Peace's Pieces



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Peace

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Hello, ya'll. InnerPeace here. Though, you can probably tell by the title and the User Name. So yeah, I wrote some stuff outside the Roleplaying section. Is the fire and brimstone version of Hell about to freeze over? Probably not. If it does feel free to blame me.

These one shots started anywhere between a couple of weeks to a few months ago. And over the past couple of days, I got 'em done. And if I write more, I'll post them here. So yeah, feel free to comment, critique, and stuff.

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Cassette-Disk

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I gotta say, these were all pretty good, man. Not bad at all! My favorite of the three is the last one, but I'm also obviously biased towards it!
I doubt I've ever mentioned it, but I've always been a fan of sleight of hand and trickery like magic and using a bit of trickery to win a game of pool fits right in there.
Passing Through reminds me too much of me daydreaming. "How would I deal with this situation? Obviously I'd make a quick joke (your gun has the safety on, dude.) before disarming him and taking control of the situation, duh." Though if anything like that were to ever happen to me I'd probably crap my pants. I do have to say, I'm not too big a fan of the cool guy persona in the first two stories. That's just me though, and shouldn't mean anything for you.
Did you have a real song in mind for Dark Cortege? I spent part of a sleepless night looking for piano/bass duets and didn't find much, but I also didn't factor lyrics into my search. Also, every time I try to 'write music,' I tend to hit a snag and worry I end up repeating myself, but you didn't really see any of that here, so kudos. I also like the Crystal and Saito's interaction at the end, it's bloody adorable and damn it, Persona Frozen needs to get back on its feet.

Good job overall, dude!
 

KingdomKey

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All three stories are outstanding and an enticing thing to read. Definitely refreshing to read and see something new, you know?

I like the first one because, I like how it felt like you were seeing it in his eyes and the setting was perfect. I'm both fascinated and curious how one goes about turning substances into alcohol without the men detecting it from drinking it. Quite a mysterious, yes? Then again, I don't know if alcohol has a taste to it because, I haven't had it solely alone before. Anyhow, it was entertaining to see him win and rely on calculated moves to sink the eight ball in.

The second one was extremely exciting for me because, I like how level headed and arrogant this guy happens to be in a hostage situation. There's something about him that just makes my mouth drop a little in awe. Anyhow, I like how he was just passing through and wasn't going to take credit for stopping a bank robber. At the same time, I love the setting and the details in this story too. Seriously, you should write more often, InnerPeace!

And the best one saved for last~ I seriously hope Crystal and Saito become official in Persona Frozen after reading this story. The way Saito feels about Crystal and performing with her speaks well of his chemistry with her. I like how Crystal stays in character during this too. These two are probably my one true pairing when it comes down to it. I got quite a few laughs in this as well, especially when he went, "What are fingers?" And then there's just the way Saito describes the rush after performing and getting comfortable on stage. I wish I could've been in the audience to listen to them perform.

Great stuff, dude. :)
 
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Peace

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Thank you both for the feedback.

Discreet Winning doesn't really have a backstory or notes. I wrote the beginning bit sometime ago and my muse hit me over the head with a shillelagh, which lead me to write the other two. I originally wrote Passing Through as part of a chapter of a story I want to write down the line and I was curious to see how it would work as a one-shot.

The song I had in mind for Dark Cortège is Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. I figured that Saito and Crystal were skilled enough to make a duet of this work. I didn't want to put in lyrics or a link to the music video because I thought it would take the reader out of the story, or make it drag on, or something of that regard. Maybe I'll write a version with the lyrics in it and see how that works. I also wanted to leave it a little ambiguous, having the title and the description of the song as hints. Speaking of, the original title of it was "Duet," then it became "Duet: Dark Cortège." For some reason, I was a sucker for the accent when it came to a one-shot about music and I thought it was a good idea for all three to have two word titles. In retrospect, Duet would have been better.

But seriously, thank you guys.
 

