Categories > Anime/Manga > Princess Tutu > Princess Tutu and the Secret Six


by paladin313 0 reviews


Category: Princess Tutu - Rating: PG - Genres: Crossover - Published: 2009-05-29 - Updated: 2009-05-30 - 7587 words - Complete



The children were soon settled into their respective rooms and dorms, and started to look at their upcoming class schedules. Ahiru also knew that she would have to, in a couple of days, put on a classic variation, in hopes of moving up to the intermediate class. That pressed on her mind no end, not knowing how to go about stringing aroutine together, or even what music to use. Rue assured her that she would help the next day, because she wanted to see her succeed, and was looking for ideas for herself. She knew that part of her final exam would be to do a classic variation as well, yet hers would be far more technically demanding. It would have to be good, and practically flawless if she hoped to graduate on time. It was the same as putting together a college thesis, so she knew that she would spend the majority of her free time putting together this routine for the end of the year. If she could help Ahiru, and gain some ideas for it, her help would not be wasted time. Ahiru was roomed with her two girlfriends, and they had talked excitedly about the new year at some length. However, it was beginning to get old at that moment, so she excused herself to take a short walk. As she walked the campus, enjoying the late summer weather and the sun on her face, she passed by the rise on the campus mall, and began to hear some of the sweetest guitar playing and singing she had ever heard. She made her way up the stone steps that led to a walkway at the top of the rise. When she got there, she saw a small, ever changing crowd of people around the mysterious musician: people who stopped to listen for a minute or two, and then moved on to their own business. When she moved past the crowd, she was able to see just who this troubadour was. Sitting there, with a 12 string acoustic Gibson on his knee, wearing ared tee shirt with yellow trim, blue jeans and tennis shoes, black, wavy hair parted on the right side, was this seeming spell casting bard, for his music seemed to suck one in. He finished his song, thought for a minute, and then began another song. It was "Across the Universe" by the Beatles, and he was singing it from the bottom of his heart, with a big smile on his face. As he played, the tune began to stir within her, and she, almost instinctively, began to dance. In fact, it felt as if Tutu herself was there guiding her every move. Now, the passing people, who had been giving momentary interest to the scene, were now standing and staring in disbelief at the sight. Some were able to recognize Ahiru, but wondered where she got the skill to dance like that, considering how clumsy she could be at times. However, they could not recognize the young teen playing. After he finished, he turned his head to see Ahiru on the ground, one leg bent behind her, the other straight out in front, with her head bowed over the stretched out leg, arms extended to her foot. The boy was surprised to see this display, considering how engrossed in his playing that he was, and wondered exactly what was going on behind him the whole time. "Do you often introduce yourself to people like that," he said, in a kind voice, and with a big grin. Ahiru suddenly realized what had happened, and realized that she had completely lost herself in her dance to the point where it did not even seem like her dancing anymore. It was as if the spirit of Tutu had taken over, and was dancing for her. Of course, at the realization on how much she had let herself go, especially in the presence of this stranger, her face turned beat red, and she leaped up, chattering and moving in her duck-like manner, profusely apologizing for her interruption of his playing, and trying to explain herself to him. Sadly, in the process, she forgot herself again, and rolled tail over teakettle down the embankment to the bottom of the mall. As she lay there in mild pain, she wondered if she would ever be able to live this down. As she began to lift her head, (and her vision ceased to be blurry,) her eyes began to focus on the young man who had been playing, who was now kneeling over her on one knee, right hand on his raise knee, his left hand swinging the guitar onto his back. He had that same warm smile, and asked in asincere manner, "Are you alright? Is anything hurt?"

"Nothing but my pride," she said dejectedly as she tried to rise up to her feet. However, the young stranger put his hand underneath her shoulder, and helped her up. This was only the second person at this school she could recall helping her up like this when she had fallen, (which was more often than she care to remember.) The only other was Mytho, which had endeared her to him from that moment. The thing was that, both this kid, and Mytho had the same look of care and concern in their eyes, yet, this was a perfect stranger, who didn't know her from Adam, and still took the time to see if she was okay. Most people around here just laughed at your misfortune, but not this one. "What's your name?" he asked.

"Miss Arima," she said all formal. The boy said, "Well, I am William Batson, but you can call me Billy."

