• Published 6th Jul 2014
  • 2,470 Views, 164 Comments

The Tunes Are A-Changin' - ShadeJak



Set in the FiveScoreverse. A couple as opposite as night and day find their relationship may be more then it seems in a mad god's twisted game...

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The Best-Laid Plans

May 2nd, the biggest and most important day of the year, and I had it all planned out! Livvy was gonna love this! Breakfast, matinee of Avengers 3, lunch, walk through the park, then a dinner at the best restaurant the money I saved up could afford, a little surprise for her along with the tickets to an orchestra performance to the Hobbit trilogy. She liked classical, I liked the movies, we’d get the best of both worlds, and both get what we’d wanted for our fifth “birthdayversary”. It was funny, we met on our birthday five years ago, so it figures we get to celebrate two things on the same day. Normally I’m a go-with-the-flow kinda guy, but this time I actually planned this out carefully; the most I’d told Livvy was to keep her schedule totally clean. Nothing could possibly go wrong!

I’d already finished mixing the tracks for some club that commissioned me and picked up my pay the night before, so I knew I’d be free to enjoy our special day without interruption and plenty of extra money on the side.

My alarm got me up at 8AM, Olivia was still sound asleep next to me. For a moment, I just sat there, marveling at her sleeping form. Her long, honey-blonde hair, her deep green eyes I’d get lost in whenever she was awake, that smooth, graceful way she carried herself. The accent, god that accent that gave her that touch of class and elegance that I could listen to all day; and this coming from someone who normally can’t stand uptight ‘haves’. She was different, though. She had the mannerisms, the refined tastes, but she had none of the better-then-thou elitism that often came with it. Her parents were rich, not her, something she took as a compliment as it reminded her of how she’d realized her dreams on her own. Olivia still had her normal job, but she had been playing music for orchestras in local performances, which earned her more money. She may not have been wealthy, but she was happy.

…Most of the time. I still think waking up to techno annoyed her, and try as I might I never got her to like it; but she still respected it as my hobby and goal, so long as I wasn’t playing it while she was trying to sleep.

We’d been living together ever since college ended, and needless to say when her parents found out what kind of man she was dating I think that just made them less willing to have anything to do with her; something I suspect she found rather satisfying to be honest. I believe the words they’d used right in front of me were “slob”, “low-class trash”, and that I was an obvious attempt at getting back at them. They even tried to bribe me with a million dollar check to dump her as harshly as possible and walk away. Regardless of that being more money then I figure I’d see in my life, Olivia was worth infinitely more then that to me and I flat-out refused. I don’t think she’d ever hugged me so hard before; especially when I showed my disappointment in her parents deciding she was something to be bought or sold to them for any price.

My parents had been much nicer. They were rather surprised, I admit, to see me dating someone like her; I suspect they thought I’d be dating some raver chick or someone more similar to me… but I'm sure stranger couples have happened.

“Honestly… did you go to sleep with those blasted things around your neck?” Olivia suddenly asked, now staring up at me. I then realized for the first time that my headphones were still around my neck from last night. How I failed to notice they’d been there ever since I finished mixing tracks, driving said tracks to the club, collecting my pay, depositing my pay, returning home, undressing, and getting into bed with my favorite woman in the world was beyond me. Normally I was a night owl, but I’d tried to change my internal clock a little the previous morning so I’d be prepared for today. With no sure way to response to her question, I just managed an embarrassed smile.

“Uhhh… I guess?” I asked, prompting a facepalm from her.

“I swear you’d shower with them on if no one stopped you,” she replied.

“Hey, that only happened once, and they weren’t in long enough to get damaged!” I protested; recalling that embarrassing moment that nearly cost me a new pair.

“Lucky you,” she said, starting to get up.

“Hey, hey, stay where you are, young lady. Got a little surprise already to start the day,” I said with a smile. “Just get comfy, turn on the TV if you want, and I’ll be back soon,” I said, climbing out of bed; clad in my shorts and the black Darth Vader shirt I’d fallen asleep in last night as I headed out of the bedroom to the kitchen, tablet in hand. Now a safe distance from her, I shuffled my music, slid the tablet in my pocket, and put my headphones on, letting a wild dubstep track I’d made play through my mind as I looked around in the refrigerator.

Most would assume I’m one of the types who only knew how to cook frozen food and sandwiches, but that was hardly true. I was actually quite a decent cook and so was Livvy. One had to be if they wanted to eat healthy, after all, and nothing got the day started like a decent breakfast.