Peace

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KingdomKey

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Duet

I can tell the differences within this one. I also like the lyrics and was singing along them in my head. Actually, they're kind of badass and totally fit Saito. (Assuming this is Saito.) The reasoning behind each song they played was a nice touch as well. I enjoyed reading this immensely and seeing that small exchange between him and Crystal was nice as well. It was good for a rewrite and with additions made to it. :)

Something Simple //Timey Whimey

I was cracking up laughing at the end with Mark shouting about buying a churro. Poor guy. I wonder what became of his churro? The phone booth made me feel nostalgic due to being a Doctor Who fan. Then this world was really out of this world with it's hellfire and genetically engineered dinosaurs with cyber undead military officers riding their backs... oh gosh, that'd be so creepy to see one up close! lol. Definitely a fun read. ;)

Brotherly Bonding //Bonds of Friendship

ooh, I really like this one. The element of a pokemon battle was a great touch and amused me to no end with their tactics of mentioning girl crushes and stalkers. xD Can you feel the brotherly love? I sure can. (Not in a creepy way, mind you. lol.) It was heart warming to think these two meet up on the phone and share a few pokemon battles and talk about their week. It felt real and had me hooked in real fast too.
 

Peace

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(r i p p l e) Chapter 1 - Odyssey

//September 3

This story takes place in a college town named Bloomwick. It's a small burg pretty much in the middle of nowhere in a place worse than Hell itself. Wisconsin. The majority of its establishments are Mom and Pop stores. This is a relatively peaceful town with nothing really going for it. That is until a year ago.

The college on the edge of town has a crowd gathered around a spot off the middle of its campus. The authorities have sectioned off an area for investigation. A couple of the police officers are taking pictures of the crime scene while the rest are looking around for any trace of evidence they can find. Alas, the only things they could find were the body and a familiar bloodstain shaped like an inverted cross.

In the gathering, a young woman with curly straw-colored hair is clenching her fist tightly in anger. "Dammit. Another one?" she asked no one through clenched teeth before walking away.

A few hours after the police finished up their work, the cussing blonde from before, Danielle, arrived at the cafeteria to grab lunch before her next lecture. When she got her food, she went to the first empty seat she saw. She wordlessly dropped her bag in the chair next to her which was beside guy with coal-colored hair with some of his bangs dyed white and tired red eyes tapping away on a laptop while eating his own meal and listening to music.

As the young woman tried to piece together what was going on in her hometown, her foot was bouncing in irritation throughout her meal. Said thumping was hitting the bottom of the table which was starting to piss off the guy next to her bag. "Not that I care, but what's got you pissy?" he asked in an Irish accent.

The girl's head snapped to the side and said while glaring at him "Someone died last night."

Uncaring, her neighbor retorted after removing his earbuds "People die all the time. Hell, someone died just now."

Shocked at his indifference, she asked "Don't you care?"

"No. It's an inevitable fact of life," he declared bluntly. "If you're talking about the murders, I'm not from here, so I have no connection to anyone." He put his hand up to shoulder level as if to present his next point. "Besides, people get murdered all the time for any number of reasons. It could be because of pent up frustration, some deep underlyin' problem that was never looked at, even somethin' as petty as an argument." He looked at the gold cross around her neck then added "The biggest culprit in all of history is religion."

Overcome with rage, Danielle stood up and shouted "That is a gross over generalization, you pri-!"

When she stood up, a lot of the eyes in the cafeteria were on her, causing her face to heat up in embarrassment. In a huff, the blonde sat back down and remained in silence. The boy next to her could feel her glaring daggers at him, but he paid her no mind.

The cynic finished his lunch a few minutes later. He packed his things and made his way to his next lecture. As he stepped through the cafeteria's doorway, he passed by a guy his age with short brown hair and blue eyes. Said passerby looked around the room for a couple of seconds before he found the blonde that the red-eyed guy was talking to. After walking up to her, he engaged in a conversation that couldn't be heard unless you were right next to them.

As the coal haired young man passed by the arts building of the college, notes from a piano streamed through a window opened a crack to let the air in on this warm summer day.

Little do these youths know, their fates have already been intertwined.
 
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Cassette-Disk

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Man, I just beat Alan Wake a few days ago so I'm getting a small amount of vibes of that game here. Then again I'm still thinking of Frozen, so there's that too. I'm pretty curious about where things are going to go from here, especially since there seems to have been more than a few murders preceding this one.