"Really?" she said, "We just met!"

"Does that matter?" he asked, confused.

"Well...oh yeah," she remembered. They were not in Japananymore: they were in the U.S. She didn't have to worry so much about such formalities anymore. "I'm sorry. I was raised in Japanon an American military outpost, and the Japanese don't normally use first names, or familiar terms when they first meet. I keep forgetting that we only do that here when it is some kind of formal affair or business kind of thing."

"Oh, okay," Billy said, "Then, do you have a first name?"

"Ahiru," she said.

"That's a pretty name, but not what I am used to."

That surprised Ahiru. No one had ever said that before about her name, especially in Japan, where the meaning of the name was well known. She then said, "Well, it is Japanese, and my mother and father liked the name so much they decided to give that to me."


She shuffled her feet a bit, not being used to giving out such personal information to a person she had just met, and then she kept reminding herself that she had to get used to the American culture again. She hesitated, and then answered, "Well, they always called me their baby duck, because I loved to splash around in the bath when I was little, and looked like I waddled when Iwas learning to walk. So, Ahiru became my name."

"I'm guessing 'Ahiru' means 'duck,'" asked Billy.

"Yes, that's right."

"That's funny!"

"What's so funny about that!" she asked, abit offended.

"No, no! I didn't mean that your name was funny. Its just that my dad used to call me Rubber Duckie."

"Why's that?"

"No matter what happened to me, I just kept bouncing back, and staying afloat," he mused.

"Is that all?"

"Eh, no, but, when I was little, I used to like Ernie, from Sesame Street, especially when he sang his song."

Quickly changing the subject, she said,"You have such a great voice! Are you here for music?"

"That's one reason," he answered, "I'm also here for voice, and dance."

"Wow!" she exclaimed, "That would make for a busy schedule! Why are you doing so much?"

"I'm hoping to get on Broadway."

"That seems an awful lot for that." They began to walk up the steps, back to where his case sat, and he took his position again. He began to strum something indiscriminate, and continued the conversation. He then said, "Well, if you're going into that kind of show business, all three can be crucial: the more you can do, the more things open up."

She then asked, "What kind of dance?"

"Let's see...I've already mastered tap, and now I am doing ballet."

"I didn't think that was needed."

"Ah," he answered, "That's where you make the classic mistake most people make. Ballet is such a precision style of dance, that it is the standard and base for all other kinds of dance out there. For me, what Bach was to music, ballet is to the dance."

"That's what I do!" she said, happily, though she did not know why. She responded as if she though it was great they might be in the same class, and then she wondered over her excitement, considering they had just met, and she didn't know him from Adam. Billy took it in stride, and said sarcastically, "Gee, I couldn't tell."

"Oh, stop it!" she giggled, and gave him aplayful shove. "How far have you gone?"

"I'm about at the intermediate level, but I have to take a test the day after tomorrow: a classic variation."

"Oh? That's what I have to do," she said dejectedly.

"Why the long face?"

"I want to go to that level, but I'm afraid I'm not very good solo. I was able to do Swan Lake last year as Odette. However, one of the older boys from the advanced class helped me get through it. I'm not even en pointe yet."

"Hey, I'll tell you what," he said, "What are you doing tomorrow morning?"

"They are opening the dance room tomorrow for us do work on these kind of things, and my friends from the advanced class will be there at about 8 o'clock to help me."

"Do you mind if I got involved? Maybe together we can work out our own routines."

"Wow! This kid gets friendly fast!" she thought. She wondered what was happening, in that they were getting along so well so quickly. "In fact, I'll be there at seven doing my own personal warm ups. If you want, you can be there."

"That's okay," she said, not sure where that would go, "But I'll look for you."

"Okay," she said, "I'll see you then."

"Hey, before you go, do you have any requests?"

"That song you were singing before: who was that?"

Billy looked at her surprised, "That was the Beatles!"

"How long have they been around?"

Billy looked stunned. "Are you telling me you have never heard of the Beatles?"

She looked embarrassed. Billy caught this, and said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude like that. It's just that they were the greatest pop band of all time."

"Dad never was into pop. He liked classical, and that's all I've ever danced to. People around here don't normally like that kind of music."

