Disclaimer: I don't own Soul Eater. I do own the plot. Any other sources used that are not of my own creation (poetry, lyrics, quotes, etc) or things that may not be common knowledge shall be cited and I will explain their relevance at the end. Anything not cited is of my own imagination.
The Evans Dukedom; an elite family of rich, famous musicians that have a spotless record dating back for centuries. Members of the Evans clan are known for having silky locks the color of fresh fallen snow and eyes the same hue as freshly fallen blood, as well as being gifted with the blessed curse of perfect pitch. The members of this clan are known for grace, intelligence and naturally bred leadership skills. This high reputation has led to a wonderful, gorgeous life in the lap of luxury with everything they could ever need; even in modern times, they are praised as high as possible by those around them in D-City.
And then there's that one black dot on the stainless reputation, trapped in a sense of dissatisfaction.
There was a loud crashing sound down the hall, causing his hand to slip and his bow to scratch the string in an awkward positioning. A harsh, unnamed and disharmonious chord screeched free, causing the young man to wince and hiss in response. He shifted his violin from his neck, sighed, and placed the wooden instrument back in the black velvet case. He then placed a gold tinted satin cloth over the instrument from the base, over the strings and up to tuck around the scroll. He heard loud, boisterous laughter escape two different tones and the clatter of footsteps rush past the shut door. Cautiously, he walked over, opened the door, and poked his head out over the doorframe. He just caught the disappearing silhouettes and snickers of the two passing figures.
"Ah, so Black*Star snuck in somehow. No wonder things have become so noisy," He grumbled to himself, preparing to shut the door and return to his solitary hiding spot.
"Wes!" A shrill voice suddenly called, causing said male to flinch and groan. Though he loves his mother to death, he could do without her high-pitched tones meant to imply she was in need of assistance, importance of said task be damned. She appears in a shush of voluptuous tangerine fabrics, the loud click of heels on tile, and an alto-pitched huff. This is one reason his mother's voice rides on anyone's nerves when it gets to high-pitched; by breeding, her voice was designed for a slightly deeper and somewhat sultry tone.
Duchess Masumi Evans was held in highest of esteems, even in her later years where she mostly just entertained guests in the Evans family home. Masumi had once been a world-renown musician with the slender, long fingers that made her the wonderful match for the golden instrument known as the harp she played. She met her husband, William Evans, through their years in the same symphony orchestra together. Even now, his mother was a master of grace and, despite her oddities, almost always had a gaggle of giggling older women in her company. At current, she was holding out her left hand, clad in a blue and pink-polka-dot glove, and looking over the matching right with a serious expression. "Is something the matter, Mother?" Wes asked after a polite pause.
Her cardinal tinted eyes snapped from her hand to him before she giggled, clasped her hands together and batted her lashes at him. A sinking feeling developed in the young man's gut; his mother was going to ask him some painfully difficult or painfully dull task that he'd force himself to grin and bear for her sake. "Wes, we need to discuss your baby brother," She hummed musically. His shoulders relaxed a little bit at this. Specifically, the quality of her voice calmed him a bit.
"Is there another issue with his friend, Black*Star? I can assure you, Mother, that trying to separate the two of them will have adverse conse-" She held up a hand, cutting him off half way through his sentence. He blinked a few times, his own burgundy eyes seeming to note the more serious glint to his mother's eyes. He closed his mouth and waiting her comment so that he'd know exactly what this would be about.
"I may not care for that orphaned heir to the Star family Dukedom, but he is not the current issue I want you to help me handle. Soul has stopped playing his piano," She said. She then dropped her hand and folded her arms over her chest, a sorrowful scowl twisting on her lips. "Or, rather, he's refusing to play. He says that it gets dull rehearsing by himself all day. I suggested he do a duet with you, but he was adamantly against that as well."
Wes wasn't surprised by this little nugget of information; though his parents tried to pretend not to notice, his brother felt inferior and was intimidated by him. Soul was a headstrong, lazy, loud-mouthed boy until it came to his older sibling. Around Wes, he became somewhat more reserved and docile, like a well-trained dog. He would act the role of quiet, polite gentleman but was always left unable to relax; a gift and a curse was their relationship, the way Wes saw it. Though he could bring the best out of his kid brother, the other was unable to feel at true peace going through the motions of high society. No, he agreed with his brother that right now a duet between the two of them would be disastrous. Until Soul's confidence in himself grew a little he'd never be able to truly enjoy the experience. "I can see where that may be an issue. It sounds like you need to find him an ensemble to join, or at least a singer to collaborate with," He suggested casually.
His mother's eyes lit up. "That's an excellent idea, Wes! Oh, Soul would just love to have the chance to make little friends with talent and practice with them!" She beamed happily.
"Glad to help, Mother," Wes began as he exited his rehearsal room. He shut the door with a soft click and flashed her a small smile. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I might take a little stroll through town. Maybe pick up some new strings and sheet music, or something like that."
"Actually, Wes, I need a little something from you," She giggled impishly, grinning at him innocently. He kept his gaze fixed on his mother; he had helped her solve one crisis, couldn't he go and enjoy the rest of his afternoon as he'd like? "We'll be hosting a party tonight, as I'm sure you already know. I hadn't thought about entertainment yet, which is actually a blessing to us, given your suggestion on how to help your brother. While you're out, see about finding an ensemble for Soul; we can have them perform tonight and see how he responds to them. But make sure that they have good backgrounds; I don't want him making music with a bunch of street urchins who will just dirty up the house and muddy the sound of Soul's skills." Her tone was cheerful and airy until the last sentence. Then, it took a more authoritive tone that was clipped and hedged, like a drill sergeant relaying the rules to their newest batch of understudies.