ALSO DAT PIANO THO
 

KingdomKey

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Re: (r i p p l e) Chaper 1 - Odyssey

I cracked up during this, because his lecture about death was hilarious and spot on. I feel a little bad for Danielle, because it kind of sucks to be the center of attention and unable to give him a piece of her mind without feeling more embarrassed. Anyways, I hope we get more chapters soon, because this was really good and I'd like to know who's going on a murder spree. Furthermore, I like the end for hinting at a familiar character we'll be seeing soon. :)
 

Chuman

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I read the first three, good job dude! I'll eventually read the rest but i lack the patience as it is. The first story was my favorite, i enjoyed the second one (used to live near rochester too haha), kept thinking of dog day afternoon for some reason but the hero's cockiness kind of took me out of it.

The last one i didn't realize was based on a preexisting story and i couldn't really get into it either so it makes sense haha.

Quick question, would you mind if i did my own spin on passing through? I'll credit you of course, but i just wanted to do a take on it. The bank robbing angle is nice.
 

Peace

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Thank you for your reviews, guys.

And go for it chuman. Or as the kids say nowadays:
[video=youtube;ZXsQAXx_ao0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXsQAXx_ao0[/video]
 

Peace

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(r i p p l e) Chapter 2 - Mystery

//September 3

After most of the lectures were done for the day, a group of seven of the university's students are gathered in a small room. Danielle is gathering materials for the meeting. As she did this, a few more people poured into the room and filled the seats.

"So why the sudden meeting, Daichi?" Franklin, a guy with red slicked back hair, asked.

"Some guy ticked her off during lunch, so she has a fire under her rear," the other guy that talked to Danielle at lunch replied.

"Greaaaat," Franklin said with a roll of his eyes. He then got up and claimed "I'm going home."

Everyone else except two people followed suit. The two that remained were a shocked Danielle and her friend from lunch. Danielle cursed "Dammit," as she made a fist at her side.

It was then the door made a loud thump. Then it opened away from the occupants to reveal the at least partly Irish misanthropic guy from before. This reveal made Danielle glare at the guy while Daichi stayed stoic. His tired red eyes scanned the room. It took him a while but when he processed the contents of it, he stated with a yawn "Sorry. I have the wrong room."

After the tired guy took a step to turn around, Daichi stood up and asked "Excuse me. Can we get your opinion on something?"

He stopped as he faced the door. A couple of seconds passed when he sighed in annoyance. He turned back around and asked "Okay. What do you want?"

"First off," Daichi started with a hand out. "My name is Daichi."

The newcomer looked at his hand then back up to his face and said "Saito."

Irked at his ignored gesture, Daichi explained after sitting down "Well, we've been trying to figure out the murders that have been happening. But most of our club members have given up at this point. I was thinking maybe we need someone new to bounce ideas off of."

As soon as Saito opened his mouth, Danielle interrupted "Forget it, Dai. He'll just be all cynical saying that it's pointless or whatever."

"Oh what a wonderfully antagonistic introduction," Saito congratulated after crossing his arms. Then he added "As you can see, I'm dangerous, unrefined, and jaded. I'm also crude, vicious, and hedonistic. The worst kind of person there is." Saito took in a breath and said "Buuuuut, I'm also not one to back down from a challenge. So fine. What do you know so far?"

"First, we'll start with the victims," Daichi began. "They're always found face-up with inverted crosses etched into their stomachs."

"So do you think this guy's a Satanist or something?" Saito asked with an eyebrow raised.

"He could be but that's not what that symbol means," Danielle added. "Despite what a lot of people think, the inverted cross is pretty much a symbol of Saint Peter. When he was crucified, he requested to be upside down because he didn't find himself worthy of dying the same way as his lord."

"Maybe they did something bad and he thinks he's saving this town by offing them," Saito commented while putting his hands behind his head. "I can get behind having a few less people in this world. "

Danielle opened and closed her fist to suppress the urge to smack Saito upside the head. When she felt calm enough, she said "But they've done nothing wrong. They were good people."

Saito snidely retorted "As far as you know."

Daichi broke up the fight about to occur by saying "The strange thing is there are no other injuries. It's as if the victims are just holding still for this guy."

"What about poison or an anesthetic?" Saito offered.

"Those are possibilities," Daichi agreed. "Except as far as the papers say, nothing else is being used."

Satio hummed in response then asked "Do you have any newspaper clippings or something about the victims?"

