"Hey Steven, I need your help with something."
The clown seemed meek in his request, almost embarassed with his hands in his pockets and his eyes upon the smooth dance floor which the vampire-to-be had spent so much time on as of late.
"Yeah, what is it bro?" No doubt Steven was very curious. He and Jhonen had kind of mended things, and with the vampires distracted it had made for a rekindled friendship in which the musician/mechanic had gotten to hear all kinds of stories about the goings ons within the Theatre walls. It wasn't that Jho was keeping secrets prior to Steven and Brigette moving in, there were just some things that people outside of the Coup didn't need to know, like what happened to Mira and things to watch out for with the female.
This clearly wasn't about any of those issues though, this was something personal as Steven could tell the moment Jho started making his request known.
"Well... I pulled some tabs off the internet and I was hoping you could learn how to play something so I could uh... sing it." He looked like he was getting ready to take a punch, face scrunched tight and diamond scarred eyes squinted. But no punch came, not even laughter.
"Yeah man, that's cool. I could show you how to-"
"No no, I need you to play it for me and uh..."
"And don't tell Lilly."
It wouldn't take Steven long to learn the song, though it was written for the piano. It adapted to the guitar easily enough, an almost sea chanty sway to the tempo of the upbeat song that translated very nicely on the accoustic guitar.
For Jhonen's part, he learned lyrics and practiced singing in the shower or while Lili was at school. It's not that he wanted to keep it from the wide smiling girl, he just didn't want to ruin the suprise, so the when Joel caught him in the shower and started snickering, Jhonen stuck his head out and sneered.
"Not a fucking word."
"You kidding me," asked the sound guy, "i'm recording this shit and putting it on youtube."
At this point, a naked Jhonen burst out of the shadow, running at Joel. Joel bolted, eyes wide like a bully onot expecting the skinny kid to retaliate. It was only the slick floor that saved him as Jhonen's naked ass hit the ground and slid. Lili would be asking why he was limping later that day and the boy would be honest, telling her that he slipped in the bathroom, but would leave it at that.
There was a raid of the costume closet of course, and though there was no special occasion to mark the why's or when's of his 'performance', he seemed to have the date and time all picked out; information he passed to Steven at the last minute.
11:oopm Thursday, September 17th.
Lili's showered, lotioned, oiled, and groomed herself. The Smith's t-shirt, about two sizes too big barely hangs past her squareish hips, the pink-blue-yellow striped panties visible as she moves around her room, grabbing the rope toy and tugging it against Ollie's impressive, good natured grip.
She hears the light tap against her window of all things... then another. As she approuches it, she can see the shapes outside of her curtains... bodies... suspended in air. Once the curtain is pulled aside, there they are; two ghouls sitting in the tree outside of her window.
Steven is a few branches further down, his back to the trunk and his accoustic guitar in his lap, held in his skilled hands and dressed in his normal jeans and a Pantera t-shirt. Jhonen on the other hand is on the branch level with her window and he looks ready for a nineteen fifties prom. He's decked out in a pair of black slacks, his bare feet dangling below him as he stradles the tree branch reaching for her room. his white dress shirt with the banded collar is tucked in tight, with black suspenders over his shoulders, and a smart round brimmed bowler hat slapped upon his head, it's shadow just cresting the cuts on his sheepishly grinning face.
"Jho? What're you guys-"
"Okay, you ready," Jhonen cut her off, asking Steven, who's response was a one-two-three count of knuckles rapping against his guitar's hollow surface.
And that's when Jhonen began to sing:
"Lili, my one and only; I can hardly wait til I see her.
Silly, I know I'm silly, Cause I'm hanging in this tree In the hopes that she will catch a glimpse of me." he started meek, barely heard above the whisper of the guitar, a smile barely contained upon his face.
His volume picked up with the second verse.
"And thre her window shade I watch her shadow move and I wonder if she...?"
"Lili," (accompanied by Steven, echoing the name that was innocence and love and hope), "my one and only, Love is in my heart and in your eyes. Will she or won't she want him; No one knows for sure, but an officer is knocking on my door."
and with Lili's snickering beaming smile, Jhonen couldn't help but feel encouraged and his voice rose louder still, prompting Steven to pick up the volume of his strumming and as he got to the chorus again, "And thru her window shade I watch her shadow move, and I wonder if she could only see me?"
he pushed himself up with his hands and drew his bare feet to the branch and stood up upon it, his arms stretching out both for balance and for show as he sang; "and When I'm with her I feel fine. If I could kiss her," his hands clutched his chest and he looked as though he may fall, but at the last second his toes found another branch and he stood with a catlike balance between them, "I wouldn't miiiiiind the time it took to find myyyyy Lili."
and the strumming grew more gentle, as did the smitten ninja's voice, his feet joining one another to carry him walking, stroling upon the branch closer to her window, "My one and only... I can hardly wait till I see her."
and oh so gently he lowered himself upon that branch, lowering himself to his chest, his legs bending at the knees as he lay not five feet from her, his fingers latching to provide a spot for his cheek as he gazed at the girl of his dreams, finishing the song with all the sincerity in his heart...
"Oh Lili, I know you love me,
Cause as they're draggin me away,
I swear I saw her raise her hand and wave... Goodbye."
and Steven stroked his final strum, smiling up at the kids that didn't even seem to notice he was there and he slowly made his way down the tree and out of sight, even as Jhonen's beaming smile said... "Hi."