Well, there went his half prepared plans of relaxing and enjoying the rest of his afternoon. "Of course, Mother. I can't promise I'll find anything of real interest, given my time frame won't be very large, but I'll do my best," He said with a bright smile. 'For Soul's sake, at the very least.' He mused to himself, too afraid his mother would misunderstand what he meant by the statement. Despite the slight strain in their relationship, he really did care about his younger brother and wanted to see him succeed. If it required him to sacrifice one afternoon that he hadn't really planned out?
He didn't see it as much of a sacrifice, really.
Wes sighed as he slumped into a seat at a local pub. It was a nice place, with low candles lighting it and a live band always playing. He had searched around town all day, listening to band after band but still he couldn't find a single group that he felt would work with Soul. Not only that, but including the guidelines set by his mother, it was even more difficult; the bands he did think might make Soul's cut were then eliminated because of his mother's more refined taste. He lightly pinched the bridge of his nose. 'This has been far more troublesome than I anticipated,' He thought in slight dismay.
"Meow! Hey there, little cutie~!"
He opened his eyes slightly at the sultry purr of a soprano female tone. He was greeted by a pair of bubbly golden spheres set in a rather lovely face. The woman giggled and cocked her head to one side, her strange violet tresses falling like a curtain over her exposed shoulders. She wore a tight, sleeveless black dress with a red bedazzled belt with large silver buckle in the center notch on her hips. With it, she had on black high heeled boots that stayed at her ankles, leaving her legs completely exposed. She had a gorgeous hourglass shape that seemed to match with her elegant face well. A small black purse with a cat face stitched on it was tossed over one shoulder, held there by a thin black piece of rope. What Wes found strange about her, however, were the fake purple ears she had on her head; he could see the tips of the black pins she used to keep them in place sticking out a little through her hair.
"You're Wes Evans, aren't you?" She asked as she settled into the seat next to him, scooting closer and rested her hands on his upper arm. He raised an eyebrow at her; she was one of those girls, wasn't she? Lots of girls who wanted to marry into a successful, rich family or just wanted to become the talk of the town would often approach him and try to solicit his attention. He looked away and very calmly tried to disentangle his arm. Her grip tightened a bit, her nail nicking his skin a bit. He looked down sharply and was greeted with a wicked glint in those amber pools and her pale pink lips twisted up in a somewhat demonic grin. "I think you're misreading my intentions, darling. I just want to talk a little."
"And what would you like to talk about, exactly?" He asked calmly, forcing his frame to relax against her. Sometimes the girls would get a little bizarre like this. If he was calm and practiced a little patience, he'd be able to call for a bouncer or manager to pry his newfound arm-charm off.
"The word down the grape vine is you've been waltzing all around town and checking into all the local ensembles. If you're looking for something special, I think I've got just the ticket," She purred happily, her grip on his arm loosening a bit. She slipped one hand away and rummaged through her purse, finally producing a little card shaped like a pumpkin. She offered to it and he took it with his free hand.
It was decorated with a Jack-O-Lantern face and, in neon pink lettering, said "Witch Blair; Manager to the greatest society has to offer." 'So she isn't a crazy fangirl; she's a crazy manager,' He thought, a little relieved and disappointed by this new turn of events. "So you are managing some very talented children, I presume?" He asked as some newcomers walked on stage.
It was a small pair of a boy and a girl. The boy was unpacking a violin while the girl set up his stand and sheet music for him. The boy had jet black hair with three white stripes dyed on left side only; perhaps a risqué move their manager, Witch Blair, as her card announced, decided may help their image? His eyes were a hue of gold similar to their manager's but were harsh with concentration as he tested the fine tuning of his instrument. He was wearing an all black suit with three white stripes on the chest and either shoulder, a skull shaped pin placed at the collar of his attire. It seemed a little formal for a performance in a pub but Wes kept it to himself.
The girl, however, was a bit more casual than him. She had fair-hair tied up with pink ribbons in pigtails that made her deep emerald spheres stand out more in her cute little face. He estimated her age to be around fifteen or so, close to his younger brother. She was wearing a short sleeved pink dress with a long sleeved white dress underneath, most likely to help add to her cherubic charm. After helping her partner set everything up, she walked over to the microphone and gave a little grin to the audience. "Hello everyone, and thank you so much for allowing us the opportunity to perform for you," Her voice was a delicate pitch, an octave between soprano and alto; too deep to be a little girl's but also too soft to be that of a matured lady. (1)
"That's Maka, the lead singer. There are three other girl's in this group but they aren't needed right now; this song just requires three," Blair murmured conspiratorially. When he glanced down at her he swore those yellow eyes were watching the younger girl with pure, unfaltering pride.
"Then why are there only two on stage?" Wes mumbled back, but Blair pressed a finger to her lips and released a soft hissing noise. She didn't even look up to acknowledge him when demanding his silence. He was a little peeved but he ignored it and turned his attention back to the stage.
"Our pianist recently left our group because of… Um, creative differences, so this song might not sound quite right at first. But, please, if you will," She said and her smile became more humble and welcoming, "please give us the chance to show you just how breathless we can leave you. Thank you." She bowed humbly before clearing her throat and taking a deep breath. She closed her eyes for a moment, counting in her head, before opening her mouth and letting out the first part of her song.
13 horses swimming in the sea
Waiting for someone to find them.
Their ship is gone and now they are alone
With water everywhere around them.
Wes blinked a few times; he could tell a little where the missing piano was supposed to be just by the fact the girl was singing alone with no back up. Her voice had a rich sound that, much like when she spoke, was a touch between the previously mentioned two pitches, and, unlike some singers, she stood a far enough distance from the microphone that there was no static sound yet projected enough that it sounded wonderful.