Danielle slid a folder across the table before Saito pulled his phone out. The latter quietly took in all this information. Every victim. Every date and place they were slain was marked on a map he looked up on his cell. The meaning of the upside down cross. He deliberated any and all reason he could think of for someone to kill these people. When all of this was said and done, he came to the thrilling conclusion of...

"I got nothin'," he stated with a shrug of his shoulders causing Danielle and Daichi to drop their shoulders in disappointment. "The biggest factor to this is that this small dirt town is in the middle of buttdiddly nowhere. Mostly everyone is bound to know everyone else. So it could be anyone."

He stretched his arms above his head and said "But if you want my honest opinion, you should leave this to the police."

"That is what I keep telling her," Daichi commented.

Danielle scoffed at this statement and said "Yeah. Like those doughnut munching morons can do anything about this. The only thing they're good for is responding to disturbance calls about dumbass college kids and clean up."

"Says the dumbass girl in said college trying to catch a murderer quicker than the trained professionals," Saito snarked back. He then asked in a tone that bordered condescending "Don't you have anythin' better to do?"

Danielle's anger reached its peak which triggered her to walk up to him and slug him across the face. She then yelled "Whatever happens may not matter to you, but don't think for a second everyone feels the same as you! Some of us here has lost family and friends to this monster and he needs to be stopped!"

Saito's eyes widened at her conviction.

"What? Don't have anything smart to say?" Danielle challenged.

"Not really. I actually find that conviction kind of admirable," he admitted truthfully as he put a hand onto the cheek she punched. But whatever positive feelings towards him was shattered by him snarking "Too bad it's being used for something as stupid as trying to catch a serial killer with no training."

Saito looked at his phone for the time. As he made his way to the door, he said before leaving "I don't time to play detective with you two. I have a job to get to."

As he left, Saito added in his head Besides, I'm more of a fan of Maurice Leblanc than Sir Arthur Doyle.

Some time later, Danielle and Daichi left the club room after cleaning up. On their way out of the campus, Danielle recognized another pair leaving. "Hey Crystal! Zoey!" Danielle yelled with a wave.

The pair turned their heads. One of them was a freckled brunette who waved back and shouted back "Hey, Dani and Dai!"

When the two pairs caught up with each other, Crystal, a girl with long black hair and purple eyes, said "Hey, you're just in luck. Zoey and I are gonna grab something to eat at Joe's. You wanna come with?"

"Sorry. I have to get to work," Danielle apologized.

"Same here," Daichi replied.

"That's cool," Zoey assured. "But we can hang out on the way, right?"

Danielle nodded and answered "Sure."

As they traveled, they shot the breeze about several topics ranging from the happenings of the day, new people in clubs, recent antics, and the like. Daichi was the first to separate from the group before entering a Burger King. About ten minutes later, Danielle split from them to go into a music store bearing her last name.

Another ten minutes after that, Crystal and Zoey entered the restaurant they mentioned. The place looked like it was ripped from the 1950's and placed off the middle of town. Except this place had better building codes. Neon lights of red, blue, and green lined the top of the walls. The floor is tiled with black and white squares. The stainless steel tables are topped with red with matching chairs softened by cushions the same color as the table tops. From the amount of people in the place, it looks like they got in just before the dinner rush.

The two were immediately greeted at the door by a woman their age with half of her hair dyed purple and the other half being her natural black. "Hello. How many in your party?"

"Just two," Crystal told with a smile.

"Alright," the hostess replied accompanied by a nod before she guided them to their table. As she handed them their menus, she told them before walking away "Someone will be here in a jiffy."

While they sat down then looked through the menus for the next source of sustenance, Crystal complained "Ugh. I swear to God, most of the people are only in the music club to goof off. It's no better than back home."

"Come on, Crys. You gotta have a little faith in them. It's only been two weeks," Zoey told her as she decided on her meal.

"Yeah, yeah," Crystal sighed.

The hostess walked up to one of her co-workers, which happens to be Saito, and told him "Hey, you got another table."

"Got it," he responded. As he strode to his new patrons, he looked them over quick to get a feel for them. When his eyes went from Zoey to Crystal, try as he might he couldn't pull his gaze away from the latter. Especially when he saw her eyes. She's really cu-. As he realized what he was thinking, he mentally shook his head and told himself No ogling the customers.