Billy rolled his eyes. "Oh boy!" he said, "That's gonna have to change! There is some good modern music out there to dance ballet to. Don't they teach the contemporary style around here?"

"Not really," she answered, "I guess they figure that you won't learn your basics otherwise."

"Hogwash!" he spit out, "Looks like I'm really gonna have to prove a point!"

"Careful, Mr. Katt may not like it, and make you stay after class."

"Who's he?"

"He's the head dance instructor, and he is really strict."

"Leave that to me," Billy said, "I think Ican loosen him up."

"Good luck!" she said, rolling her eyes. He was just about to ask the question again, when Rue and Mytho walked up. Rue had been watching the two conversing when she caught sight of them, and thought it neat that Ahiru had someone her age that showed some interest in her. "Hi you two," Rue said, "What's up?"

Ahiru stood up, not sure what to say, and said in quick succession, "Oh this? This is Billy, and he's a new friend. Well, Iguess he's a new friend, but it's not like that: not what you think. Wait, how would you know what I was thinking right then? Well, I guess it seemed strange when you saw it, but we can't make assumptions, now can we..."

As this was going on, Billy began to get cute and began playing Flight of the Bumble Bee on his guitar as she went on in her tirade. It was then that she caught herself, "...and I, uh, (suddenly realizing what was being played,) what's the big...oh, ha, ha."

The other two giggled. "Sorry, Ahiru, you kind of left yourself open to that," said Mytho. Billy said, "Why don't you sit down, and I'll help 'broaden your musical experience.'"

At that, he proceeded to play and sing Blackbird. It seemed to calm Ahiru down, but also shook Rue a bit, considering her associations the year before. The song seemed to hit home with her a bit, considering the lyrics. However, everyone was pleased, and Mytho said, "Hey, why don't we go for some ice cream? You can bring your guitar."

"Okay, that seems like fun," he said. At this Rue decided to have a little fun with Ahiru, and said, "Yeah, we can make it a double date!" and nudged Ahiru, as they walked off. Slightly annoyed, she whispered through the corner of her mouth, "Stop it! That's not funny!"

However, Billy seemed genuinely bashful at the thought. Both Rue and Mytho thought that strange, considering how confident a musician he seemed to be. They would have to get his story out of him while at the shop.

After eating, Billy opened his case, pulled out his guitar, and then, interestingly enough, set the case out in front of the table opened to any passer-by that would come along. This seemed strange how instinctive this act seemed to be. When it came time to pay the bill, the others began to reach for their pockets, but Billy waived them off, and paid himself. His wallet had enough bills in it to form a roll big enough to choke a dinosaur! This left all of them with eyes as wide open as dinner plates. "Where did you get that kind of money!" said a now thoroughly surprised Rue.

"Ah, it's a long story," said Billy, with his head down a bit.

"Its no reason to be ashamed," said Mytho,"It's just different to see someone your age with so much money on him. Aren't you worried about thieves?"

"Actually, no," said Billy, "If that became an issue, all I have to do is 'say-the-word', and it would be resolved rather quickly."

"And what would that be?" asked Ahiru. Billy suddenly turned a bit pale, with his eyes darting a bit, not sure how to answer. Billy quickly diverted things, hoping to get them off that. "Well, it has to do with'my story,' but, like I said, it's a long one, and I don't want to bore you."

Mytho, understanding that they may have hit something a bit personal, said, "If it's something personal, there's no need to say anything. But, if you did, we do have plenty of time this afternoon before bed check."

"Well...okay, here it goes," he answered, and then went into his story. "My dad was an Egyptologist, and an archeologist. I'm actually a twin, but, because of some things, my sister and I were separated at birth. What I mean by that is this: my dad had made some discoveries that netted him some wealth. Yet, dad had a colleague who wanted to claim this discovery. When his colleague was turned down for this, he sought revenge, threatened dad, and his whole family. When some attempts were carried out, he thought it best to scatter the family, hoping to reunite us one day. Yet, when I was about six year old or so, the man carried out his revenge, and was able to get my mother at the same time through channels. Fortunately, my uncle Dudley was watching me at that time, so he had no idea where I was, and I was spared, as was my sister, due to her anonymity. Because Uncle Dudley was unable to take care of me at that time, I was put into foster care. However, I had a series of bad homes. Then, when I was almost nine, I was adopted by a man who seemed that he was sincere about taking me in, but all he had an eye on was an inheritance set aside for me in a trust fund. Using some legal maneuvering, he managed to get his hands on it, threw me out in the street, and claimed I had run away. I spent two years living on the streets. It was during this time that I learned some of the things that Iknow. In fact, some of those homeless were people of the arts that had hit hard times, and saw that I had a natural talent. One old fellow taught me how to tap dance, another taught me how to play the guitar, so I could earn some money playing on the corner."