The men were saved from the sinking ship
Right before it started to burn.
And while they're safe their loyal friends need help
Patiently waiting for their turn.
"You said the lead singer's name was Maka, correct?" Wes asked softly, leaning in a little closer to the woman. A cheeky grin lit up her face at his clear interest. "What is her full name, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Her full name is Maka Albarn," She mused lightly. She grinned brightly at how those crimson spheres widened a small bit at the mentioned name. The Albarn family was a pretty well-known family. They had started out as successful tailors until a few years ago when one member of their family, a young man by the name of Spirit Albarn, began training as a guardian. In D-City, guardians were skilled, strong individuals assigned to protect the successful families, such as the Evans family. After his successes, the Albarn clan was also awarded a nice plot of land to build a larger house upon and were given the title of baron or baroness to be passed along. "She is the only child of Baron Spirit Albarn, in case you were wondering."
13 horses swimming in the sea
They don't even know it's pointless.
Their pride remains but this time it won't help.
They used to be so tall and suddenly they're small.
The violin joined in now, starting out at a soft allegro that matched the somewhat elusive tempo set by Maka's vocals. The boy was using long, languid, deep strokes but was still managing to keep the sound muted and delicate. The compliment between vocals and violin was well set and rather spectacular given their age. Add on the fact they were missing a player and that just aided to the sense of wonder. "And the violinist? Who is he?"
There's a couple waiting far behind.
Soon they will be out of sight.
But then who cares - they're dying anyway.
All of them are doomed this night.
Blair grinned and relaxed, leaning her head on Wes's shoulder. She had been hoping a high roller would come in today; getting gigs for Maka and her group wasn't hard but it'd be nice to get them a bigger job. A bigger job meant bigger pay, which meant she could take her little girl's shopping! And if anyone needed to get better clothes, it was definitely her little Maka. "That's Kid; he's from the son of Marquis Death. He and Maka met because Baron Albarn is the captain of Marquis Death's guards and decided to start playing music together. I just agreed to get their gigs so they could improve and afford their equipment," She mused aloud. She decided not to mention that she wanted to use the money to buy new clothes; she felt it might make her team seem less humble or something.
11 horses swimming in the sea.
The sea they thought was just a river.
They're used to this it's probably just a race.
That helps to ease their minds but where's the finish line?
'He's pretty good with that violin. And the style of the song they picked works well for both their techniques,' Wes thought. He wasn't too surprised that the son of Marquis Death was a talented young man; the Marquis himself was rumored to play the clarinet and the bassoon in his times of private leisure. He could, however, tell that there had to be at least one thing that would make it hard for him to convince his mother to accept this group, should he choose to present them for Soul at the party this evening. "And what about the other members of this group? What are they like?"
Blair twitched a bit, a sense of dread tugging at her senses. She could try to lie her way through this next part, but this young man was clever; the first whiff of fishy business and he'd be heading for the door. "Oh, they're fine young ladies, the other three. I'll introduce you to everyone after the show, if you'd like," She offered. Perhaps that would distract him well enough for her.
"That's all good and proper, but I would like to know the heritage of those three young ladies as well," He said bluntly. Well, there went Plan A in Blair's Big Book of Ways to Assure Success.
The night grows dark, the body wants to rest.
It hurts to breathe and still they do their best.
They want to live no matter for how long.
Their thoughts all disappeared 'cause now they're really scared.
"Will their heritage directly effect the conclusion you're inching toward on whether or not you want to hire my group or not?" She asked point-blank. There was no point beating around the bush now, the way she saw it; she was going to have to be honest and just let him roll with the information as he wished at this point.
"That depends on a few things," Wes responded calmly. She raised an eyebrow and leaned up a bit more, forcing him to tear his gaze from the stage to her.
"What few things?" She asked suspiciously.
"Does this group's sound vary in moods, genres and styles? And can those other three girls act like ladies born and bred in high society?" The way Wes saw it, a little bit of lower class performers may add to the spice of the sound. Not only that, but he knew that Soul liked things that broke away from the norm, even if only by a little bit. Wes would simply have to worm the idea into his mother's heart; and, should Soul agree to working with them, that would help his case as well.
7 horses struggling in the sea.
Waiting for someone to find them.
They don't look back 'cause what's the point of that?
There is only death behind them.
"Oh, but of course! They may be orphans working in the Marquis Death abode, but they are as sophisticated as the highest of ladies in society!" Blair beamed happily. Okay, so she was pushing the truth a little bit. Tsubaki was a humble, gentle soul who was also polite and careful with how she worded things, which meant she'd be able to skate past pretty well at high class get-togethers. Liz was a shopaholic and a little bit of a whiner at times, but she knew how to charm the pants off anyone and also knew how to stand for her opinion without seeming to harsh or rude. She would be able to skate by, like Tsubaki, but only by the skin of her teeth. And Patty… Blair bit the inside of her lip to hold back a groan or sigh.
They cry for help but help will never come.
They don't know where to swim or what they're swimming from.
They try to swim some more when panic starts to spread.
They're swimming in to shore but only in their heads.
It appeared that the fates were smiling upon Wes for selflessly sacrificing his day to fulfill his mother's request. As long as they could pass as high society women he could bluff through the rest of it. He could just say that they were studying abroad or something noble like that. Yes, he knew his mother would like the ring of that. And then, he'd just make sure to let Soul know the truth. Soul would, after all, know better than to snitch the truth to their parents.
The 3 last horses dying in the sea
Shouting out their cries for no one.
They're born to win, they're screaming in their hearts.
The strength of thousand men.
They're fighting to the end.
