nodame bassoon

Songfics are bad.

Rating: T
Method: Set my iTunes songlist to "random" and hit Play.
Excuse: I had writer's block.

1) Got No Love (the Kooks)


The ground was soft from the recent rains.  It was going to make this spar a pain in the ass, she reflected.


“Are you okay?” she asked, not really expecting a response.  At least, not expecting an honest one.




And that was the response she expected.  


“What happened?”


“It was nothing. Just clan business.”


They were supposed to meet at eleven, but he had been late. She knew he had been called away at the last minute for a meeting with his uncle. Anyone else would have shelved the thought and gotten on with the necessities of life – training, namely – but she couldn’t. She knew that attitude – he had dulled himself to the world, and now it would be impossible to talk to him about anything but work.


He stood without moving on the training field while he waited for her to warm up.


She hated this. The more upset he was about something, the more he closed himself off. And Neji wasn’t exactly an open book to begin with.  Finally she came to a decision. She took the bo staff she’d retrieved from one of her scrolls in preparation for the spar and stuck it firmly in the ground next to her. She noticed briefly that the sun was at its zenith – the staff barely cast a shadow.


She folded her arms, cocked her hip, stared at him, waited. 


Neji never did well in the face of her obstinance. But he kept his expression passive when he said, “I’m not trying out for ANBU.”


She felt like she’d taken a blow to the stomach.  And she was much worse than he was at containing her emotions.  “That’s bullshit. They can’t control you like that, it’s not fair.  They can’t go around telling you…”


“Yes, they can.”


She stared at him helplessly.  Every time something like this happened, she knew she lost him a little, and he saw himself a little more clearly as the tool of his people, to be used and discarded as needed and nothing more.


She turned away from him and yanked her bo staff out of the mud. She paced around, listening to the ground squelch under her feet.  “I’m not trying out for ANBU either,” she said.


“Yes you are,” he said coolly.


“No, I’m not. Not if you can’t.”


“That is not an acceptable reason not to.”


“I don’t care. I’ve made up my mind and you can’t do anything about it.  You can’t make me try out for ANBU, Neji.”


She tried to stare him down but gave up after a few seconds. She didn’t know what would hurt him more – seeing her advance her career without him, or her letting herself be held back by the Hyuuga.  But she knew what would hurt her more.



2) Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043: III Allegro (J.S. Bach/ Hilary Hahn, Jeffrey Kahane, LA Chamber Orchestra)


She moved too fast.


It wasn’t that she was bad at what she did, exactly, just that she didn’t seem to have the patience or maturity to learn everything she could about a single move, jutsu, or weapon.  She wasn’t like Lee, who would spend weeks perfecting the same kick and end up improving it in ways that were only noticeable to him.  She got the flash she was looking for from a weapon, smiled, and put it back in her scroll.


It was unprofessional, and it was definitely not how their sensei had trained them.  It wasn’t how a real ninja should operate. But for some reason (he smiled on seeing her throw a sword in the air, watching it glitter in the sunlight), it seemed to work for her.


3) Gnossiennes: No. 3 - Lent (Satie / Pascal Rogé)


“It’s not that she didn’t want to marry my father, or that he didn’t want to marry her, it’s that they couldn’t.


Neji’s forehead creased. “His clan would not allow it because of her… class?” 


He was sitting on top of the tree. The canopy of the forest was all he could see laterally, the sky, criss-crossed by boughs, was all he could see above.  Having figured out how to climb the tree by gripping it with chakra through his feet, he had decided to sit up there and meditate while his new kunoichi teammate tried to climb her own tree a few yards away.  (She made it another few inches with every try, but progress was slow.) But instead of meditating, he was actually having a conversation.


“No,” she said, sideways with her feet gripping the tree, trying to shimmy her way up, wiping sweat off her forehead with the back of her arm.  “It’s not like that. Her Dad was actually really rich, but she was… I don’t think there’s a word for it in our language.  The priests… well they’re not really priests, but again I don’t think we have a word for it… they decided that she was one of the ones who would never know… you know…” With a grunt she lifted one foot off the tree.  “…enlightenment.”


She lost her balance, which distracted her enough that she lost her grip of chakra on the tree, and she fell.  It was twenty feet to the ground. She was smart enough to twist her body in the air so that she landed on her feet in a crouch. She panted for a few seconds before standing up straight.


“It’s like… it’s fate. Some people can achieve enlightenment, and some people are born without that ability. And if they say you’re born without that ability, there’s nothing you can do about it.  See, they said that all of humanity was created by god, but god wasn’t perfect, so god didn’t get us right.  And some people are, like… better than god, and so they can recognize their own imperfections and transcend their imperfect bodies, mentally.  Anyways, my mom was told that she could never do that, but my dad could.  It made her pretty much a second class citizen in that place. My dad wouldn’t be able to marry her cause it would be like marrying a dog or something. And there was nothing she could do but hope she’d be born into a better body in her next life.”


