A/N Number 10.

This is my tenth story, whether in progress or not. (Well, my only two in progress stories are Strings and Words and Action v2.0). This is somewhat incredible. One, with this I've written 10 stories-one of which (Voice of the Mute) possesses a recreation each in different documents of their own. Add in my commission hub, and this is my twelfth document. 12 documents, 24 chapters, 30+ characters, 50 reviews and 86,000 words, not counting this. I've poured my soul into every single word, from my heartfelt pieces to my casual humor, I've created worlds all my own out of the gifts that have already been given to me.

Now it's time to give some back.

I'd like to state a few things again.

I Own Nothing- Truly, I don't own these characters, these elements or anything that Nintendo does, nor do I own the songs, but I thank the artists of all of these elements for their gifts. I am not a musician, but wish I was. You could say I own the stories I create, but I don't like keeping those to myself. I prefer to share it with you.

I Regret Nothing- I don't, otherwise I wouldn't be a fanficcer. I've already mentioned my original qualms and doubts before writing/reading fanfiction that it was for obsessive fans with nothing else to do but worship their poster of (insert heartthrob here). Go ahead and slap me, those were unjust perceptions and while there are some people like that, they're few and far between. And I decided that even if what I wrote was bad or revealing, I wouldn't regret it. And I never will.

I Let them Forget Nothing- I am legacy. I am a legacy. The sooner I knew that, the better. Really, we will all have a legacy, dead or alive. Dying sort of scares me, which is why I fancy reincarnation, because after all is said and done, deep down, life is beautiful. People are beautiful. Nature is beautiful. The ability to be artists, creators- that's downright beautiful. And I want to meet, keep, influence, love, value, know people throughout my life, so that way when I pass from one life to another, I leave behind a legacy, something for everyone to remember me by so I never truly leave them. Who knows, perhaps one of these days Next Me will consider Present Me a good influence. :)

That's my philosophy. Now, as I said, it's time to give back. This is a thank you to all my supporters, and notably is an AU fic.

MoD

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Chapter 1

Humble Beginnings

About fifteen years ago, during one of the darkest times of my life, I fell deeply in love. My love had been around since the beginning of time and will live until the day the world collapses. My love has no physical form, but is gorgeous all the same. My love can be considered promiscuous, as she is with everyone at once, but still loves us all the same, and I still love her. My love is probably the greatest creation of all time, and I will always worship, treasure, love her. And it is up to me to harness, create great things with my love.

My love is music.

Music had always been there, for she loved everybody, and she had always loved me. Yet very few people are intelligent enough to love her back. If no one were to have loved her, she would disappear. Music and I rely on each other to keep each other alive and happy. It wasn't about five years ago, however, until I was courageous enough to start a relationship with her.

That was the day I bought my first guitar.

It had taken me forever to finally learn how to strum the cords and strings with finesse, with the skill of a true musician. But I stayed to it, every day, until I had finished my first melody. One of my favorite songs as well.

Journal of a Narcoleptic. Dan Mangan. What a brilliant artist. What a brilliant song, about a hopeless, desperate man captivated by his struggles to even stay awake. Makes you feel lucky. That was probably the hardest first song that I could have done, but I either go big or go home. I'd rather say this was my first cover than, say, Tik Tok.

I never can be jealous of the other people Music loves, because oftentime they are deserving of it as am I. The people who aren't deserving of it are those who toss together a quick rythmn with no effort, skill or talent, just to make a quick buck. Mangan wasn't one of those people, as he never made it big.

I always wanted to make it big, but not for the money, money, money. But because I wanted to profess my love to music with everyone and anyone, and I wanted to show everyone what a true lover of Music was like, and how to truly profess it. I wanted to set the example.

Today is the day I hope to do that in.

Ever since I had covered Journal, I had went into hyperspeed. Not only had I covered other songs- Adele's Rolling in the Deep, one of the greatest songs I've ever heard, especially in such a shallow day and age, and Cousins by Vampire Weekend- the hardest cover I've ever tried and the one I've done with the most success, I have created my own. I created a small album on my own, some acoustic songs and some with new instruments I have learned like the piano and African Drum. For five years, I have written all my own songs, rewritten them and then rewritten them again. Weeks, months, years of tireless, endless work, sleepless nights. All for her. All for my love.

All for Music.

And today, today was where I was going to perform. There was a local coffee shop that was practically giving away the stage tonight, and I leapt at the chance. This was Crema, the best coffeehouse in the city, and one of the busiest. It was a perfect place to kick off my career, doing what I loved like no one else did.

I was supposed to be there at seven. I was ready to leave my house at five. I had to restrain myself, go by Music Millennium and spoil myself by buying a new CD to distract myself. Lupe Fiasco's Lasers was out, and I had meant to get that anyways. I know I seem like I'm product placing with my name dropping, but the truth is, I just want to give these artists their due.

On my way out, on a whim I purchased an album in the indie section, where I could find the local bands. I find an album cover that is starkly visible. One half is a blank white, and the other pitch black. The cover has in black and white words "DarkLight." Just on the cover itself, I buy the album. It already had my interest.

Around six, I left the store, despite the fact that Crema was literally six blocks away. I drove up and spent the upcoming hour getting set up, getting into the details to justify being there so early with only a guitar and African Djembes drum in tow. To alleviate their looks, I bought myself a large house steamer, and they didn't seem so worried after all.

Finally, people started to enter the coffee shop, and seven o'clock rolled around. I eagerly got up on the small, wooden stage, trying to remind myself that I was a professional and needed to act like one.

I took a seat on the stool and took the microphone, announcing to the crowd of about forty "Hello, everybody. I'm Luigi Segali, and I'm pleased to be playing for you all tonight."

Everybody looked at me intently, and I simply said "Well, let's get right down to it. My first song is called 'Words and Action.' Enjoy." What can I say? I was an understated performer. As I strummed the first few notes of my original song, I let the lyrics shine.

I've always been so tightly plated,

overstated, underrated,

never letting down my guard in case it runs away

I've never been so optimistic

so linguistic, idealistic

until the epiphany hit me on this rainy day

I saw people raising their eyebrows and shrugging amongst themselves. I had to spare a slight grin. Using words no one else did was one of my biggest habits. They seemed to understand it, though – I don't go all on them- they just seemed to be wondering why I was using such big words. That's just the way I tread. As I strummed a new set of tones, they'd probably be fortunate enough to understand these words of the bridge.

When I talk with you, it feels like I'm brand new

And talking about things isn't what I'd normally do

Your way with words has turned my vocab up on its head

Now I'm saying all the words I never thought I'd said

I grinned as I approached the chorus, trying to mask the excitement in my voice. To everyone's surprise, I kept one hand on my guitar, strumming the chorus, and on the other I played a soft beat on my drum. It had taken me a month to get that down and it was working perfectly.

Feeling downright unpretentious

Girl you knocked me to my senses

Feeling effervescent at the soft sound of your voice

Formerly I was so scary

But the words in your dictionary

Have left me feeling I don't need a choice

But all the words in the world

They could never get through the way I feel about you

I was over the moon at this point. As I went into a guitar solo, I thought about how terrific it was that I finally had performed, gotten my art out there.

And then the first person left the shop.

I noticed but thought nothing of it, hoping this wouldn't be a start as I continued.

I've always been so forthright

fists always up, looking for fights

never letting anyone work their way into my life

I've never been veracious

Now I'm feeling so vivacious

What you've done for me, oh it has taken all my strife

Oh, God, was that someone else walking away? Damn it! I tried to hide my frustration as I went on.

Run across the Great Wall and then jump over the moon

Climb the Eiffel Tower and then run off with a spoon

Those dogs can laugh all they want 'cause I'm beyond what they say

I'll fiddle through the strings of time so next to you I can lay

As I noticed three people more walking out, I decided to tune them out to cure my nerves. Throughout the rest of the song I closed my eyes and didn't look to see who left and who stayed.

Running through all time and space

Looking death straight in the face

Lasso up the galaxy and pull it to my feet

I'll destroy all wrong creation

Throughout all my life's duration

And to a common ground get all the life in world to meet

But all the actions in the world

They never could amount to the way I feel about you.

More chairs clattering. More people leaving. I tuned it out.

I guess above all

what I'm trying to say

it can't quite be measured

because I've never felt this way

I put all my strength into the chorus, hoping to god I can save myself.

I would go and buy you flowers

Sit on the phone with you for hours

Hold you in the moonlight and wipe the tears off your face

I never thought I'd be so taken

But now I know I'm not mistaken

By your side is where I know I'll always take your place

Putting all my strength into the instruments on my last notes, I couldn't help but feel absolutely weightless, satisfied as I finish up. This is what I always wanted to do; to share my work, my creation, my love with people.

All the words in the world

and all the actions I can do

they aren't all that needed

as long as I can stay true, and stay in love with you.

I finished, satisfied, and opened my eyes to the crowd, hoping for the best... and receiving the worst.

No one's there.

And I'm not saying it like the crowd became occupied with other stuff or most of them left.

There's not a damn soul there.

I looked around, dejected, to see if there's even one person there, just one. At the very least, I got that. On a far away table I see a man, a short man of about five feet with short, raven hair and dark, formal clothing sitting and looking intently at me. It takes all my willpower not to drop my guitar and run over, but I gently set it down and walk over politely.

Trying not to go crazy, I extended out my hand and say "It's great to see that you stuck around."

The man gave me a slight smile and in a deep, gravelly voice, says "I'm Meta Knight. A pleasure to meet you," after accepting my handshake.

"An interesting name," I point out cordially.

"Indeed," he replies. "I get that quite a bit." He motioned for me to take a seat, which I did. "I must say, these fools didn't know what they were missing. I thought you pulled off that song expertly, with your words and the dual instruments." With a dramatic sigh, he added "It's annoying how hard it is to interest people if it's not manufactured pop music. Don't be discouraged, though. My start was equally as hard."

"Your start?"

"Indeed," he said with a grin, flipping a small spoon in his coffee cup. "I'm a small-time local indie musician. You're pardoned if you haven't heard of me."

"I haven't," I admitted.

"Nor have I you, so I can't exactly complain," Meta replied, "not that I would. I have a good time playing as it is that often I see that people are secondary."

Before I could answer, someone ran in the door (imagine the irony there) and into the main hall. A young woman, about as tall as I am. She wore a bright blue shirt and a long, blond ponytail. She took a quick scope of the room and sighed. "Blast. I missed it. And... wait, where in the hell did everybody go?" Her voice was smooth, low but not deep, strong but not masculine. She looked at me and sighed, taking a seat of her own. "I... apologize for taking off halfway like that. It turns out I left my keys in the car. But I'm really sorry that I missed it. It was good from what I heard, and I thought there'd be more."

"It's all right," I replied, and to prove my point I made sure not to look away, because that's a bona fide sign of dishonesty from where I sit.

She sighed again and put a hand through her hair, letting it out of her ponytail and ascend down her shoulders. "It's just... it's not right, you know? Leaving during the first song, all at once? Even if you were bad, and you weren't, I'd at least have the common goddamn courtesy for a second or third song! Bah, I hope they enjoy their Ke$ha. Rubes."

She extended a hand and said "Oh, I'm Samus Aran. I'm in a duet with Meta here. He's mentioned about us?"

"Oh, yes, I have," Meta replies with a small smile. "I didn't mention the title, perhaps why you haven't heard of us. We're a little ditty called DarkLight. Just released our first album," on that I raised my eyebrow and grinned as he finished with "but I'm not here to product place. Have you put out an album yet?"

I shook my head and said "No, actually. I'm doing some performances before I release it. Wanted to get some attention. An album's no good if no one hears it, right?"

"Well," Meta lifted up his small plate and walked towards the bus bin to deposit them, "I find that even an audience of one makes it all worthwhile."

Samus nodded with a smile. "Hey, to make up for it, how about I buy you a drink, in an offbeat sense of the word, right here before you jet? My treat!"

I wasn't thirsty, but the spirit in her words persuaded me to nod. She gave me a wider smile and laughed. "Great! Now what shall it be, Mr. Segali?"

"Hah, call me Luigi!" I told her as I joined her up at the stand. I guess in a way, this was all worth it. Sure, everyone else in the audience gave me the finger but these two... I have a feeling I'll like them. This looks to be the start of good things. Not something one usually says after having almost an entire audience leave you, but Meta was right, an audience of one made it all worthwhile.

I can't wait to try it again.

Well, that's Audience of One. As you can see, it's a tribute. A thank you. And if you look closely, a retelling. But you knew that.

You see, I was gonna keep this a secret, but you all deserve to know. This is going to be a short story retelling of my time on Fanfiction, materialized into the real world and in music, something I love but don't do. (But, for those who care, the lyrics to Words and Action the song were all mine. XD) So, for those curious, I'm taking the Fanficcer who impacted me, taking the smasher they make me think of (whether by their best work or by their personality, favorite character or a combination of the three.)

Luigi=Me/MoD

Meta=Shockwave, my first reviewer

Samus=Kattheamazing, one of my first good friends and first reviewers

So, happy birthday to all who impacted me! XD This is your gift, your tribute! (of course if you have birthdays I promised gifts to, you'll get that too.) I reckon this will take five chapters which I'll spread out through my sabbatical, but you know me and chapter length, eh, Foxpilot? XD

So, thank you all! This one's for you!

MoD