Soul brought his blade up to shield his body as Dagger attacked him. "Stay on guard Soul!" Dagger exclaimed as he kicked Soul's feet out from underneath him.
"We've been at this for days!" Soul groaned, annoyed, his muscles aching as he looked up at the blue sky.
"Something bad is going to happen, Soul. I have a feeling. You have to be prepared." Dagger told him as he offered his hand so that Soul could get up.
Soul grabbed a hold of it once his blade turned into an arm and Dagger pulled him up, only to twist it behind his back, his other arm going to choke him. "I keep telling you to be on guard." Dagger growled as he let Soul go after a few seconds.
Soul took in deep breaths, a growl emitting from him as he stood up straight, glaring in Daggers direction. "Could we take a break? I wanna go see Black*Star again." Soul mumbled as he stretched his aching muscles.
"Soul, neither Pops nor Jared could take us, Franks talking to them right now." Dagger told him.
"Does it look like I care? Black*Star needs me right now! The last time I saw him… he had this look in his eye… a look of… I can't explain it…" Soul whispered with a sigh.
Dagger sighed. "Fine, let's go." He said as he made his way back into the house, Soul following him closely.
They entered the house quietly, only to stop before they entered the living room, shock coursing through them as they silently took in the scene that was unfolding in front of them. "What's going on?" Soul whispered to Dagger who responded with a glare in his direction and a shush.
Jared was holding back Frank as Frank fought against him, threatening to attack Pops. "You idiot! What ever happened to family goes first?" he exclaimed.
"This is for the family." Pops responded calmly.
"Black*Star is family! We have to think of what's best for him! Not the battle!" Frank yelled out. "He's been through enough!"
"He has to do this Frank." Pops said.
"No! Sending him into battle! He has a death wish Pops! Don't make him do this!" Frank yelled out as he yanked out of Jared's hold. "Jared, you agree with me right?"
"I want what is best for Black*Star, but that doesn't mean attacking Pops is going to make him change his mind. The decision is done Frank… Black*Star is going to lead the Star clan into battle." Jared said.
"Hey." Soul called out, not wanting to hear any more.
Dagger glared at him. "You idiot! We need that information for Mr. Law." Dagger growled under his breath as the three men in front of them turned to face them.
"How long have you two been standing there?" Pops asked.
"Long enough. I want to go see Black*Star." Soul told them.
"Jared, take them to Black*Star, Frank and I need to finish our talk." Pops said calmly, his glare never leaving Frank.
Jared sighed as he turned over to Frank. "Promise me you won't kill him." Jared told him.
"I will make no such promise, he's threatening Black*Stars life here!" Frank growled.
"I think I know what the real problem here is." Pops said as he took a few steps toward Frank, his cane supporting his weight. "This really isn't about Black*Star is it Frank?"
Frank shot him a confused look. "What the hell are you trying to get at Pops?" he growled.
"This isn't about Black*Star, no, not really. This is about you Frank. You see yourself in him don't you?" Pops asked as he set his cane in front of him, using both hands to lean his weight on it.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Frank growled.
"Come of it Frank. I've seen the way you look at the boy. You told him about what really happened to your family haven't you?" Pops asked with a chuckle.
"Sh-shut up." Frank growled, his hands clenching into fists as he tried to contain himself.
"He lost his loved one too, and he reacted the same way you did… you see yourself in him, and you don't want him to die. You want him to react in a better way than you did in your past… You want him to survive." Pops said with a chuckle. "But you know that if he leads the Star Clan into battle… he'll end up even more scarred than he already is… maybe even dead because of his own recklessness." Pops told him, shaking his head. "You're an open book Frank."
"At least I care about his wellbeing. I want him to go ahead in life… but you just want him as one of your pawns… he's human Pops." Frank growled.
"He's my nephew, you think I don't care!" Pops yelled out. "I love him as if he were my son god damn it!"
"No you don't! You don't love him! You're using him, that's what you're doing!" Frank yelled out.
Jared sighed, shaking his head as he motioned for Soul and Dagger to follow him. "This is going to last a while you guys. We might as well get going." He sighed as he walked out the door, the boys trailing after him.
Soul paused, turning back to see Pops kicking Franks out from under him, causing him to fall to the ground. "You shall respect my decision." Pops spat at Frank.
Soul turned and hurried to catch up to Dagger and Jared who were already getting into Jared's new car. "Why do I have to go? I don't even know the guy that well." Dagger grumbled as he looked out the window of the passenger seat.
"Because you and Soul are supposed to be together at all times, it makes it easier on us." Jared explained as he sat in the driver's seat, turning on the car.
Soul got into the backseat of the car and watched the house go by as they left.
"Jared… is Black*Star really going to lead the Star Clan?" Soul asked him, his voice monotone.
Jared sighed. "Look, I don't agree with this, but we don't really have much of a choice… Pops is the head of the clan, he makes all the decisions. The only way for the decision to be thrown out the window is for the second, third and fourth in command to all disagree with it… I'm second in command, Frank is third, and we both disagree with this." Jared explained to him without taking his eyes off the road.
"Who's fourth?" Dagger asked out of curiosity.
"And why don't they agree?" Soul assumed.
"Carlo, Maka's weapon, is fourth in command. It's not that he doesn't agree… it's just that he doesn't know… this works in Pops favor." Jared said as his jaw clenched.
"Have you tried to contact him?" Soul asked him.
"That's just it, the only one that could communicate with the people in training… is Pops. You could see what the problem is now right?" Jared asked him.
Soul sighed. "So… what if Black*Star doesn't want to do it?" Dagger asked.
"That's another problem that we have… Black*Star is suicidal, he knows that the one that leads the Star clan to battle is practically sentenced to death… he agreed." Jared said sadly. "Soul… do us all a favor and try to talk him out of it." Jared pleaded.
Soul nodded, deep in thought as he looked out the window. "I'll find a way…" he trailed off.