While he watched, something changed in her face, and he could tell she was realizing something important.  A second later she started up the tree again, at a fast but steady pace, and he could see that she had finally figured out the exercise.  A few seconds later and she was sitting in her own tree as high as he was. She panted a little, then heaved a deep breath with satisfaction.  “So anyway, my mom said, screw you losers. And she took me and ran away to Konoha.” She heaved another breath and looked around at the canopy.  “She gets sad about it sometimes. I can tell she still misses her home.”


Neji was quiet. There was a lot he could say to the idea of fate holding you back.


“It’s weird,” she said, suddenly smiling over at him. “Nobody’s ever asked me about that before.”


 4) Ask Me Why (Beatles)


He watched her, mesmerized, as she stirred her vanilla milkshake with a straw, then pulled it out of the glass and playfully cleaned it off with her tongue.


The friend who was sitting next to her in the booth elbowed her in the side, giggling. “Stop being dirty,” she whispered, too loud not to be heard.


She looked over at him and winked.  He pretended not to see and went back to staring at his coffee. The waitress on the other side of the counter rolled her eyes at him.  “You gonna drink that before it gets cold, honey?”


5) Effect and Cause (White Stripes)


She stared in horror at Lee’s unconscious body. “Neji, you idiot!” she screeched. “We’re supposed to be a team, you know!”


“It was a spar. This is one of the possible outcomes of a spar.”


“Oh shove it. We have to take him to the hospital now, you realize, we’re going to be late, and Gai-sensei is going to be so pissed!”


Neji smirked. “Maybe you shouldn’t have encouraged him to fight me.”


She was speechless for a second, probably realizing that he was right. Didn’t make her any less furious. “Maybe you could stop being an arrogant prick for a minute!”


6) Nocturne No. 7 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 1 (Chopin / Vladimir Ashkenazy)


Everything these days was a different color. The odious green of his sensei’s jumpsuit was just as ugly, but it brought out a whole different set of emotions than before.  


Things tasted different. Things felt different. Any moment of happiness was shaded by it.  Even perfectly unrelated things, things she had never touched. When he saw his cousin’s baby for the first time, ‘bittersweet’ wasn’t even a good enough word for what he felt.  It was the most innocent pleasure in the world to see that child and to feel the perfect, unmarred skin with the back of his finger, but somehow it made him more miserable than anything else, because that was something she had wanted out of life, something she would never have.


He only found peace when he was running or fighting so hard that he couldn’t think about anything at all.


7) Springtime for Hitler (The Producers, OBC)




8) Is This It (Strokes)


She sat awkwardly next to him on the couch. “Want some tea?” she said out of the blue.


“No, thank you.”


She fidgeted, kicking the coffee table with her foot. “Want some sake? I bought a bottle yesterday at the farmer’s market.”


“No, thank you.”


She crossed her arms. Probably wondering how to get rid of him, he mused.  “You must be really tired – shouldn’t you be getting home?”




Now she was clearly annoyed. “Then what the hell do you want?”


9) Skullcrusher Mountain (Jonathan Coulton)


“Bon appetit,” his hunchbacked butler Scarface said, lifting the lid off her platter.


She looked at the plate in front of her on the dinner table.  Then she looked at the glass of wine.  It’s possible, he mused, that she’s noticed that the wine is bubbling in her glass.  


“I am not drinking that.”


His face did not betray the disappointment he felt.  “Scarface prepared it just for you,” he said mildly.


She shifted uncomfortably in the pink puffed sleeves of the dress he’d gifted her that afternoon.  “Scarface also prepared the poisoned ice cream that was served to me yesterday afternoon.”


“That was an accident, which I believe I have already apologized for.”


“Is that why he cried ‘die, foul temptress,’ when I ate it?”


“Ah, he does have an unfortunate tendency to get emotional,” he said, sipping his own wine to cover up his embarrassment.


Scarface grunted.


“Yeah. I’m not drinking this,” she said, pushing the glass away from her.


“But I promise you it will not harm you.  It is a perfectly innocent concoction created only to be pleasing to you while its chemical properties simultaneously lower your reserves and encourage the release of endorphins in such a way as to make you more accepting of my advances.”  He paused. “Perhaps I have said too much.”


She grabbed a knife off the table. “That’s it! I am out of here!” She brandished the knife at Scarface, then turned and fled the dining hall. 


“Shall I go after her, master?” Scarface asked.


“No,” he said, staring at his wine glass sadly.  “Soon enough the wolves will catch her scent and begin their pursuit.  And if she decides to come back instead of being torn limb from limb, I will know how she really feels about me.”


10) Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (Arlo Guthrie)


*gives up*





(no subject)

Ever have one of those random moments where you stop and realize exactly how many hours of your life you've wasted on fanfiction?

Did it occur to you, like it occurred to me, that we're not so much authors as we are little kids playing with action figures?