Blair briefly looked at Maka and Kid on stage; they were certainly doing well, considering they had lost their pianist. The song still sounded magnificent and she noticed that everyone's attention was turned to the pair. She waited another moment, watching how Maka's eyes shimmered a bit with tears as she neared the end of the song, before looking up and batting her lashes playfully at the young Dukedom heir. "So, would you like to meet them after the show?"
The sun is out, birds are everywhere.
They're flying high, surfing in the air.
It's nice to live when life is such a blast.
One horse still swims it seems to be the last.
"Yes," Wes states simply and turns his attention back to the stage. He perks up when he sees a few tears drip down the girl's cheeks, though her voice does not tremble or quiver with it. He suddenly looks around and spots many others in the audience getting misty-eyed or crying as well; the most interesting being a burly man covered in tattoos who has burrowed his face into his petite lady friend's shoulder while he wails and shakes with sobs.
It appears he wasn't paying much attention to the lyrics of the song; more focused on the sound, flow and words between he and Blair.
The thirteenth horse has always been the best.
His owner will be proud but now he wants to rest.
He's longing for his home.
The girl will give him food.
"Good boy" – she'll say; together they will play.
'You've done wonderfully, my little kittens~!' Blair cheered in her head. Her eyes bubbled over with pride and joy toward the pair on stage. Their song was almost over and soon she'd get to talk to them and let them know what was going on. 'He may not have specified what exactly he needs you all for, but it must be good! And he's clearly decided on this because of your skill, so he'll definitely be even more blown away once he hears you all together!... I just hope that Chrona leaving won't hinder the whole ensemble too much…' She thought, forcing herself to try and remain optimistic, even when faced with such a worrisome matter.
13 horses swimming in the sea
Soon they will be gone forever.
And while they swim,
One thing still remains.
And that's the hope that never dies.
It never dies.
It never dies. (2)
After the last few notes of the song and Maka's voice disappeared from the air the young girl quickly scrubbed at her eyes with her long sleeve. She then looked at the audience with an embarrassed little grin; it was, to some degree, a humble gesture in Wes's opinion. "Sorry if that song was a little depressing, we just wanted to tell an interesting story that we felt everyone could relate to," She said into the microphone. She then bowed again. "Thank you again for letting us play for you. Please enjoy the rest of your evenings, and we hope to see you again soon."
And with that, she and her associate gathered their things and left to the thunderous applause they received.
"Pum-Pum-Pumpkins~! Quickly, quickly, come to Blair! She has some wonderful news~!" Blair cheered as she rushed into the back room of the pub where her ensemble was relaxing. Maka and Kid, who were both just sitting down, glanced up curiously at her. Maka had a bottle of water in one hand and the unscrewed cap in the other. Kid was sitting in a chair with his violin case open in his lap, using a plush yellow clothe to polish the fine wood and remove any rosin (3) residue.
The other three ladies were also strewn about the room, doing various things. Tsubaki was seated next to Maka on a small couch in the room, holding a binder and indicating something with one finger. She was probably discussing some wording in a song that didn't make sense or flow right; despite her amazing voice, Maka was actually completely brain-dead in regards to comprehending music. Liz was seated at a mahogany vanity in the room with a compact mirror, blush and powder puff on the bottom portion, in one hand and a pair of tweezers in the other. She had one freshly plucked eyebrow raised at the lavender haired woman as she watched her in the mirror. And Patty… Well, she had taken a box of crayons to her sheet music and found a way to mold it into a giant giraffe, which she was wrestling with. She didn't even stop her imaginary scuffle at their manager's entrance and, since they were all looking at her otherwise, Blair took the chance to glance over at the three girls who hadn't yet performed for Wes.
Tsubaki was a charming, pale little thing. She was gifted with a rather well-developed chest and her hips had a nice curve to them. She wasn't as stacked as Blair was, but she was most likely going to head more that way in two or three years; she was only sixteen right now, after all. Her inky black hair was always tied off in a long, flowing black ponytail that helped make her pale skin and deep cobalt spheres stand out more. She was currently wearing a white cotton dress with a little rose pin on the left side lapel. There was basic white lace on the edge of the skirt and a red sash was tied off in a bow around her slim waist, hoping to help the dress seem a little less plain.
Liz was the next one put under Blair's scrutiny. Liz had dirty blonde hair that trailed to about the middle of her back and, at the moment, it was left to just tickle the expanse of space below her shoulder blades.. Like Tsubaki, Liz had dark azure eyes that were currently glowing a little lighter with slight annoyance. She was wearing a short sleeved blouse the color of a fresh plum with all the buttons done up, hiding the ample cleavage that the cat-like woman knew was there. The blouse was tucked into a black satin skirt that reached to her knees; another pity, because the young girl had very nice legs that she should show off more. In her outfit, Liz looked more like she was going to be teaching a class or attending an important board meeting than performing for a crowd.
Patty was the last person that Blair set her sights on; more because she had been hoping the hyperactive child would calm down a little more and sense the seriousness of the current situation. She hadn't been holding her breathe and wasn't gifted with a tame lady. Patty behaved like the youngest member in the group, being Liz's younger twin sister and most likely coddled a bit by the other, but was certainly growing into a young woman. She was wearing an outfit that matched her sisters perfectly (most likely because of Kid's insisting, really,) but her skirt was hitched up to her hips and her tiger print panties were on clear display as her paper giraffe tumbled apart with her on top. Her hair, the color just a touch lighter than Liz's and a touch darker than Maka's, was cut in a short bob that went just a little past her ears. Her eyes were blue like her sisters but were significantly lighter, resembling a robin's egg, and were currently overflowing with mirth as she giggled like a child at the ruined papers beneath her.