Taking out a few eggs and refrigerated sausages, along with some waffle mix, I lay them on the counter in rhythm to the music playing in my ears as I took out a pan and waffle iron and quickly set to work. I had sworn to myself this day would be perfect; especially with what I had in mind when dinner finally came around hours from now.

Minutes later, I was finished, and a pair of prepared waffle, scrambled eggs, and sausage meals lay on two plates I held expertly with one hand and along my arm, with a glass of orange juice held in the other as I returned to the bedroom to find Livvy watching Pokemon and shaking her head.

“Breakfast served, my lady,” I said with a bow as have her plate a slight spin and lay it on her lap. My girlfriend smiled brightly as she looked down at my handiwork and then up at me, giving me a kiss as I rejoined her in bed.

“Oh my! You’ve certainly outdone yourself, haven’t you, Vic?” she asked with a smirk as she took up her fork and began to eat.

“Hey, I try.” I said, before looking at what was on TV. “Pokemon? I thought you had higher tastes then that.”

“I do when there’s better things on,” she said. “Honestly, this show’s practically been around since I was just starting preschool… It’s been how many years, now, and the show’s still running?”

“You used to watch it or somethin’?” I asked.

“Goodness, no! I mean, I’ve seen a little and it’s positively dreadful! It’s just the same episode over and over! New pokemon that looks like it was drawn by a horribly drunken fool of an artist, a new trainer that already owns it so it won't be captured that is never seen or referred to again after the episode ends, Team Rocket makes right arses of themselves and get blown into the sky again, what else is there to know? I feel certain what I have seen is all there is to know about it,” Olivia ranted.

“Yeah, I’m just gonna change the channel,” I said, taking up the remote as Jesse, James, and their talking pet cat experienced stratospheric-level altitude for the billionth time and began channel flipping.

Racing, some televangelist propaganda, Disney stuff meant to likely appeal only to audiences fresh out of the womb, weather that I already knew about, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reali— …yeah, no wonder Livvy had settled for Pokemon, that pony show that was popular a couple years ago… for some reason I lingered on it for a second while it showed a unicorn with sunglasses and a hair(mane?)style that looked like it belonged in an anime… well now wasn’t that the weirdest-looking thing? I changed the channel. Nope, this was weirder… I muttered as I encountered some abstract cartoon that probably belonged on adult swim rather then the kiddie hours.

“Were you hoping for some lovely Jersey Shore reruns?” Olivia joked.

“Don’t even joke about that,” I said. First rule about me, do not speak of that unholy abomination that stereotyped and all but completely defiled the image of my once respectable home state in my presence. "But then again, knowing you share my sentiment, that joke is always easily forgiven." She actually had to cool me down when some out-of-towner had made the mistake of asking me questions that seemed to insinuate that they were fooled into believing that garbage that called itself television was factually accurate about people of New Jersey as a whole. But I wasn’t here to think of things that bugged me, I was here to think about the best and most wonderful part of my life, and my plans to move forward from there.

Come on, Vic! Think of the cool wubs playing in your head when you mix the beats!

A smile reappeared on my face as I looked back at my girlfriend. “So, how’s breakfast in bed?” I asked.

“Lovely, thank you,” she said, finishing her waffle and giving me a kiss, causing my smile to spread.

Yes, today was going to be a good day.

~

The day had gone by mostly without incident. We had gotten up, showered, and went out for lunch and the matinee. Avengers 3 had been quite a show; managing to escape Second Sequel Sucks Syndrome that superhero films often suffered from and even Olivia, who had little interest in superhero stuff (or the music often accompanying the films they made), still found it enjoyable, and was especially happy to take a walk through the park that followed.

“I swear you’re hiding something from me,” Olivia said, smirking as she poked my chest playfully.

“What makes you say that?” I asked.

“Well, you’re not as crude or prone to chatter as you usually are. It’s as if you’re holding back on something important,” she deduced, hugging my arm and snuggling against it for a second as she walked alongside me.

“It’s nothing,” I said with a smile, causing her to frown a bit. “Nothing that you’ll know about till later when dinnertime comes.” I said.

I don’t know if she suspected something, but my answer did seem to surprisingly give her satisfaction enough not to press on the matter. Either way, I was safe for now. As we walked along, we listened to the sounds of some kids playing outside with their parents and pets, and birds up above.

“Really is nice to get out every now and then, Vic. Thank you…” Olivia said, looking around and stepping ahead a little. “I mean, I’ve been to a few of my parents’ business cookouts, and on their yacht… but they did it to keep up appearances, not for family bonding or what have you,” she looked back at me. “We’ve been together for five years, now, Vic. If there’s any lingering feeling this is all to get back at them, then I’d be most disappointed. You may be loud, annoying at times, have dreadful taste in music…”

I cocked my head, wondering what she was getting at.