"That explains why you opened the case the way you did," observed Rue.

"Oh yeah, I guess its an old habit now,"said Billy, as he continued to play some nondescript tune, "Anyway, I was in this situation, living in an abandoned subway, when an opportunity hit me to come out of all this. I had a benefactor provide me with the means to rise up out of the mess, and then, I had a chance meeting with a reporter visiting from another town. When he found out who I was, he did all that he could to get me off the street, and put me with someone he was sure that would take good care of me. He's a colleague that works for WHIZ radio and television services. I spent time learning about broadcast journalism, and even got a chance to anchor the news as a novelty from time to time. When Iwent in front of the camera, my mentor saw that I had a natural ability to perform, and had me in all kinds of performance arts kind of things: voice, acting lessons, music, and he started me in ballet. I wasn't to keen on it at first, but, I began to like it. I realized that I would need this later on, because, I now have a dream of making it in theatre one day: Broadway, London's West End or something like that. It's fun. However, the more you can do, the more chances in things you have. Since I already knew tap, that helped. However, I found out knowing ballet also helps."

"How so?" asked a now genuinely intrigued and very attentive Ahiru.

"Well...if we ever do Cats at the school, I think you would quickly figure out why!" said Billy smiling, "Anyway, This is my shot at life. Even if it doesn't work out, I can still fall back on broadcast journalism. I guess it boils down to a simple question: if you had one shot, just one, to take what you are, be something greater, be it forever, and know you have done this world some good, even if just a little, would you take it, or just let it slip? There is an old saying here in may know this one Ahiru...when opportunity knocks, you'd better be at home!"

This threw Ahiru off. Indeed, she had been given this opportunity once, although she could not keep it when the time came to finish the mission, even if it came at the wrong hands. She had chosen to do some good with what she had been given despite the source. However, she could not keep it. Although she thought that it was okay, and she could go on with life, she now realized that her life would never be normal after what had happened. The essence of that which she had been coursed through her veins, and dictated much of what she did, including in her dance. She may have ceased being Tutu physically, but not in spirit. It was as if Tutu stayed with her, semi-dormant, just active enough to guide her. It did not escape the notice of her teacher: Mr. Katt. He was very impressed at her improvement in the dance. He hoped that this would be the year that she could advance to the intermediate level, and finally go en Pointe. Her friends even noticed the change, in that she was always there when someone needed help, and she was often going out of her way for people. It seemed that Tutu was begging for more of a release, but Ahiru did not know how to bring her forth. She hoped that, maybe, one day, she could grow into being Tutu as she got older, but she also knew that that was no guarantee. The thunderous silence that now came from Ahiru did not escape the notice of Rue. She knew that Ahiru was much more talkative than this, even if all she did at that moment was ramble on. "Ahiru, is everything alright?"

Ahiru suddenly snapped to, as if awaking from a dream. "Oh...yeah...I was, just, well, lost in thought."

Rue turned her head a bit and stared at her for a moment. She then let it go, figuring that it would be better to ask another time.

After the ice cream, and as they were walking back to the academy, talk soon turned to the test the day after the next, and registration. Billy offered to be there to help her warm up the next morning, but this time, she was noncommittal, saying, "Well, I'll see," but seeming occupied in thought. After saying good-bye, Ahiru and Rue went into the girl's dorm, and Ahiru started to head to her room. However, Rue took her arm, and said, "Not yet: we have to talk."

Ahiru looked askance at the statement. Rue detected the confusion, and said, "Something is bugging you, isn't it? It started after William asked that question, wasn't it?"

Ahiru bit on her lower lip, head down, stirring her foot on the floor a bit. Yes, that was it. "'So...a penny for your thoughts,' I think the saying goes."

"Rue, did I miss 'my shot?'" quizzed Ahiru.