"Patty! Pull your skirt down this instance! It's indecent!" Kid suddenly declared, glaring at the young woman with his left eye twitching slightly. The girl looked over her shoulder at him for a moment before laughing loudly.
"Aw! No fun, no fun!" She giggled, falling onto her back and closing her eyes gleefully. She pointed one hand toward Kid without looking. "Kid is no fun! No fun!"
"Patty, would you come over her and let me fix you up again, please? You look like you got put through a friggin' wood chipper!" Liz hissed lightly, turning her attention from her reflection.
"Oh, Blair, what was this big news you mentioned? Tsubaki asked, as if suddenly remembering the woman had come in seeming rather proud of herself.
"Well, I have booked you all a meeting with Wes Evans in a few minutes~!" Blair purred finally, giggling at the shocked expressions on all the teen's faces (aside for Patty, who was still a laughing mass in the corner). She held up on finger and winked lightly. "So we need to discuss what the terms you want for this agreement. He didn't specify what, but I assume they need entertainers for an upcoming party at their place. Clearly we want to be paid well, but is there anything else? Like specific foods or beverages?" Blair asked.
"Shouldn't we wait and see what exactly he wants before making demands?" Maka asked calmly, relaxing into the back of the couch. All eyes shifted to her and she sighed, deciding to explain a little more. "Well, if we make demands we might lose the gig. We should see what exactly they want from us before asking for anything other than basic currency for a performance."
"Maka is quite right," Kid agreed, nodding a bit and turning to Blair. The older woman blinked a few times at him, tilting her head. "Give us about ten minutes to get Patty presentable again and then bring him in. After that, leave the negotiations to Maka and myself; we know what you'll want for your cut and can assure we get that as well."
"Leave it to me, my little pumpkins~!" She gushed before twirling and exited as abruptly as she had come.
"Now then," Death trailed as he turned to Patty, "get over here and let us get you together! Liz and I know exactly what to do to make you look perfect!" He said sternly, closing his violin case and setting it down. He and Liz stood at the same time, heading toward the fun-loving female on the floor.
While a chase started up between the trio, Tsubaki turned to Maka with a small smile.
"This is really exciting, isn't it?" She asked happily. Maka and Tsubaki had known each other for roughly six years now. When they were younger, Tsubaki was teased a lot because she was an immigrant with no family. One day, while doing some shopping for the chef in the Death household, she was getting bullied pretty badly. Maka, who had been hiding out in a tree above the little scuffle, had decided to act out; she dropped her heavy leather-bound novel on the head of the ring leader. The group dispersed and ever since Maka had been helping the other girl build her self-confidence. Even now, their relationship was a mutual one filled with peace. The two could sit together in silence, one with a book and the other with her thoughts, and still enjoy that serene companionship.
Jade orbs softened and brightened at the other female. "I certainly think so. Not much is known about the Evans Dukedom other than the general information," She pointed out. Not just a book worm, Maka was a history buff who loved delving into pasts and meanings of various things. She had read up on basically every last family in D-City; the only one to elude her was the Evans. The family clearly liked their privacy and, though Maka wasn't normally the kind to nose around in someone else's business, she knew that insider information on them could turn a rather impressive profit.
For a hopeful writer like Maka, that sort of insider information could be the key to turn the lock of success.
"I agree. I just hope that he doesn't want us for anything too difficult. Like, I hope they don't want us to sing specific songs that members of their family wrote," Maka stated, beginning to get a whirly sensation in her tummy known as butterflies. Dear God, that would be the most terrifying in the world! "I wouldn't want to run the risk of butchering it."
"You're wonderful, Maka! There is no where you could make any song sound bad!" Tsubaki reinforced quickly, clasping the other's girls hands. She gave a light squeeze and a small, reassuring smile. The other girl couldn't help but smile and squeeze back; her best friend had a contagious smile.
The two girls jolted back up when they heard scuffling just outside of the door. "They are very excited to meet you, nyah~! So, what exactly was this proposition you wanted to offer?" Blair quizzed merrily. Kid and Liz's eyes widened and they moved even quicker into action. They dragged the squealing blonde into the vanity chair and Liz set to a quick touch-up using a comb and come hair spray she had swindled from the table top. While she did that, Kid had managed to tug Patty's skirt back down to its proper location. He then quickly knelt down and reclosed the lock on the side of her left black heeled sandal.
"There! Her clothes are in perfect order again!" He said before running back to his previous perch, nearly tripping over his violin case. He sat, swept the instrument back into his lap, reopened it and resumed polishing it.
"And now we're done! Now, Pat, just sit still and behave and I promise I'll give you a special treat after dinner tonight!" Liz said hurriedly, frantically trying to reorganize the vanity. Patty merely giggled in agreement to the verbal contract. Liz finished her task and leaned against the vanity just as the door knob began to twist.
"I think I'll wait until we get inside to explain; why say the same thing twice?" They heard a young man's voice answer smoothly. And, finally, the door creaked open and in entered the two older individuals.
Wes examined all five of the individuals that made up the ensemble. He recognized the vocalist and violinist from on the stage moments before, and the other three looked like they'd be able to pass through with his lies; all attractive, all quiet and apparently patient. "So, which one of you is the leader of this group?" He asked finally.
"Maka and I share what could be considered the role of leader," Kid, as he recalled the violist being called by Blair, said calmly. He was watching Wes with acute interest, gold orbs glinting with his analysis. Wes was used to being sized up and remained rooted to his spot, hoping that would aid in hurrying this along. "However, we believe in a democratic system in our group; if Elizabeth, Patricia and Tsubaki do not feel comfortable with an offered deal we are liable to change our minds or our requests."
