“For the last time Coco! I’m not doing it! My momma and daddy will kill me!” Velvet Scarlatina all but yells at her best friend and rumored girlfriend Coco Adel as they sit together with the rest of Coco’s cronies. Fox Alistair simply smirks at the two arguing women while Yatsuhashi Daichi simply continues to review notes sent to him by his father. Then there is Eis.
Eis scowls as he sips his cup of morning coffee, once again wondering what deity he has manage to piss off this time to subject him to this argument at seven in the morning on a Saturday no less. He had been up rather late talking to Crescent Rose, who spent most of the night regaling him with stories of her exploits in her latest video game, Borderlands 2. She had even sent him screenshots of some of the funnier bits of dialogue, to which even he had several laughing fits.
It had been another wonderful evening of talking to the rather adorkable young woman. Then of course, his father had called as always to ruin it.
And now, because he has an overabundance of bad karma from a past life or something, he was now sitting at the Wolf and Boar, listening to Coco and Velvet argue. Final tryouts had just finished for the gymnastics team, and Velvet had been cut in favor of a freshman newcomer named Neopolitan Torchwick. Eis, who had been dragged along by Coco, had been rather impressed with the young woman, who’s brown and strawberry pink hair along with her amazing final routine had more than earned her Velvet’s spot on the varsity team. But of course, Velvet being Velvet, was furious. And Coco wasn’t helping matters.
“Come on now Bun Bun, you really aren’t going to let the multicolored little bitch take your spot, now are you? After all the hard work you did?” Coco purrs out, as she looks at Velvet with her normal aviator glasses pushed down a bit to look her in the eyes.
“I might be pissed that she took my spot Coconut, but it doesn’t mean I’m just gonna go and hurt her or anything! If my parents find out, my daddy is gonna take strips out of my ass!”
“How are your parents even going to find out? They may be as well connected as the Schnees, but they aren’t here are they?”
Eis raises an eyebrow at this. He doesn’t know too many people who are well connected as his own family, save one. And surely Velvet can’t be their child, could she?
“Are you serious Coco?! My momma is the district attorney for Seattle! And my daddy is the Police Commissioner! If this gets out of hand, they will find out!”
Eis pales as his suspicions are confirmed. Velvet’s parents are Alex and Carol Garibaldi. Even his own father treads lightly around them, and he doesn’t do that for anyone else. The retired Army general and his wife, the retired Navy commander have become quite the force since their arrival in Seattle five years ago. Alex was already becoming a legend for the way he has revolutionized the Seattle police, and Carol was immensely popular for her tough stance on crime, as well as her no nonsense approach to prosecuting several recent serial killers that had been caught. But before he has a chance to offer his own opinion, a sudden rumble to the side catches his attention.
“I will have to agree with Velvet on this, Coco. This is foolish.” Yatsuhashi says as he closes his laptop gently. “ And I wish to hear nothing further about it.” Eis watches as the massive young man stands up carefully and walks out the door, leaving Coco in a state of shock. Eis is once again grateful that he decided to record this conversation. He is not about to get swept up in the shitstorm that Coco has brewing, and he is glad to see that at least one of her faithful cronies has a bit of a conscious as well.
“Coco, perhaps you need to reconsider this course of action.” Eis begins, trying to be the small voice of reason in all of this. Looking about quickly, he notices that the tall muscular blond behind the counter has suddenly taken an interest in the conversation as well. But before he can continue, a bark of laughter suddenly cuts him off.
“Butt out Schnee. Before your dad gets a phone calling telling him that you’ve been wasting your precious time volunteering at a free clinic for the last month.” Fox suddenly pipes up, causing Eis to glare at him in response. He is furious of course, especially since he thought that he had been rather circumspect in that regard. Ever since he had begun talking to Crescent Rose over two months ago now, he had been pondering many of the things that she told him at night. They had served as further inspiration for him to begin to distance himself from his father’s dark legacy even more, as well as motivated him to start volunteering at the school’s free clinic on his lighter days for the experience, as well as the opportunity to meet new people.
“Alright look Bun Bun, you either do it, or we are done! And I will make it my mission in life to ruin you so badly here that you’ll wish you had never been conceived in the back of a pickup truck, got it?” Eis watches as all the blood drains from Velvet’s face. He can almost sympathize with her at this point, almost.
“Please Coco, I never did anything like that to you.” Velvet chokes out as tears come to her eyes, but Coco ruthlessly cuts her off.
“You're going to do it, or by the time you make it back to school everyone is going to be talking about the fact that you're nothing more than an inbred piece of lint licking white trash who flat backed her way into Beacon, got it?”
“Yeah, yeah I got it Coco. I’ll do it. Just please don’t do that, I’m begging you!” Velvet pleads as her head bows in shame.