"What do you mean?" Rue said, looking confused.

"Rue," Ahiru continued, seeming to ignore the question, "Does anything of Kraehe ever enter into what you do?"

"I'm not sure what you mean by that."

"I mean, do you still see yourself as her? Do you do things that may be like her?"

"Actually, I've done all I can to forget that. I wasn't very nice at that time, you know."

"But," she paused, seeming to search for the right word, "...but, does she try to come out?"

Rue wanted to close the subject, and prepared to say something forceful to make Ahiru drop the subject. However, Ahiru hit on something that she could not deny, and said, "You know, I have to admit that she tries to come up from time to time. She seems to be my strength and fortitude when I need it the most, especially when I have to stand up for myself, something, or someone else. But, I can't let take over: I can't risk becoming bitter, vicious, and overconfident again."

"Could she be trying to give you confidence where you lack it?"

"I don't know. Anyway, what does this have to do with you, unless... Wait a minute! It's Tutu, right?"

Ahiru slumped into a chair there in the lobby, and began to cry. "I miss her! I miss being Tutu! I know she's in here," pointing to her heart,"and she wants to come out, and be me, and I be her, but I don't know how. I mean, she helps me dance, gives me strength, makes me want to help people, but I don't know how to bring her out!"

Ahiru was now realizing, for the first time, why it is that most superheroes, when they try to walk away, cannot do it. There comes a point where their secret identities cease to be who they really are, and are more comfortable being the hero, wearing the costume, and so forth. Putting on an outward guise becomes an act to deflect people from seeing whom they really are, in an attempt to protect others related to them from dangers of vengeance by a vanquished foe. It is not who they really are. The hero is truly what they are. Once bitten by the hero bug, it is extremely hard to shake off. Even if you do manage to walk away, you are never going to be the same person ever again. Once you've tasted of that power, whether you turn it to good or evil, it is hard to step away from. For a thirteen year-old girl, this was even harder. Rue knelt behind her and hugged her, rocking her gently back and forth. "It's alright, it's alright," she consoled, knowing not if that was even true. All Rue could think of was that evil Edel, having the audacity to shoulder such a burden on a girl coming of age, trying to find her place in the world. Rue tried to console her, and said, "Look, you've got a great chance at a future. It is okay to let her inspire you, but you have to let go, honey. You can take what you learned, and use it still. You can still be someone's hero."

They sat that way for a good fifteen minutes, and then Rue said, "Now, you've got to be a brave, strong girl for me, okay? Let's think about the variation for tomorrow. Remember, it has to be something that incorporates all the basic moves, and all the dance steps you learned in the beginner course. So let's start thinking about how we want to set up that combination. It has to flow from point to point, and fit the music you choose. Have you thought about what you want to dance to yet?"

Ahiru choked back a few tears and said,"Not yet."

Rue smiled, happy to be able to get Ahiru's thoughts off the matter, and onto things that are more pertinent. She said, "Well, then you should go up to your room, and talk to Mai and Yuma. Maybe they have some ideas."

Ahiru heaved a heavy sigh to shake off the tears, and said, "Okay."

"That's my little sister!" said Rue. With that, Rue went up to her own room, and Ahiru went to the public rest room in the lobby to wash her face. She didn't want her roommates to know that she had been crying. There would be no end of the questions and speculations the two would make, and they would never leave her alone about the whole thing.

Once upstairs, and in her room, Ahiru occupied herself with a few last minute items to unpack, and asked herself,"What WILL I dance to? That is a good question."

However, her two roommates, who had seen her at lunch on the hill, were all curious to know about the handsome young boy to whom she had been talking. "So," saidYuma, "Are you going to tell us anything about that cute young chap you were talking to at lunch?"

"What's there to talk about?" asked Ahiru, hoping to change the subject, "We met, he told me about himself, Rue invited him, and I to get ice cream with Mytho, and that was it."

"Oh! You just met today, and you already went on a date!" gushed Yuma.

"IT WAS NOT A DATE!" Ahiru said firmly.

"You don't have to shout," Mai interjected, "Besides, two people of the opposite sex can go get ice cream, and have it mean nothing. However, you can at least tell us about him."

Ahiru really didn't want to talk about him at that moment, because of how closely this was following the conversation at the ice cream shop. She then said,"Well, maybe later. I have to finish this, and then think about my tryout for the intermediate class."

