, pointing it at the spot between Kidd's golden eyes, the tip just a hair's width away from his pale skin. "You let your obsessive compulsive loose on my wedding," he said lowly. "You have turned my future-wife into a stressed out mess, and have managed to alienate yourself from all of your friends because you were too focused on trying to get everything exactly. Perfect."
The silence that followed was thick with tension, Kidd's eyebrows knitting together. "I just wanted to make your wedding perfect," he said slowly. "You and Tsubaki have been good friends to me, I wanted to take care of this for you."
"I understand that Kidd, and trust me, I appreciate what you were attempting to do." BlackStar leaned back into his chair again, fiddling with the dagger he held. "But your execution left a lot to be desired. True, we should have seen this coming, and yes, Tsubaki shouldn't have said yes, but we told you to stop multiple times, and you ignored us." The look in his aquamarine eyes was surprisingly soft. "You're one of my best friends Kidd, but just get us some towels or something as a wedding gift."
Kidd nodded slowly, hanging his head in shame. "Yes. Looking back, I see that my actions were a bit, irrational."
"Well, you know what they say about hindsight being 20-20."
"I promise you BlackStar, I will do better this time," the doctor said confidently. "I will not let my tendencies towards the symmetrical do anymore damage to your wedding-"
"Woah woah woah, dude, hold your horses," BlackStar said quickly, uncrossing his legs so he could lean forward and face Kidd. "You're not coming near the rest of the planning with a twenty foot pole."
"You're fired," BlackStar deadpanned. "Maka and Soul called in a few favors, and a wedding planner from New Death Haven is flying over to help finish the planning. Your only job is to keep your suit clean and show up."
"But I'll do better this time!" Kidd cried, distraught at the thought of all of his hard work going down the drain. "I promise."
"You had your chance man, you blew it," BlackStar said with a shrug. "I love ya' like a brother, but we learned our lesson. Maybe when you and Pat tie the knot, you can have her ripping her hair out while you obsess over the size of the cake and if it could be cut into multiples of 8." The bluenette stood, tucking his dagger away and patting Kidd's shoulder. "Thanks for trying, but like I said, get us towels instead."
He headed towards the doors, pulling them open when Kidd yelled. "Wait, shouldn't you untie me!?" BlackStar was silent for a few moments before he turned towards Kidd with an evil grin.
"Nah, I think I'll let you stay there until Sunday dinner."
"But it's Saturday morning!"
"Consider it payback for all the nights my soon-to-be bride couldn't sleep because you were stressing her out," he said with a two finger salute, stepping out of the doors and with one final grin, closed the doors.
He walked away, cackling like he was a teenager again as Kidd's yells followed him as he headed towards the kitchen. He could smell Tsubaki's famous blueberry muffins in the oven, and if he was lucky, BlackStar might be able to lick the remaining batter off his lovely fiancee.
"BlackStar? BlackStar! Damn it BlackStar, let me out! BLACKSTAR! BLACKSTAR!"
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