And then did you go right back to work? 
nodame bassoon

(no subject)

A few kind souls now have pointed out to me that the whole “bio” place would be an ideal place to post something about me. I argued, why in the hell would they need to know anything about me? Because they’re interested, they said. Of course, if they knew what you were actually like, they wouldn’t be interested in the slightest.
With these words in mind, I present to you my absolutely true life story:
Once upon a time I was a small child growing up in a quaint New England town, which was full of ghosts, scary old ladies, stuck-up rich folk, white-steepled churches, springs of mineral water, ministers, homeless waifs, graveyards dating from the 1700s, caves, buried sea treasure, fishwives, McMansion developments, and students of the Salem Witches’ Institute. One day my friends knocked down a bees’ nest by throwing rocks at it. The insects, full of ire and mistaking me for one of the perpetrators, chased me into the park, where I fell down an old well only to discover a lichen-covered brass key that smelled like a different century. 
I took the key home with me and, after cleaning it thoroughly in a glass of Coca-Cola, discerned a mysterious symbol upon it. Strangely enough, this symbol matched the graffiti on the tiny abandoned house next to my grandmother’s. I rode my bike over, gave my grandma a hug, and went to explore. The house was ancient, musty, and completely trashed. The doors were all open and the wooden windowsills were covered with moss and disintegrating under my very eyes. As soon as I touched the walls (so thick with graffiti you couldn’t tell the color of the paint), they began to crumble. I stole through the place quickly. Every step I took dissolved a patch of floor.
At last I came to a great wooden door with a lock. Inserting the key, I found that it fit perfectly. I turned the key, the lock clicked, and I opened the doors to a stairway leading down. Luckily I had a powerful flashlight with me. I climbed down the stairs until I came to a huge library – but I could tell it wasn't in very good condition. The whole place stank of mildew and rotting paper. It was there that I discovered two books that have forever altered my life:
1.      The People’s Almanac, published 1975, and
2.      Selected Poems of Tennyson
the latter of which was in such poor condition that its covers fell off as soon as I removed it from the shelf.  It was one of those ancient books that has a sketch of the author’s bust – or, in this case, the poet’s bust – beneath a leaf of tissue paper just before the title page.  After flipping through these two books I fell in love with the printed word.
I grew up. I’ve held various jobs throughout my professional life: student, hobo, opera singer, stage-hand for a troupe of cross-dressing male ballet dancers who performed Swan Lake and Giselle, translator of Martian military dispatches for a cult sci-fi magazine, bystander for various superheroic feats, and was once celebrated as the greatest contrabassoon reed-maker of my generation. Sadly, my master classes were poorly advertised and never well-attended, and, in spite of the dearth of serviceable contrabassoon reeds on the market, I was at last forced to abandon an unprofitable career.
I was also a professional musician once, but I lost my mind while performing Rach 2 during a tour of Communist China with the Bolivian Symphony. On lonely nights when the aggravation gets me I still go to the baby grand in my study and bang out his Prelude in C# minor. It’s like therapy.
I haven’t married yet, but you shall know me by the trail of defeated lovers.  There was Jens, the German, then – poor strategy, on my part – Hans, his cousin.  There was the first Demetrius, who I fell in love with because his parents named him after a character out of Shakespeare, who I dumped owing to the fact that he abhorred both his parents and Shakespeare; then the second Demetrius, who was so unlike the first Demetrius in his respect for Shakespeare that he dumped me after I fell asleep during Henry VIII. Have you seen Henry VIII? Can you blame me, really? My first kiss was named Alfredo Alberto, and that is all I remember about him. Keith had a concept of money that was entirely incompatible with mine, in that I thought it was something that should be earned, and he saw it as something that is strictly to be spent.  Kevin was a lout in bed. Kelly was actually a man – don’t be fooled by the name – although you wouldn’t know it from the way he acted in public – or in private.  Evan and several others only ever wanted to watch the game.  I was okay with that if provided with a sufficient supply of alcohol, but there’s only so much football one can pretend to be interested in.  I lost my virginity to Louis one hot July in a Virignia field, where unfortunately our tryst was interrupted by a barking fox. Currently I am single. 
My friends are all artists, musicians, doctors, scholars, and bohemians, and I would never date any of them.  My immediate family comprises authors, actors, and members of the U.S. Navy, one of whom is currently floating around on a rather large boat in the Red Sea somewhere, hopefully avoiding any contact with the land, which I’ve heard is somewhat incendiary.
I eat the Lotos day by day and have heard the mermaids singing each to each.  And so on.  When I am wordy I am very, very wordy, and when I am not I'm silent.
nodame bassoon


Oh for godssake what have I gotten myself into?  I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO BLOG ABOUT.  I AM BORING.  All my fic is at  Someday I am going to figure out how to get that link onto this page.

This is like a trial run.  Don't expect much out of it.
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