"And you think you have what it takes?"asked Mai.

"You know what Mr. Katt will say: if you fail, you must marry me!" added Yuma. Of course, she had a good way of imitating, and over exaggerating Mr. Katt, and that got all three girls to give a good belly laugh. That was just what Ahiru needed. Still, she remembered Billy's invitation for the next morning, and figured that it may be all right to be with him at that time. He didn't seem like the kind of guy that would try anything. Besides, there seemed to be something about him that made her feel that she may get the answer that she has been seeking about Tutu. She had no real proof that this would happen, but, there seemed to be something in his confidence and positive look on life that made her believe that it could be possible. After she finished, she asked to borrow Yuma's alarm, saying there was something she had to do early, and she didn't want to miss it. Yumasaid yes to this, and Ahiru set the alarm for one hour before he was to be there. After this, she put on her nightgown, and went to bed early. It had been a long day, and a long flight, and jet lag was taking an effect. However, before she drifted off to sleep, some of Billy's words wafted through her head: "If you had one chance... When opportunity knocks..."

Could it be knocking again?

Billy and Mytho entered the boy's dorm, and began to head off to their rooms. However, they both went to the same room. They both looked askance at the situation, and then Mytho asked, "Is this your room?"
"Yeah, I came in at about 9:30 this morning, and put all my stuff in,"answered Billy.

"That must have been when I was out with Rue," said Mytho, as he began to recall the day. Billy looked at him, and then said, "I hope that it's not a problem."

"Oh, no," said Mytho, "If you can play the kind of music that you do, then it will be relaxing, especially during study hall."

"Study hall?"

"Yes. We have to be in the dorms by 7 o'clock, Sunday through Thursday, and study for two hours. That way, any homework that we have not finished, we can get it done. We can also get a library pass from one of our teachers earlier in the day if we have some research to do. However, we have to be in the library, or the dorm, by that time. It's all in the student handbook."

"Oh yeah," said Billy, "I haven't had the chance to read it. I was hoping to do that tonight."

"Oh, and by the way, just to help, bed check is at 10 o'clock. You must be in by that time. You can move in all about the dorm as much as you want, you just cannot leave it. There is no 'lights out' in case you have extra study, but it is asked that you be courteous to your roommates if they are trying to sleep."

Billy then asked, "Are we the only two? It seemed like there was one more in here."

"Yes, he is my brother, in a sense. We were raised together, and we room together. I don't foresee a problem,"Answered Mytho. However, just as they entered the room, there was a slightly sore Fakir, staring in the corner of the room at were Billy had set up camp. He muttered, "Really, I wish they would inform us ahead of time when they move people into a room!"

In Billy's corner was his bed, and pictures of the Beatles, Credence Clearwater Revival, Simon and Garfunkel, as well as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Caruso, the Three Tenors, Jose Cura, posters for Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and one vintage one, framed up and hanging special: an original movie poster for Singing In The Rain. There was an autographed picture of reporter Clark Kent of the Daily Planet on his desk, as well as one for Superman. On another wall, in a special frame, was a picture of his mother and father, standing at a dig, with one of their latest finds. There was also a picture of the Hall of Justice, as well as a framed certificate from the Justice League of America, declaring one William H. Batson an honorary member of the league. Finally, against that wall, was a metal table, with three synthesizer keyboards on top, with various buttons, and a set of foot keys below it, and two speakers attached to the rig. Fakir looked over at the two entering the room, and eyed the stranger. He raised one eyebrow, and said, "Well, we DO make ourselves at home quite quickly, don't we?"

Billy felt his heart drop into his shorts quickly, and said, "I'm sorry, but all of those things hold meaning for me in my life. All of that makes me what Iam."

"Well, next time, ask before you bring all this in here!" Fakir seethed. Billy began to detect the hostility, and did not like the "puffing up" that Fakir was doing. Mytho saw what was brewing, and said, "Fakir, that's not the way to treat a new student! Besides, if certain things had meaning to you, would not you want to do what he did, and cherish them?"