The young Evans heir made a mental note of how the two blonde girl's grimaced slightly at their full names; he assumed they deemed nicknames within the group to assure communications and relations were strong. "I see. Well, shall we get right down to business then?" He asked, a small smile coming to his lips. Blair quickly indicated a chair against the wall next to the two girl's on the couch. "Thank you." He said calmly, getting comfortable before turning his eyes on the group. "I noticed that you are minus a pianist."
"Yes," Maka said softly. Her hands tightened around Tsubaki's and she looked down, eyes darkening with bitter emotions. The other girl sent a slightly worried glance her way. "We had a few… Creative differences with our previous pianist. We went our separate ways just the night before last." Wes noticed that at these words the blonde with the shorter hair's smile faltered, her right hand twitching toward her left briefly, and the blonde next to her let out an almost inaudible growl, hands clenched at her sides. Another interesting reaction he'd add to his list for later.
"Well, I happen to know a pianist who'd be more than willing to join your ensemble after meeting you," He said with a bright smile. Six heads snapped toward him, six pairs of eyes wide with shock and intrigue. "M younger brother, Soul, can play the piano beautifully. We're hosting a celebration this evening; if you're all willing to play this evening, we can do proper introductions after the evening starts to die down."
'There is no such thing as getting something for free, Maka,' A voice in her head snapped. The voice was feminine, deep, and a little harsher than expected for such words. The young girl recognized it as her mother, Kami Albarn, from before she was claimed by illness and passed away. 'People only look out for their own interests; therefore, make sure to get your uses from them if they want something from you as well.'
"And what exactly will we get out of taking him into our group?" She asked bluntly, her eyes stern and focused on the silver haired male before her. Blair looked like she was about to pounce at the younger girl, Patty was fighting back giggles, Liz looked confused, Kid looked about ready to roll over and die, and Tsubaki looked somewhat stunned. Wes remained calm, meeting her gaze with just as much composure. "I'm not stupid, Evans, and I don't care for gossip. I have, however, heard little nuggets of information in regards to your brother. And I can assure you that none of it is good. So what is our motivation for letting a talented delinquent into our ensemble?"
"You're a rather devious, clever girl, aren't you?" Wes asked with a small chuckle. He had a suspicion that, should his plans all work out, this girl and his brother were going to have fun getting to know one another. "Well, what would you like from my family?"
"You will pay us for our show this evening before we arrive; we need to get properly prepared and require a good sum each in order to do so," She said, jumping to the chase before Blair or Kid could jump in. They would both want the basics, maybe even a little extra of this or that; Maka had one chance to get what she needed. And she had been raised to take advantage of every offered opportunity. "Also, we'll be permitted to dine on whatever meal you provide for your guests. After that, should we take your brother on as our pianist, we'll have full access to your rehearsal rooms. And, on a final note, I will be given the rights to reside in your home for the next year and analyze your family life in a journal and on video cassettes."
Wes perked up and looked at her suspiciously. "And why would you want to stay with our family with those rights in specific?"
"To write a book about your family, of course," She answered back flatly. Blair jerked back with a small hiss, Death's eye began to twitch, Patty began to snort lightly, Liz looked ready to faint and Tsubaki was beginning to silently panic. "Publishers would kill for a book about your family. If I can offer them that than I'll be set as well; I can glorify your family even more and I can get my own ticket to fame."
"And if I say that I can agree to everything other than that last term?" Wes asked.
"Then you will have to take your generous offer somewhere else," Maka answered point blank. There was a tense silence and, briefly, Maka feared she may have pushed her boundaries and just screwed up royally.
When the foreign male began laughing, however, everyone relaxed just a touch. "Well aren't you a spunky, willful little thing? But I like that fire in you, so I'll have everything arranged for you. I'll find a way to convince my parents your writing will be a good idea and have things ready as soon as I can," He said as he stood. He smiled at Maka's awe-stricken expression. "I'll have one of our servants bring the money by in about an hour or two for you, so stay here and wait for it. The party will be this evening at eight o'clock so you'll have a good five hours to prepare. That should be more than enough time, correct?" He was answered with a vacant nod. "Excellent. I'll see you this evening." He said before walking out, shutting the door with a quiet click.
Once he left was gone the following occurred; Liz fainted, Patty burst out laughing, Tsubaki fell back against the couch with a groan, and the team of Blair and Kid had launched themselves at Maka, questioning the young girl if she had gone completely daft. Maka was too stunned her plan had actually worked to respond to the cries of her manager and friend.
To say that Soul Eater Evans was disgruntled would be an understatement; he was livid, but he was simply keeping it all locked up inside. Currently dolled up in an all black tuxedo with a red bow (to add a small splash of color, as his mother had put it), he was fixing his hair so that it remained in its usual spikes. Using a wet towel, he was scrubbing out as much of the hair dye his stylist had put in as he could. Only nerds wore their hair slicked back and tidy.
And Soul was anything except uncool.
The door creaked open and in poked his older brother's head, causing him to halt his actions and just stare at him. "It's easier to wet a comb and then re-style it," Wes said with a small grin. Soul blinked and nodded, looking away quickly.
"Thanks, I'll try it," He grumbled lightly, tugging the towel off of his head and tossing it to the side carelessly. He waited, hoping for the door to shut again, but when it didn't he sighed. "Did you have a question or something?" He asked, a small bit of annoyance creeping into his voice. He winced a bit at his tone but didn't apologize for it.
"Actually, I wanted to be there when you heard out band for the evening. I found them myself and thought you might be… Interested. They're actually looking for a pianist right now," The older sibling said with a casually, watching his brother curiously. Soul twitched a bit and then glanced at him,a thin layer of curiosity in his eyes.