"Hello. I'm Saito and I'll be serving you today," he greeted when he got to them. He then asked after getting a notepad out "May I get you two started with somethin' to drink?"

"Sure. Can I get a Coke?" Crystal asked.

"And a Sprite for me," Zoey chimed.

"You sure can," he replied. Following jotting their drinks down, he then inquired "Do you know what you want to eat or do you need a couple of minutes?"

Crystal looked at Zoey to silently ask if she's ready. The latter nodded and started her order. "Yeah, can I get some-?" Zoey started to ask until she noticed the bruise on their waiter's cheek. This caused her to practically shout "Dude, what happened to you?"

"Zoey!" Crystal reprimanded in about the same volume.

He put a hand over the surfacing mark to try to cool it and said "Someone with a halfway decent left hook didn't want to face reality."

"Yeesh, harsh. What'd you say?" Zoey almost laughed.

Saito's eyes went to the side and said "Nothing much." He redirected his eyes to his customers and asked "I'm sorry, but what did you want?"

"Oh right. Can I get some waffles?" Zoey requested.

"Alright," he said as he wrote it down. He directed his attention towards Crystal and questioned "And for you?"

"I'll just have a club sandwich," Crystal said before she gathered the menus and handed them to the waiter.

"Okay. I'll be right back with your drinks," Saito said as he took the menus and walked off. Following giving the order to the people in the kitchen, he tended to other tables after getting them their beverages.

"So you feeling homesick yet?" Zoey asked while she twirled her straw in her drink.

Nonchalantly, Crystal replied "A bit, yeah." She took a sip of her soda and asked "You?"

"Eh, kinda," Zoey replied with a small shrug of her shoulders. "Any word from Casp?"

"Yeah. He said that he and Ash are all moved into their new place. He says hi by the way."

Zoey nodded "Cool, cool."

At that time, Saito returned with their food. "Alright. Club sandwich for you and waffles for you," he stated as he placed the plates in front of Crystal and Zoey respectively. He then placed the holder for the syrups in the middle of the table. "Can I get you anything else?" he asked internally hoping they say no.

Following a bit of deliberation, Zoey replied "Nah. Just the check please."

"Okay," he answered preceding to do his rounds yet again. He came back a few minutes later with the slip.

The two enjoyed their meal and paid for it before leaving for their apartment.

And so, the night passed without further interruption.

[hr][/hr]
In retrospect, I probably could have combined these first two chapters into one.
 
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Cassette-Disk

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Finally got a day off so I was able to read up. I gotta say I'm enjoying it so far! I like that you're establishing the characters a bit before diving fully into the story, it helps in the long run.
In retrospect, I probably could have combined these first two chapters into one.
Don't worry, stuff like that happens a lot lol.
 

KingdomKey

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Re: (r i p p l e) Chapter 2 - Mystery

Reading this for a second time is both fulfilling and enjoyable. I hope you update with another chapter soon, Peace. I really like the chemistry between Saito and Danielle a lot. Especially the mutual respect for a punch in the face and admiration for conviction. Although, it is reckless for Danielle to try to catch the killer before the police do. I also fangirled over the brief mention of Casp and Ash! <3 And seeing Crystal and Zoey meet Saito in this chapter means they're bound to meet again later! This was fantastic to read! :D
 

Peace

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(r i p p l e) Chapter 3 - Cans and Brahms

//September 4

The next morning, Daichi's alarm clock blared in a loop until he begrudgingly, but precisely smacked the snooze button. He stepped out of bed then shuffled into the shower. Following that, he came out wearing jeans with an elbow-length shirt then made his way to the kitchen.

"Good morning, Daichi," his parents in police uniforms greeted one after another. He repeated their greeting back to them before going into the fridge. As he got the carton of eggs out, he asked them, "Did you have breakfast yet?"

"Yes. Actually we were just about to head out," his father replied following looking at his watch. "Still a pile of paperwork after yesterday," he complained additionally.

"Is there anything new you can gather?" Daichi questioned.

As if he's told him this a million times, his father answered, "You know we can't discuss that with you."

"Yes sir," Daichi replied. He pulled both his parents into a hug and requested, "Just be careful, okay?"