At that, Mytho pointed over his head at the two crossed swords mounted on the wall. One was Mytho's swan sword, and the other was one Charon made for Fakir: one he called the Loengrien. Both held significance for both boys: both had used them in their adventures the year before, and thus, held meaning for the both of them. However, Billy wanted to get things out in the open right away to avoid future problems, and said, with one eyebrow raised, "So, are you the room chief, the resident director, or what? They said that this was the only spot left in the dorm."

Fakir noticed Billy's posturing, and stood up, sighed, and firmly said, "No, I am none of these. I just like a quiet spot, without a lot of clutter, and with those things, (pointing at the instruments,) I don't think that is going to help."

"Now, the two of you need to settle down!"said Mytho firmly, "Billy, I'm surprised that you would be acting this way. I would have thought you had more control than this."

Billy heaved a sigh, and said, "Sorry, Mytho, it's just an old habit from the street. When someone challenges like that, you have to make it plain that you are not going to back down. You get hurt if you don't. Two years on the streets taught me that!"

Fakir tilted his head a bit, and then asked, shocked, " lived on the streets?"

"Yeah! You got a problem with that?" Billy said firmly.

"No, no: it's just...well, you don't see many of your kind here," said Fakir, fumbling over his words.

"MY KIND?" thundered Billy, "Oh, NOW you crusin'!"

This was going downhill fast. Billy was beginning to inch forward; ready to get the message across that he was not to be trifled with. Mytho stepped in between them, trying to keep things from getting ugly. "Enough! Fakir, where are your manners! Billy, calm down, you are not on the streets anymore! This is not necessary!" said Mytho, trying to keep a fight from happening. Yet, Billy did not seemed to be finished, "Well, I want to know what he meant by 'My Kind!'"

"You completely misunderstand me!" Fakir tried to reason, "It's just that we do not get many poor people in here...I mean, all that, (pointing to his things again,) just doesn't indicate that."

"You judgmental jerk!" snapped Billy, starting to form a tear in his eye, "You have no clue what it took for me to be here!"

"Billy, please, you are not helping matters here," pleaded Mytho, hoping that things did not get any worse. Sadly, it was becoming too late for that now.

"That's what I figured," said Fakir, "All you are is trouble! You have no business here!"

With that, he flicked Mytho aside, attending to teach the little upstart a lesson, and let him know who was in charge. However, Fakir was the one in for the lesson. As Fakir moved towards Billy, Billy quickly and deftly sidestepped his attacker, grabbing his outstretched arm with a seeming ballet-like move and arm gesture, and gave it atwist, smacking Fakir's arm just above the elbow. This flipped Fakir over, and dropped him hard on his buttocks. Billy, with catlike reflexes, danced about two steps back, ready for more. He then snapped, "I suggest you stand down, or this is going to get worse for you!"

Fakir, now with his pride bruised, was now ready to throttle his younger and smaller opponent. He was up in a flash, going right for his antagonist. Yet, Billy quickly deflected the punch, palm struck Fakir right in the solo plexus, and again, with a ballet-like movement, backhanded Fakir in his chin, knocking him into semi consciousness. "I'm sorry, Mytho. I will try to see if there is any other way I can be roomed. I guess I'm just too much trouble," Billy then said, tears welling up. "I thought I wouldn't have to face these kind of judgmental people again. I thought that I was in a place that accepted people for who they are, and not for what they are. I guess I was wrong. Why does this always happen?"

He slumped down on Mytho's bed, and began to fight back the tears: an old habit from the streets, in that, you did not want to show weakness before your foes. Mytho, because of being the empath that was, sensed that Billy's actions were not done out of hate, pride, or any real rage. This was out of a deep pain of always having to defend one's existence and legitimacy in the world, especially when the world around you despised your lowly estate. Fakir, who was coming around, heard what was said, and suddenly felt ashamed at how he had acted. Mytho watched him as he wiped away a trickle of blood from his mouth, and said, "In truth, you had that coming. You are too overprotective of what you consider yours. You think that you can just do what you want to people, when you want. I always knew that, one day, you were going to run into someone that would be that one-step better than you, and was not going to take your bossy attitude. Billy has had it rough, and is trying to turn things around. He needs friends, and not people who are going to judge him by the past. Take him as he is now."