Eis has had enough. Coco just hit far too close to home for his tastes. A clear look of disgust apparent on his features, he needs to figure out quickly who he can get this recording to. Hopefully they will hear it and be able to stop whatever it is Coco has planned for Neopolitan Torchwick. And maybe, just maybe he can also save Velvet from doing something she will regret for the rest of her life as well. After all, he thinks to himself as he reaches up to hold the burning rose pendant around his neck, he knows all too well about regrets.
Velvet looks around nervously as she walks towards the pommel horse. She always loved Saturday morning practice, since the Coach always made sure that they arrived, but then leaving them to their own training while he focused on more one on one training with individuals. Velvet was good enough to where she was left to her own devices on these mornings, and as she checked one more time, Coach Wukong is still busy with Reese Chloris, who is having issues with the parallel bars again.
She almost chickens out at the thought of disappointing Coach Sun Wukong. He had looked past her heavy Georgia accent and her southern ways and saw the Gymnast she has trained all her life to be, and kept pushing her to excellence. And now she is about to hurt a girl on purpose who had really done nothing to her. She had simply taken a spot that now that she thinks about, she had lost all on her own. Her performances have been suffering ever since she started hanging out and dating Coco, and now the girl she loved was holding the truth of her sexuality hostage. What else could she do? Tell her parents?
Velvet has half a mind to stop dead in her tracks and reveal the fact that she is a bisexual to the school herself. Her parents were nothing like the typical stories of military parents portrayed. Her father was strict yes, but fair, and her mother was the same. She adores her parents and she knows if anyone finds out about this, they will be worse that just angry with her, they will be disappointed. She can deal with them being angry at her. She had been pretty wild as a young teenager growing up outside of Fort Benning Georgia, but she never ever did anything to make them disappointed.
But she has to do this. She’s seen Coco destroy so many others in the year they’ve been dating, one of them being a rival of Velvet’s, that she doesn’t want it to happen to her. Velvet had heard rumors about that rival, a girl named Pyrrha Nikos. She had heard that Coco had driven her so far over the edge that she had tried to jump from the nearby University Bridge while it had been opened to allow a large ship to come through. If it hadn’t been for her friend Jaune Arc grabbing her and holding onto her until the bridge had come back down, she would have succeeded. Coach Wukong keeps in touch with her family still, but they have asked him to keep anything about Pyrrha private.
Reaching the pommel horse, Velvet steels herself as she looks around one more time. The only two other members of the gymnastics team she can see are Arslan Artan and her best friend Melanie Malachite as they run laps around the gym itself. She has to do this. She has no choice. She doesn’t want to end up like Pyrrha and all the others that have suffered at Coco’s hands. Reaching down, she loosens the pins on the pommel horse just enough to where it won’t collapse right away. With any luck, Neo won’t get hurt, and Coco will just consider it an act of God or something.
Walking away quickly, she moves to join Fox, who Coco sent to make sure Velvet doesn’t chicken out. She pales as she sees the smirk on the boy’s face. She knows that smirk all too well. It’s the same one he always has on his face when he has no respect for a person. For the first time in a long time, Velvet wants to let her inner Georgia girl out to play, and beat the fire out of the jackass, but she can’t. And he knows it. She almost lets herself sigh in disgust as he pats the bench next to her. He has picked a good spot, they would have a clear view of the pommel horse, but they wouldn’t be seen unless someone comes around a large stack of mats.
Sitting down to wait, she gets even paler than before as she watches Neo walk up to the pommel horse. After watching her stretch for a minute or two, she stops worrying as she watches Neo vault up easily to the pommel horse and begin with a simple enough routine. She continues to watch in amazement as Neo moves beautifully across the piece of equipment, as if she had been born to it. But just as she was on the verge of standing up and applauding, tragedy strikes.
Neo had been perfectly balanced on the loops, her body held up vertically by pure upper body strength alone when the pins gave way. Neo comes crashing down head first, and Velvet almost screams as she hears the almost sickening thud as her head connects with the solid piece of equipment., but her blood runs cold a second later when she hears a pair of cracking noises following closely behind. Velvet looks on terrified as the younger girl slowly lifts herself up into a sitting position. But to her horror, she watches as the girl’s mouth opens to scream, yet no noise whatsoever comes out, prompting Fox to start chuckling.
“Awww, I forgot she’s a mute. Although knowing she’s screaming and nobody can hear her is pretty damned funny too.”
Velvet looks at Fox in shock. She can’t believe that she just heard what he said! He was taking pleasure in her pain! She covers her ears as she gets up and runs out of the gym. Even if no one could hear her screams, somehow her ears were suddenly filled with screaming voices. She leaves so quickly that she doesn’t see Coach Wukong along with Arslan and Melanie slide to a stop next to Neo. Nor does she see Fox drop a GoPro camera on the ground. A GoPro camera that is still recording.