"We will," his mom assured as she and his father hugged him back before leaving.

With a sigh, Daichi made his breakfast consisting of chicken abortions, cooked bread, and liquified oranges. After he ate, he had a some time to spare. Might as well get some practice in, Daichi thought before going into his room to get a bunch of knives. After that, he went into his backyard to set up some cans on a table. He stepped back about fifteen feet and threw three blades, hitting all his marks dead center.

He smiled in pride while thinking, Good. He looked at his phone for the time and thought, Time to go. He went back inside to put everything away and to grab his bag, lunch, and newsboy cap before heading out.

On his way to the college, he saw Danielle chatting with a bunch of her friends as she lugged a gig bag on her back. "And so I decked that guy," he heard Dani claim as she showed off her bicep resembling Rosie the Riveter. After what she said, her friends laughed with her.

As he kept traveling, Daichi pondered about the mystery. Maybe it is a hitman. I know we keep ruling this out, but this is one of very few conclusions that makes sense to me. He pinched the bridge of his nose and added, Except what kind of hired thug would just leave bodies like that? Cement shoes, floating them downriver, leaving them in the woods, or even a dumpster would be the ways to go. Unless it was some weird request. But who would ask that and have that kind of money?

Daichi's attention jerked back to reality by Dani pulling him into a headlock and announcing, "Here's my favorite guy friend."

"I'm your only guy friend," he refuted while stepping to the side in an attempt to get out of her grip. A quick glance ahead showed that Danielle's friends went ahead. Presumably so they weren't late for their lectures.

Pulling him closer, she responded, "Which makes you my favorite."

"Hitting the alcohol a little early, are you not?" he jabbed knowing how she would react.

She shoved him to the side and said, "Shut up. You know I don't drink."

After regaining his balance, he asked, "So is there any particular reason for this good mood of yours?"

"I finally got that son of a bitch drum fixed that was pissing me off the past couple of days," she responded as she stretched her arms over her head.

"The drum was a puppy too?" he inquired getting a lighter push as a reply. "But that is good," he nodded. He took a camera out of his pocket and asked "Do you mind if I take a picture?"

"Go ahead," said the green-eyed girl.

Daichi hung back as he got ready. Danielle put a hand to her brow to block out the sun. It was then he snapped the photo. Smiling at the camera, he jogged up to her to hand her the device.

After she looked at the picture, she handed the camera back and complimented then asked, "Nice. What's this one called?"

"'Rocker on the Road,'" he answered.

"Cool," Danielle commented with a smile. Then she told him before jogging ahead, "Oh by the way, there's no meeting today."

"Okay," Daichi replied before he did the same with the mystery still on his mind.

Later in the day, Crystal is playing piano in the arts building. Her fingers danced across the keys, filling the air with Brahms' works. The easy-going tunes of the Three Intermezzi soothed her and those who could hear it. Upon hitting the final note of the last of the songs, Crystal heard clapping. She looked around the room and found no one. Peering out the window, she saw a pair of hands making the noise. She walked over and opened the window to discover Saito who stopped his applause when he heard the window.

As soon as she recognized him, she greeted, "Hey. You're the waiter from last night."

"And you're that one customer. Thanks for the tip by the way," he answered.

"No prob," Crystal replied. She rested her chin in her hand and asked, "So do you usually stalk your patrons?"

"Don't flatter yourself. I heard some good music, so I had to get a seat," Saito retorted. He also added, "Plus it's such a nice day out, I couldn't help sitting in the sun." Looking at her, he added "If anything, you look more the stalker type to me."

"Right. Like I knew you were gonna show up here and started playing purely based on that inevitability," the pianist sarcastically claimed.

He raised his hands in surrender and said "Okay. Fair enough." He checked the time then said "As much as I don't want to, I have to get to work."

As he dusted off his rear, Crystal said "Okay. But hey, swing by again if you want. You can come in the building next time."

"Wouldn't it be weird to just be a spectator? I don't play any instruments and I'm also not a member of any club so I'd only be in the way," the red-eyed waiter countered.

It's not like it's any different from the rest of them, Crystal mentally commented. She waved his argument off with "Eh, don't worry about it."

After a pause, he said, "I'll think about it." This was followed by him walking away.