Fakir saw Billy trying to pull it back, realizing that he only did what he did because he was hurt, and not because he was trying to show off. Maybe he was too bossy. He did not know what to say at that point. "Look, Billy, I..." he paused,"I guess I have been wrong. I am so used to getting my way in things that, when I don't, I get stupid. I did deserve that. I'm sorry. Welcome to Kinkan."

With that, he extended a hand. Billy looked at it for only a moment, then reached out and shook it. On the streets, it was a great sign of respect and manhood when someone "manned up"and admitted that he did you wrong. Fakir continued, "You are one tough kid!"

"Thanks," said Billy, "That's a little more like it!"

"I am curious how you got to this point, though," queried Fakir.

"Sit down, please, because this may take abit."

With this, he repeated the story that he had told earlier. Fakir then asked, "So, where did the money come from that you were able to gain all this?"

Billy smiled, and then answered, "Dad was smart. He didn't put everything in one account. A chunk was set aside, and given to Uncle Dudley, and then to me later, when the danger had passed. Then, later, with the help of some friends,(thumbing the pictures on his desk,) that scumbag that did what he did to was caught, and what he had not squandered was returned to me. Now, I have a sizeable allowance: enough to buy anything I need, and a few things that I want. To buy things like the syntho-organ you see there, I have to call Uncle Dudley, who has partial control over the trust, and he then releases what I need for it. That money comes from what I do not spend each month from my allowance: it is squirreled away for just those kinds of things. Thus, I have enough need and play money for me here at school, and can still save up for special things. When I am 18, I will have total control of the money, with half of it going to my twin sister if she is ever found again."

Fakir sat amazed. "Well, it looks like you have had quite astory for your life. You could write abook about it."
"One day, I might," mused Billy, "I just have to be sure it is the right time. There are some sensitive things in my story that would have to wait for the proper moment."

Fakir also said, "Someone like you that can fight as you do is a good friend to have. However, (and he stood up and clicked his heels and bowed slightly, as some Germans do,) if you ever need me, you have shown me to be someone of honor: I will be there for you."

"And I you," said Billy, matching his actions. Fakir then said, "However, Iwould that you did wear some kind of headphones when you play that organ."

"Of course, some organ music is quite peaceful," interjected Mytho.

"That's true," said Billy. With that, he went over to the instrument, turned it on, and then said, "I can understand 'obnoxious' if I played something like this..."

With that, He began to play a few bars of the wedding march by Mendelssohn. "However," he continued, "I could play something like this..." and then he began to play Air on the G String, by Bach. Fakir was impressed. "Ah so, you like Bach?" he said.

"Hey, Bach is the Doc," answered Billy,"Without him, we would not have music as we know it."

"Many Germans know his music very commonly," said Mytho, "If you can play like that, it may enhance our studies."

"If I get the chance during the week, anyway," answered Billy, "because my mornings will be taken up with ballet, acting, voice, and music, and the afternoon will be taken up by academics. I will more than likely be in class up to 4:00 PM, just to keep up."

"Wow!" said Fakir, "How are you going to do it?"

Billy though for a minute, and said, in amock-unsure way, "Ah, sleep's going to be a luxury!"

"Then most certainly," said Fakir, "We shall do all we can to aid you in your efforts."

Fakir, instead of having a new foe, had made a new friend, and comrade. He then asked, "What else can this instrument do?"

"Well, it can mimic a pipe organ, as you heard, or, I can rig it to literally mimic an orchestra," said Billy.

"Then, play us something," said Mytho, smiling.

Billy thought for a moment, and then played Giga by Bach. The organ playing caught the attention from the rest of the floor, and everyone came to investigate. After this was done, Billy played Gigue in Fugue, also by Bach. Before that, he explained that this song was designed for the organ player to look like he is performing a dance as he played on the foot keys, and anyone with an aptitude for dancing, or at least astrong love for it, were welcome to join in. This went on to about near midnight, when everyone agreed that it was time for bed, and they all broke up. Billy lay in bed, thinking how hard, but how good, things were going to be. However, he also was a touch concerned about one other responsibility that he held, and held back from everyone. He knew that one would be hard to carry out, and hoped that Black Adam would be able to aid in this task, now that he had given up in his evil ways. For Billy held a great secret that tied in the Justice League, Superman, and him together. He told no one, save a trusted few; because he knew the danger that others may wind up in if they had this knowledge. With that, he drifted off to sleep.

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