Eis paces nervously in front of the Dean’s Office as he waits for Velvet’s parent’s to arrive. Although Dean Lionheart was an excellent administrator, he had been slow to convince that the recording was not a hoax. It wasn’t until he had been forced to name Yatsuhashi as a witness to the first part of it, and the same young man being summoned to confirm that the plot was real that had he finally been spurred into action. And by then it was already too late.
It had taken hours to find Velvet. But she had finally been found in a nearby park by a police officer, who had escorted her back to Beacon and now stands by the Dean’s doors keeping watch. No doubt under the order of his boss, Velvet’s own father. A GoPro camera had also been found nearby, and Eis and Yatsuhashi both had born horrified witness to the damning piece of evidence against her. There had been no audio of course, but the video alone implicates Velvet.
Which is why Eis now finds himself pacing outside the dean’s office. The Dean had simply dismissed him and Yatsuhashi both without asking for a copy of the audio file. And Eis knows that the audio file is the only proof there is that Velvet was pressure heavily into what she did. Hearing a pair of voices approaching, he looks up, only to have his eyes widen in growing shock.
Alexander Garibaldi is even taller in real life than on television. If Eis has to guess, the older man is easily seven feet tall and at least 320 pounds, and if his uniform is any indication, he has nothing but muscle packed onto his massive frame. Carol Scarlatina-Garibaldi on the other hand is much shorter, barely five feet six inches tall, but Eis has to stop himself from staring at the fact that the former Navy JAG officer and Current District Attorney for Seattle is rather well endowed. An understandable blush crosses his features as he struggles to look at the shorter woman’s face as they approach.
“Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Garibaldi? May i have a quick word with the two of you?”
“Eis Schnee, right? I’m afraid we ain’t got much time for any kinda shenanigans right now.” The taller man rumbles. Eis pales as he looks up at a man who could easily break him with just one hand, and swallows nervously.
“Now look Alex, don’t be scarin tha poor boy. He already looks like he’s bout ta pass out.” Carol adds as she looks up at Eis. “Is thair sumthin we kin help ya with Mr. Schnee? Or is yur brother in ah heep ah trouble again?”
Eis blinks again before he groans. “What has my idiot brother done this time?”
“He better not have done anything Mr. Schnee. Ah promised yur daddy’s bigshot lawyer last time he showed up at one ah crime scenes tha tha next time yur brother got arrested, ah would see to it personal like tha he would be doin hard time.” Alex responds easily, as if this is an everyday occurrence for him. So he isn’t that surprised whatsoever when Carol also chimes in a moment later.
“An ah told them damned corporate bloodsuckers tha next time ah heard ah him endin up in one ah mah courtrooms, and ah swear ta god ah will do it too, ah am gonna hit him wit every charge ah kin think of!”
Eis groans once more as he listens to the two of them. The last phone conversation he had with Klein makes a lot more sense now. But now is not the time to wonder what his spoiled brat of a brother has done this time. He needs to tell them about what he knows about Velvet.
“I have something you may want to listen to.” With that, he pushes play on the audio file. Velvet’s parents stand and listen to the whole conversation twice, once by themselves, and a second time with the nearby officer as an additional witness. After it had finished the second time, Eis and the officer both sudden leaped back as Carol begins to smack her husband’s arm repeatedly.
“Ah done told you we needed ta have tha talk with her years ago!”
“Ouch! Damn it woman! Ah ain’t some suspect yur beatin ah confession outta!” Alex suddenly yelps in pain as she connects with a well aimed kick to his shin. “Alright alright! You were raight! We done shoulda talk to her bout all of that! Now quit kickin me woman!”
Carol glares at her husband one last time before returning her attention to Eis, who is currently halfway hiding behind the now nervous policeman. “Iffin ah give ya mah number, kin ya send meh tha file?”
“Yes ma’am, most certainly!” Eis agrees quickly, already ready to send her the file. “Just one question, how is Neo?”
“Broke both her arms, an dislocated both ah her thumbs. And she’s got ah concussion.” The giant answers as he looks towards the Dean’s door. “Ah thank ya fir lettin us know. We were comin ta drag er off ta tha nearest recruiters office.”
“Iffin ah ever git mah hands on this Coco girl, ahm gonna show er how we laik ta use live bait ta catch ah gator out in tha bayou!” Carol mutters as she locks the audio file into her phone. “An thank ya fir this. Ahm glad ta see mah baby still has at least one friend round here.”
Eis stops to think. Is he Velvet’s friend? Had this been before that incident, he would have either simply ignored it, or gone along with the all the hateful looks as well. But now? No, he simply won’t stand for this kind of thing anymore. Eis isn’t stupid, he knows Velvet is still going to get into some trouble over all of this. But hopefully it won’t be nearly as severe. Looking down at his phone, he decides to lock the audio file in as well. He may need it if what he thinks is about to happen happens.