"Mom and Dad let you pick the band? Normally they always hire that brass ensemble," He commented. Soul cast a quick glance in the mirror and, seeing that his hair was perfect, headed to the door to meet his brother. They started out toward the grand ballroom, where all the festivities were taking place, together.
"The brass band is still here but they aren't the main event; they're just back-up in case the smaller ensemble I got needs them,"
"Huh; normally Mom and Dad never want to let new groups perform," Soul said as they walked into the ballroom. The lights were on high, causing the all white walls to blend together. There were splashes of colors in the form of the tablecloths and floral baskets. Other than that, the only color came from the gowns of the ladies in attendance. Soul glanced over and saw the brass band set up on rafters behind the main stage. On stage was the group his brother had gotten.
One girl, who was setting up what appeared to be a set of large bells, had long black hair tied up in a large loop behind her head. Her eyes were a deep cerulean that were currently sparkling with a mix of excitement and nervousness. Soul smirked a bit at the sleeveless pink gown she was wearing; it was rather simple without any jewelling but it was long and had a slit on either side, showing off her legs and the matching pink heels she was wearing.
The next figure he saw was the only male on the stage; a strange guy with mostly black hair but three strange white stripes on the left side. He had bright yellow eyes that were currently glinting with annoyance on two other females in the group. He wore a tuxedo like every other male present. The two girls he was apparently nagging caught Souls attention next.
They were both blonde with blue eyes; one had darker hair and darker eyes while the other had lighter hair and lighter eyes. He assumed they were probably related somehow. They were put in matching dresses in a shade of cardinal red. What he found strange was that both dresses were strapless and both were wearing long sleeved jackets so that their arms and shoulders were covered, yet there was still some cleavage revealed. When the lighter haired girl three one arm up in the air, the young musician could have sworn he saw a touch of white underneath. But from what? He shook the thought away and shifted his gaze to finish checking them out. Their dresses were just centimeters above the ground but he saw the slightly hint of red open toed shoes.
He finally looked over at the singer, who was setting up the microphone to match her height. Her hair was an ashy blonde that was teased and curled lightly, dripping over her shoulder just by a few inches. Her eyes were a sharp viridian hue that were currently blank of emotion, her eyes trained on the task at hand. Her dress was a spaghetti strap in a tint of write that reached to about her knees. There was a floral pattern along it, however, that resembled crawling vines and the occasional blossoming flower in a green a shade lighter than her eyes. It was all finished off with a pair of white heels that wrapped up along her ankle with buckles and straps.
'They seem like they might be decent,' He thought as he walked over to his brother. Wes was currently talking a rather busty woman in an all black dress that hugged her tightly like a glove. She also had a black feather boa wrapped around her neck and shoulders. "You make a new friend?" Soul asked as he walked over.
Wes perked up. He had just been asking Blair why she was wearing the same dress as before except with the addition of the boa when Soul approached. "Actually, Soul, this is Blair. She's the manager of the group I mentioned," He said politely.
Blair squealed and grabbed Soul in a tight embrace, his face landing right in her bountiful chest. "What a little cutie~! I like him already~!" Blair gushed happily, not noticing how a sticky red liquid was now pouring from the young male's nose. "Make sure to listen to my group with your full attention, okay, Soul-Kun?" She asked while releasing him, leaning in and kissing his cheek lightly.
The young man could only nod frantically. Wes released a small sigh and pulled a small handkerchief from the breast pocket of his tuxedo jacket. "Brother, here; wipe your nose before Mother or Father see," He said softly, pressing the fabric into Soul's fingers.
Soul blushed and quickly wiped at his nose while Blair giggled lightly at him. "Thanks," He stated softly. There was a small tap on the microphone, causing them all to look up at the young girl. She smiled back lightly at them.
"Hello, everybody, and thank you for allowing us to perform for you tonight," She said cheerfully. She then indicated herself with one hand. "My name is Maka Albarn and this is Kid." She said, indicating the black haired boy. "The two blondes are Liz and Patty, and the dark-haired girl is Tsubaki. We all hope you enjoy your evening." She said before stepping back a bit. Kid turned toward the brass band and cued them as the music began. Tsubaki, who was now holding a black guitar or bass, began playing as well.
My name is love, I'm your announcer.
You bring the heart, I'll bring the answers.
I need a few good men and women on my team.
"Hmm. Pretty good," Soul said softly. Blair grinned a little bit to herself. This was going good, right? She had told Maka and the others to pick more upbeat, cheery music for the party. Although Maka liked to sing softer songs with darker, depressing meanings she could still do perkier; considering they weren't being booed of the stage provided Blair with that much.
My name is love, your friendly partner.
I'm on alert cause my work's getting harder.
I need a few good people to rebuild my dream, you see.
Wes swallowed hard. Sure, Soul had dished out a small compliment but he could see his brother was getting bored. The glint that was once in his ruby eyes was fading fast, his interest diminishing. He was going to have to get his brother invested again. "So, Blair was telling me that everyone can play at least one other instrument aside from the singer," Wes said gently.
"Really? And what's the singer's deal?" Soul asked, keeping his gaze trapped on him.
These are uneasy times.
Good friends are hard to find
In this life, that we live.
Reach out and lend your help.
Sit back, ask yourself
Without me, what are you?
Tell me what's the world coming to?
We've got a lot of work to do.
We've got a lot of work to do.
"She's Maka Albarn, the daughter of Baron Spirit Albarn," Wes said calmly. He explained who the other members of the group were, claiming that Liz and Patty were the daughters of a successful American entrepreneur and that Tsubaki was the daughter of a powerful soldier in Japan. Soul seemed far more interested in the girl singing, simply nodding every now and again. 'Well, at least he's interested to some degree.' Wes thought in a content tone.