“But you’ve always meant well, I know how much you care about me, I knew as much when you tore up that million dollar check my parents tried to bribe you with right in their faces. You’ve worked hard to get where you are now even if you’re not quite where you want to be yet. The same can be said for me, I suppose. But…” she approached, brushing back her blonde hair. “I’m hoping when we are, we’ll do it together. I wouldn’t want anyone else.”

Crap! She’s on to me! She knows what I’m up to! Damn you and your sudden but inevitable deductive skills! She’s trying to sweet talk me into spoiling it! Well played, Livvy! Well played! I thought to myself, maintaining the same look I had as I brushed her cheek and gave her a kiss.

“Tonight. Dinnertime,” I said smugly, causing her to sulk a little and shake her head.

“Fine. Dinnertime,” she replied, her response making the next few hours that stood between us and our reservation feel like the longest in the world…

~

When that fateful moment finally came, the butterflies in my stomach were on a warpath. Wearing black dress pants, a white button-down shirt and sadly having to leave my headphones behind, I walked arm-in-arm with my girlfriend who was a vision of refined loveliness in her stunning black evening dress and matching heels, her hair done up as we walked into the upscale diner that had been a fair drive away. I’d saved up a fair bit for this, and what I brought with me. This was it, the big number that had to top all the charts or I’d go down in flames.

“Vic, you’re sweating? It’s not even that hot out,” Olivia said, taking a cloth from her purse and wiping my forehead.

“Yeah, yeah, embarrass me some more, babe. I already feel like a tool in this fancy-wear,” I said with a sheepish smile as I tried to ignore the stares from some of the other patrons who could tell how horribly out-of-place I felt as we were welcomed in and brought to our table. Olivia had all the upbringing to know how to look and act, but that wasn’t enough to completely save me.

“A handsome tool, at least,” she said with a haughty smirk as she took her seat, and I did the same. I twitched a little.

“Oh! Sorry, let me use the bathroom real quick. Better now then later, right?” I asked, jerking back up the moment the waiter arrived and giving him a look as though beckoning he follow, getting a puzzled look from my girlfriend.

As soon as we were a distance, I explained how I wanted it all set, that as soon as our food came, I would make my move, and he would have the orchestra perform the number I’d requested… the final song she’d performed in the first concert I saw her in. After a few more instructions I returned and reclaimed my seat, the waiter returning moments after as to not appear conspicuous and getting our orders.

So far, so good… I thought, my hand shifting into the small box in my pocket. Suspicions or not, she won’t expect the presentation. Then again I’m sure she didn’t expect someone like me would be seen dead in a place like this in clothes like this. I laughed inwardly at my own little joke that in no way calmed me!

~

“So then, the look on Cale’s face when we announced ourselves as a couple?” I asked with a laugh.

“Indeed, I thought for certain he was going to give you a manly hug,” Olivia joked.

“Hey, sometimes I’m still amazed you accepted when I asked you out for the first time,” I replied.

“Well, I did feel a little unpleasant from the idea of making you look like even more of a fool after how you first approached me when it was clear you had put a lot of effort into doing so,” Olivia replied. “Still, I’m glad I did. It worked out wonderfully for me, I’d say,” she said.

“Likewise, Livvy,” I said. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed our food arriving, and the orchestra began to play their music as they set our food down. Olivia’s eyes widened as she looked over at them.

“Oh my gosh… Vic, was this your doing?” she asked, giving me a knowing smirk.

I shrugged. “Livvy, it’s your birthday, everyone knows that!”

“It’s yours, too,” she pointed out.

“Oh. Right… huh. Well, it’s a lot of things, really…” I said. “Birthday… anniversary…” I continued, reaching into my pocket to draw out the box containing the big moment of the night.

At that moment, everything got fuzzy, sound became muffled, and I felt unusually drowsy.

No, no! Come on! You’re not THAT nervous! No fainting! I pleaded with myself. As I felt consciousness fade from me faster and faster I noticed Olivia also seemed to be swaying about…

~

Everything was black for a moment, then a flash of light.

Everything was happening so fast. Columns that looked like candy canes. Chairs on the ceiling. Fish floating by despite there being no water.

“—Gotta get through me if you wanna go near her, Discord!” a female voice shouted.

“Vinyl! What are you doing?!” a distraught, refined voice said, it sounded like it was from behind me.

A sinister laugh.

Flash!

A hideous creature with a long, serpentine body sneering down at me and made of more animal parts then I could take the time to figure out.