It was then that Zoey and Danielle entered the room. "Yo," the former greeted before she hugged her friend.

"Hey," the purple-eyed girl answered, reciprocating the hug. "All done?"

"Yep," the brunette replied.

While the roommates greeted each other, Danielle got her guitar out of her gig bag. After plugging it into an amp and doing a few test strums, she smiled in satisfaction. When they were done, Danielle asked "So do you guys have some time to play?"

Crystal and Zoey checked the time followed by the latter saying "Sorry. We got work."

"Oh. Okay," the blonde responded dejected before she put her instrument away. "Well, I'll see you guys later," Danielle said shouldering her bags preceding giving them a wave. They responded in kind before they gathered their own stuff.

On her way off campus, Danielle ran into Daichi who agreed to walk her home. The way back was spent in silence which the cap-wearing brunet was fine with. This was broken by Danielle starting then trailing off, "I've been thinking..."

Daichi made a questioning face then urged her, "Okay. Go on."

Danielle let out a breath and suggested, "It may not be pretty, but I think we should try to ask the victims' families and friends if they know anything."

Daichi responded, "Don't you think that's a little insensitive?" He wanted to ask if this spur of determination was because of their guest from yesterday but refrained.

"Look. We can speculate all we want, but unless we do something, nothing is going to be accomplished," the guitarist ranted.

Daichi didn't say anything for a few seconds before admitting "I'm not fond of the idea, but it is a way to gather clues." He then followed with, "I'd rather think about it first."

"Of course," Danielle replied with a nod. When they realized they were near her home, they said their goodbyes and separated. She went upstairs to her room and took off her bags. After doing some homework and eating dinner, she expertly played songs from Kiss, Dio, and Yes' albums until near midnight. When she was done, she flopped onto her bed and fell asleep.
[hr][/hr]
It's a few days past my self-imposed deadline but it's here.
 
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KingdomKey

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Hurray! A new update! I really like seeing what Daichi's home life is like. I'm kind of surprised he doesn't try to pry further about the murder investigation or doesn't try to swipe his parents keys to get into their offices at the police station yet. Danielle certainly is persistent about getting answers, should be interesting to see how the victims of the family will react. More Saito and Crystal in this chapter made my day. <3 This was a really great chapter, Peace.
 

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(r i p p l e) Chapter 4 - Power to the Music

//September 5

"We're doing it tonight," Danielle proclaimed as soon as she entered the clubroom the following afternoon.

A few seconds of silence passed before Daichi turned a page in his textbook and stoically answered, "Can I at least buy you dinner first?"

"Not like that!" retorted Danielle loudly. "I mean we're going to try and catch this asshole."

The blue-eyed young man marked the page he was on and closed his book with a sigh. He then listed, "First off: That is a terrible idea. Second: How did you come to that decision? Third: That is a terrible idea!"

I think this the first time I've heard Dai yell, Danielle commented internally.

"What happened to asking people?" Daichi asked returning to his normal tone.

"Well I was thinking about what to ask this morning," Danielle started. "But the more I thought about it, the more I started to feel guilty for considering it. Plus we would more than likely get doors slammed in our faces."

"True enough," Daichi agreed, still trying to figure out her train of thought leading to her ridiculous decision.

"So I thought of what else we can do and it hit me. 'Why don't we try to get this guy ourselves?'"

Daichi tried to resist every urge he had to facepalm to his friend's leap in logic. This struggled failed as proven by his hand meeting his forehead.

Danielle then tried to suggest "Or you can always-"

"I'm not stealing my parents' keys," Daichi interrupted with the same tone his father used the previous day. After that, he added, "Also it would be suspicious for me to just show up after I asked about the case yesterday."

Danielle joked, "And I thought I was the screw up."

"Lay off. My curiosity got the better of me," Daichi argued. He asked her, "So what are we really doing? Or are you seriously considering this?" Before she got a chance to answer, Daichi added, "I know where you are coming from, but we have to think about this rationally."

"I know. But the more I think about that guy running around killing people, the more it pisses me off," the blonde admitted. "And I'm gonna make him pay for what he did."

There was a tension in the room so thick that you could cut it with a knife. The two friends glared at each other as if arguing through thought.

That pressure was dissipated by Franklin coming into the room asking, "Having a lover's spat?"

Daichi sighed and said "No. Just trying to decide what to do."

"I want to catch the murderer, but he wants to sit on his ass and do nothing," Danielle explained.

"Wait, back up," Franklin requested. "Catch the guy?" he repeated and questioned. He put his chin in his hand to ponder this for a moment. After a couple of seconds, he laughed, "This is some Most Dangerous Game shit." He slapped the table and announced, "Alright. I'm in."

"Alright!" Danielle shouted with a fist pump.

At the same time, Daichi yelled, "What?!"

Assuming that no one else will show up, Danielle went up to the two other members and said with a smile, "Okay, we'll meet in the lot between Smith's Grocery and Rewind Video." She looked at her watch for the time then told them before leaving in a dash, "I have to work. So I'll see you later."

Daichi's hand met his face for the second time and asked himself, What am I going to do with her?

"Well, you heard the lady," Franklin started as he made his way to the door. "See ya, bub," he finished before shutting the door behind him. This left Daichi to clean up the room.

Fifteen minutes later, Danielle is just now walking into Pallière Music. Just like she has for as long as she can remember.

It's a moderate-sized store with records and posters of various groups covering the walls. In the middle of the shop is a table topped with milk crates filled with records. Labels listing the artists of said records are slipped in between them for better browsing. Lining two of the walls are shelves of CDs sorted by genre then by artists. Musical instruments and their accessories border the rest of the perimeter of the store. These range between electric guitars, drums, amps, keyboards and other such things.

A sour look showed on Danielle's face as she saw a red-haired woman twice her age who was behind the counter set at the back of the establishment looking at her phone, apparently not noticing the bell on the top of the door ringing.

Yeah. That sure looks professional, she remarked in her head before she roughly shut the door.

This caused the cashier to shoot up and greet, "Hello, how may I help you?"

"It's just me, Barbara," the college student grumbled.

"Hi Dani," the redhead sighed in relief.

"Hey," the blonde girl replied with a tone that was a mere touch away from being cold as she made her way through the door behind the counter. Danielle flipped the switch then immediately sat on the chair next to the door and rolled to the other side. In the now illuminated room, there are two workbenches against the back and left walls and a central island with drawers filled with tools and parts for musical instruments underneath. More replacement parts hung from the ceiling and walls, giving the place an organized mess feel.

The woman working the front followed her there "How were your classes?"

"Fine," the green-eyed girl answered shortly while she sorted through a few of the drawers underneath her work station. "Dammit. Where's that Phillips-head?" she whispered to herself. "Oh right," she said remembering before kicking against the drawers to push herself the small distance between the wall and the middle table.

She quickly took the required tool from one of the drawers and rolled back to her bench. Set on it was a Fender brand electric guitar brought in for a cleaning. Should be simple enough, she told herself as she dusted off her hands before she started.

She began by removing two of the strings. She then started cleaning the fretboard with a damp cloth followed by a deeper cleaned with some steel wool and a toothbrush. As she cleaned sections of it, she replaced the strings with new ones. The way she continued to clean this instrument was almost like a work of art that has been engrained in her since a young age.

When she was done, she tested her craft by plugging the freshly cleaned instrument into an amp. Despite the "No Stairway" sign on the wall, she played it. Hearing nothing wrong with it, she called up the owner of the guitar after she put it bag in its case.

When the call was picked up, she asked, "Hello? Is this Jimmy?"

"Yes," the person now named Jimmy answered.

After his answer, Danielle told him, "This is Dani from Pallière Music. You're guitar's all cleaned up, tuned up, and rarin' to go."

"Awesome. How much?" he asked.

"It's gonna cost you $10," she stated as she wrote up his receipt.

"Thanks. I'll see you in a few. Bye," Jimmy replied before hanging up.

The next few hours flew by. Danielle messed with other instruments as Barbara managed the counter. Jimmy came by to pick up his guitar. Other than that, nothing out of the usual.

Later, Danielle was in her room preparing her plans tonight. She was at her door psyching herself up. She then eyed her baseball bag in the corner of her room. A weapon would be a good idea, she concluded as she walked toward it. She emptied the mitt, balls, and cleats onto the floor, leaving only the metal bat in there. As she shouldered the bag, she resolved, Tonight, your killing spree ends.
 
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