"That girl, she doesn't have much going for her does she?" Soul asked flatly. Both older figures flinched and looked at him in slight surprise. Blair fiddled with her boa and Wes shifted a bit to lean on one side.
"What exactly do you mean?" Blair asked politely, forcing a smile on her face. Her stomach was doing nervous little flip-flops as fear and dread filled her up.
Woah woah woah
Oh oh yeah, yeah.
"I mean that she has no physical definitions," Soul said bluntly. He looked at Blair and then turned to his brother, jerking a thumb toward the stage. "She has no tits, has no ass and her face isn't particularly womanly either. She's got all the sex appeal of a tree stump that was just yanked from the ground. And that's just as far as her appearance goes; I don't even know what her personality is like. Sure, she can carry a note but what else is there? Is there anything that's particularly intriguing about her?"
My name is love, I'm here to tell you
The price of hate's getting way too familiar.
We need to stop it now before it's gone too far.
'How dare you sat that my little Maka doesn't have sex appeal?' Blair screeched inside. Four years ago, when Kami Albarn had passed away, Blair had promised to watch after the older woman's precious daughter as if she was her own. Although they sometimes had disagreements, the indigo haired woman sincerely loved the young girl like a little sister. And she also knew that the poor singer had severe insecurities in regards to how she looked physical due to taunts from neighborhood boys.
"Soul, she comes from a rather well-known family. That's a good thing, given what family we belong to ourselves," Wes tried to reason, his red orbs twitching a bit in concern. Soul couldn't just blow up all of his plans like this, could he? Didn't Soul realize how things would get if he didn't just accept this offer his brother was trying to give him?
You know my name, you know the mission
So don't delay cause I crave your assistance.
We gotta go start mending all the broken hearts, woah, woah oh.
"And that's all good and dandy for impressing Mother, Father and their socialite friends but that won't do anything for me. So what if she's got a cool dad? If she herself doesn't have anything interesting to add to the mix then I'm not gonna waste my time," Soul said calmly. He turned and looked over toward the waiter circuiting with glasses of juice. All this boring talk was leaving him rather parched. "Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go g-"
"Maka does have another talent!" Blair suddenly chimed in, causing Soul to pause and look at her over her shoulder. He was scowling with his eyes narrowed in a slight pout; rather cute, but she forced herself to ignore it. She was going to save this almost botched agreement if it was the last thing she did.
These are uneasy times.
Good friends are hard to find
In this life, that we live.
Reach out and lend your help.
Sit back, ask yourself
Without me, what are you?
Tell me what's the world coming to?
We've got a lot of work to do.
We've got a lot of work to do.
"And what would that be?" Soul asked flatly, turning fully to face the purple haired woman. Her yellow eyes glinted and a small smirk turned up her lips, making her seem evil. Soul just barely resisted the urge to visibly cringe.
"Maka sings beautifully, but she can't read a single note to save her life," Blair said cheekily. She then shifted her boa by rolling one shoulder. "For some reason, something in her brain keeps her from really comprehending sheet music. She has to feel the notes and sense the beats; without back-beat she can just barely carry a tune in a bucket."
Soul blinked a bit then smirked. "Now that's cool."
My name is love, I'm your announcer.
You bring the heart, I'll bring the answers.
I need a few good men and women on my team. (4)
"So will you give it a chance, Soul?" Wes asked, hiding his anxiety and nervousness.
"Sure, I'll meet them. But they also have to receive the Black*Star seal of approval," He snickered smugly. Wes flinched a bit while Blair blinked, clearly baffled.
"Mew~? Whose Black*Star, Wes-Kun?" She asked innocently. Just then, a window shattered, sprinkling glass everywhere as boisterous laughter erupted into the room.
"Ha ha! You're all lucky that I, Black*Star, have the senses of a God! I'm such a big man, you don't even have to send me an invite to a party like this!"
"That," Wes sighed heavily, feeling a migraine beginning to come on, "is Black*Star, Miss Blair."
(1) - The dress Maka wears at the pub is actually the dress she wears when she's portrayed as a child when conversing with Chrona's soul. I went by the anime model, since it was in color.
(2) - The first song Maka sings is called 13 Horses by Alexander Rybak; I will be using a lot of music by this singer, although I will have to change a few words every now and then to have the correct gender implications. Also, I will take suggestions for music and have varying genres. If you have a suggestion, do not be halted by gender; I don't care if the original singer is male or female.
(3) - Didn't know how many would know this, but rosin is a substance made from sap that is used to make sure the bow of a string instrument will stick to the strings and produce a sound.
(4) - The second song Maka sings is My Name is Love by Amy Diamond. It has a piano accompaniment, but it's a little harder to hear with the brass in the song so I figured this would be a good choice since the group means to impress Soul at least a little bit. If the piano part isn't so glaringly obvious, he'd see they're good without the piano already.
Ah, it's been a while, FF. First, this chapter is NOT the average length for a chapter from me; cut this in half in regards to word count and that's my average. Also, I blame the lyrics too. Anyway, I am back with my first story for a new fandom. I have a poll and a small explanation of my current plans in regards to stories that I'd be grateful if anyone who reads this takes the time to read that and respond to the poll. I hope you enjoy this; feel free to give me feedback. And, yes, I know, a lot of the characters were probably at least a little OOC; I'll try to improve upon that in the following chapters.
Soul learns about a magical, horrifying thing called a Maka Chop. Maka learns that her hate of men is all the more rational; talking to her dead mother's ghost, however, is not so much. And Black*Star… Well, that kid just needs a high dose of Ritalin