“How sweet! The classic case of opposites attracting, together to the end!” The creature observed in a sing-song voice, before making an almost comical, retching gesture to the point of his forked tongue reaching the floor.

Flash!

Blast of blue magic fired from wherever I was at the creature, who did a swishing motion with his hand that looked like a bird claw and it suddenly sputtered away in circles like a deflating balloon.

Flash!

“Fun’s over! Time to join the others!” the creature taunted.

Five Score Divided by Four…

~

My eyes snapped open and I woke in something wet. No, just my face. And whatever it was, it was really hot, too! I jumped back up, pushing myself out of whatever it was I’d face-planted into, and realized I’d somehow passed out face-first into my food! Hoping to spare some remaining shred of dignity I hurriedly grabbed my napkin and began wiping off the sauces from my face as best I could. A quick glance across the table, and I noticed Olivia doing the same thing!

What the hell?! How did we both just randomly pass out at the same time and right into our food plates?! It was then I also noticed the music had stopped rather abruptly and saw the waiter, all the other patrons, and a man I assumed to be the manager all staring at us; some with looks of disgust and others with concern on their faces.

I looked back at Olivia, who looked reasonably embarrassed and was blushing redder then a cooked lobster, and it was clear to me there was no way this evening out could possibly be saved.

“W-we’ll… just get our check now…” I said sheepishly, feeling about two inches tall and figuring it was gonna take several months before either of us would live this down and another opportunity to pop the big question would arise; the box still present in my pocket now posing as a mocking reminder.

The ride home was one of awkward silence. With what had transpired back in the restaurant having insured there was no way either of us would have any desire to do anything else that night and thus ruling out the also expensive orchestra show I'd intended us to go see, the only real option either of us was looking at now was to go home and try, likely without much success, to put what had happened behind us or at least try and find some sort of reason or sense behind what had happened. Both of us made a few failed attempts at starting conversation but neither of us were able to form a full sentence or question. It had been, without a doubt, the single most embarrassing moment of our lives. Or mine, at least… I didn’t know for sure if Olivia had gone through worse but at the moment it seemed unlikely.

It also didn’t help that a weird tingling was starting on my hips. It was slight at first, like when one gets dry skin but it seemed unusual for this time of year. As we got closer and closer to home, it only got worse, becoming an unbearable itch that’d put a poison ivy rash to shame. Olivia seemed a little uncomfortable as she sat there as well, shifting in her seat a little…

The moment we got home, we practically competed for the bathroom before remembering we had two, one upstairs and one downstairs. Olivia rushed to the one downstairs and I sped up to the master one upstairs, and the moment I closed the door I dug both hands down my pants and scratched like crazy.

Even as I did so, the itch persisted, and I scratched more and more, finally grabbing a bristled hairbrush and scrubbing it against one of my sides rapidly. After a few seconds, it finally stopped and I let out a sigh of relief as I felt certain if I’d gone on any longer I’d have likely gone through my first layer of skin. I couldn’t help but wonder what Olivia was in such a hurry for the bathroom as well when I suddenly heard her shouting from downstairs.

“HOW IN THE BLOODY HELL?!”

Normally she’d never get that crude, so whatever it was clearly had to be a big deal. I ran from the bathroom, my pants sliding down and leaving only my boxers and socks below my waist as I rushed downstairs and saw Olivia standing there, hiking up her dress and staring in confusion at something on her hip… right around the same place I’d been scratching at.

“Livvy, what’s wrong?” I asked, approaching.

“Would you LOOK?! Where did this come from?!” she asked, showing me and causing my eyes to nearly bug out in disbelief.

There, like some kind of classy tramp stamp was a purple treble clef tattoo of some kind on her hip.

“It wasn’t there when I got dressed! When we were driving home this ghastly itch started and when it finally stopped, this thing was here!” she explained, and I could only stare in response. “You don’t think I’m joking, do you?!” she asked. “Do I seem the type who’d go for tramp stamps?!”

This night had taken a serious turn for the weird. Random synchronized passing out. Both of us suddenly getting a weird itch on our sides… freaky music tattoo appears on my girlfriend’s hips…

Wait… did that mean…?

Olivia stared at me for a moment. “Vic… did you….?” she began.

I slowly slid down the side of my boxers, fearing what might be there when I looked.

“Ho… ly… SHIT!” I shouted when I discovered both my hips now sported a black eighth-note tattoo.

Olivia stared at the strange tattoo on her hip, then at mine. “Vic… what in the world is going on?” she asked, a look of genuine fear on her face.

So much for a perfect day…

Author's Note:

And the madness begins! :scootangel: