Da-da da-da da-da da-da dum.

The music is what drew him them.

That beautiful, bell-tone music pouring from the secluded music rooms as though it were a fountain fit for the garden of a king.

No one in Raira noticed it at first, but as the day drew on, they all gradually became aware of the heavenly sound that was emanating from within their own school. The head master dismissed them late, well after the melodies had stopped, and most curious students rushed straight to the east side, peering about for someone who could produce such a sound from an instrument.

Sadly, none of the searchers could find anyone, and they all went home unfulfilled, tailed by the head master's promise of a lovely surprise the next day.

No one believed him.

Until they saw her.

Hair as black as the lacquered grand piano the teachers never let anyone touch, which was set in the middle of the gymnasium for her.

Skin like butter candies that stayed sticky and sweet in your mouth for hours, or like the drink she finished before she entered the gymnasium

Eyes like faceted gemstones that sparkled and shone with different colours as different lights touched them.

Everyone stared as this unearthly, dreamy-looking girl padded down the path between the students and right up to the piano, adjusting her short sky-blue sundress around her calves before she sat down, the whole gym sitting with her.

Shizuo would have as well, but a teacher caught him lurking in the overhead of the gym and was trying to drag him out.

She saw, out of the corner of her colourlessly colourful eyes, and turned her head fully to face them. She hurriedly spoke to a woman beside her in rapid English, and the woman must have told her what was going on.

They argued for a few moments before she urged her angrily and she muttered something to her.

"TO-MAR-EH!" she shouted, cupping her hands around her mouth to try and make her desperate shout reach the teacher's ears.

It did, and he turned his head impatiently to her, as did Shizuo.

She left her seat, dragging the woman with her as she ran back through the crowd and right up to the teacher. She began speaking, and the translator quickly translated what she was saying into Japanese, allowing everyone to hear the conversation.

"What are you doing?"

"He is a delinquent, causes trouble and hurts the students." The teacher grunted lowly, "He shouldn't be here."

The girl scowled at the teacher with surprising gall, and said,

"Everyone has a right to be here, delinquent or teacher's pet. I was asked to play for the whole school and if he leaves, so do I!" A hush fell over the gym, and the teacher weighed the pro's and con's of the argument before letting go of Shizuo's gakuen sleeve and shooting him a warning glare.

Now the girl turned the translator woman to Shizuo, took his sleeve in her small delicate hand, and tugged him along.

"Come on~!" He stood firm for a moment, watching her jubilant smile, and slowly let her lead him up to a VIP chair at the front under the eyes of the whole student body. She smiled widely, saluted him with two fingers to her temple, and hurried back to her piano, having a quiet argument in English with her translator, who shot Shizuo suspicious looks.

Shooing the woman away, the girl began to play, her fingers slowly teasing the music from the keys and steadily speeding up until they flew over the ivory teeth with precision. From Shizuo's seat, he had a perfect profile view of the girl, with her hair tuck to the other side to make the outline of her fair face even more noticeable. Her strong, raven eyebrows came together in the sweetest frown of concentration as she let the music sway her body as she kept time, occasionally closing her eyes and raising an eyebrow until it sounded right to her again.

It seemed too short, but in reality, she played for over a half an hour, going from piece to piece with very few people's eyes not on her.

Shizuo, personally, couldn't take his eyes off her.

Neither could Izaya.

When she stopped playing and wiped her forearm across her brow, the spell broke and the students started to whisper about her defence of the blonde boy as they had before she had touched the first key.

She simply leant her head back, exposing her neck and collarbone, and breathed deeply for a few minutes. After that, she turned her eyes to Shizuo and grinned as if to say 'Well, how was it?'.

He looked around discreetly and gave her a thumb up quickly, smiling faintly. It seemed to appease her, because she got up, put her music into a subtle mail-style bag, and pushed in the bench courteously for the imaginary next player.

A yawn pulled the gleeful smile from her face, and tears from the yawn collected in the corners of her eyes, drawing the adults to her like flies.

"Are you alright, Wōkā -san?"

"Would you like to wait here while we get the car?"

"…" The girl nodded and sat down, running a hand through her hair and frowning as she found it loose around her. She pulled an elastic from her sheet music tied her long hair back, looking haggard and lost in the Japanese school. She obviously didn't speak the native language here, and her translator had left to fetch a car to take her who knows where. She spotted Shizuo staring and stared back before she scooted over a few seats and stuck out her hand for him to shake.

"Marie Walker." She said, but it came out with a yawn in the middle, which she tried to hide with her other hand. She also did something he found odd: when she said 'Marie' she held up one finger, and two for 'Walker'.

Marie must be her first name… he thought, nodding at the reasonability of the small language to help overcome the language barrier.

"Heiwajima, Shizuo." He replied, taking her hand and doing it in reverse. Two fingers for 'Heiwajima' and one for 'Shizuo'. She nodded, shaking his hand firmly and murmuring,


The blonde shook his head.


"Shi-zu-o?" she frowned, the name rolling off her tongue with the wrong emphasis for the second time.

"Shizuo." He said quickly, and she nodded slowly,

"Shizuo." She said again, tired eyes lighting up when it sounded right. "Ah! Shizuo~!" She said it a few more times to make sure it was in her mind, and grinned vibrantly as if learning his name pleased her more than the whole concert had. They let go of each other's hands, which were still shaking, and her face fell again.

"Mmm…" She thought long and hard, looking disappointed and rifling through her bag quickly. She produced a camera with a small 'ah-ha' and looked from him to it sheepishly, silently asking permission. He considered it, her innocent face, and nodded to return her smile.

She quickly hopped up, placed a pair of blue-tinted sunglasses with square frames over his eyes with a satisfied nod, and squeezed in beside him before snapping several photos rapidly and laughing something to herself in English.

The blonde stared at her confusedly through the blue lenses until she rolled her eyes at her silliness and fished out a pad of paper and pen. She drew a camera, and envelope, and pointed to the two of them before she wrote what looked to him like an address on the end and drew piano keys beside it. It was suddenly stuffed into his pocket as the translator made her way across the gym, easier now that most students had left.

The girl became a bit frantic now and pointed to herself quickly,

"Marie! Marie Walker!" then to him. "Shizuo …Hei-wah-ji-ma?"

"Heiwajima." He corrected and she quickly corrected herself, saying it correctly and stuffing her things back into her back. She gave Shizuo a faint one-arm hug and hurried off with the translator woman, who looked pretty unhappy at the pianist's interaction with the teenage boy.

The got in the car as Shizuo stood up, seeing the teacher approaching him, and he suddenly realized he still had he sunglasses on his face. Turning and waving them in the air, he let out a burst of sound, drawing her attention by her vehicle. She consulted her translator as she got in the car and turned back to him, leaning out the window.

"GIFT~!" she grinned, cupping her hands to make her sound carry like his did. "DON'T LOSE THEM, OKAY~? JA NE, SHIZUO~! ARIGATO~!"

The beautiful teenage pianist disappeared into her car, leaving Shizuo there with a pair of blue-tinted sunglasses and a mailing address.