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Vish vish vwish vwish twin twin streck streeek creeeck... plink plink plink twayang!

A stream of curses could be heard in the dorm room as the boy set the guitar he was holding aside as he reached beside him for a new string. His frustrations with the damnable thing had been mounting ever since he purchased it. He had first bought it just so he could use it as part of a gag that he had hoped would win over Weiss' affections. It was when the door slammed in his face that he first thought this had been a mistake. The second time the heavy oak door nearly crushed his nose, he found himself wondering if perhaps the maintenance man who took care of the academy would like an early birthday gift. He wasn't exactly close friends with the man; he didn't even know his name, but perhaps he might like it all the same.

Vish vish vwish vwish twin twin streck streeek creeeck... plink plink plink twayang!

A slew of curses erupted from him as the string caught him on the cheek, drawing blood as it cut him. It was as though the guitar could read his mind and decided to take revenge for his ill thoughts. He set the guitar down again and checked to see if anybody in the hall outside had heard him. Satisfied at the lack of witnesses, he moved back towards the bed. As he wiped off the blood on his cheek, the sight of it reminded him that he really should practice his footwork. He always seemed to stumble and fall at the wrong moments. Luckily, he had training with Pyrrha that night. He used that as an excuse, saying that he would get tired too easily with her and that he had to conserve his energy if he wanted to keep up with her.

He sat back down on the bed and pulled out another string. There weren't many left in the box. He wasn't surprised. He had bought them cheap from the man at the store. They were on sale because they were old and somewhat flimsy. He bought them because they were all he was willing to buy for this cheap facade. They worked for a time, but they kept breaking on him, faltering and breaking under the slightest pressure. He paused for a moment as he looked at himself in the reflection of his guitar. He wondered why he hadn't just thrown it away yet.

Vish vish vwish vwish twin twin streck streeek creeeck... plink plink plink twayang!

When the string broke again, he didn't curse. He just watched his weary reflection as though it were tired of the trouble he brought it. He just kept wondering as he reached for a new string. The answer came as his hand brushed against the its body. He wanted to hear it sing, really sing. When he had first bought the guitar, the shop owner had called it a piece of junk, saying that he was better off just tossing it in the trash. When he brought it back to the dorm room, his teammates looked at it as though it were some trash blown in from the street. When Weiss had seen it, she looked as though its very presence offended her, like it was beneath her utterly.

When he looked at it, it just looked back, those bright blue eyes blinking at him underneath all that tarnished wood.

This was the last string in the box. He restrung the guitar so many times now that his fingers had a small blister on them. If he string broke, he didn't know what he'd do with it. He took a good look at the string, to see if it was even worth the effort. Near the very middle, right where his hand would strum, was a small fray. It wasn't good enough. He tossed the useless excuse of a string away and sighed. The other three strings along the neck of the guitar were in top condition. It was just that last one that made it impossible.

Sighing, he got up and left the dorm. He wandered the halls of the academy for a good while before he ran into his one of his more... bombastic teachers. An hour later, he learned of his professor's favorite hobbies, including his appreciation for music. He snapped to attention at that and asked if he might have a spare guitar string. His request was abrupt enough that it gave the famed huntsmen some pause before he admitted that he might, but that if he did, it would be in his office somewhere. He asked if he could have it, and the professor said that he could if he could find it. Several hours later, he returned to his dorm room, as empty and silent as he had left it save for the guitar resting on his bed.

He flopped down heavily next to it, his eyes closing for several minutes in rest from the intense labor of cleaning the entirety of his professor's office. But in the process, he was lucky enough to have found a guitar string and he was about to leave when his professor asked if he would really leave a job half done. Normally, he would have thanked the teacher for his time and left, but something gave him pause. The thought of tarnished wood came unbidden to him. He turned back around and finished cleaning the mess that had built up over several years time.

He sat back up and pulled the guitar back into his lap. He took his time with this string. He didn't want it to break like the others had. He took a moment to inspect it, to see if it was worth the time to even bother with. It did not fray like the others had and when he pulled, it did not tear. He took it gently and placed it along to the body of the guitar, knotting it firmly to the base with the others. He ran it along the neck to the head, looping and tying it to its hole, to its rightful place.

He tightened the metal knob at the top, making sure not to over stress it to ensure that it would not break like so many others before it had. Some had even taken out others strings with them. The sound of creaking plastic was now familiar to him, his ears listening for the moment he knew it would be ready, ready to sing with the others. He just hoped that when it did, it was not a funeral dirge as it snapped in half.

His fingers moved over each individual string, starting at the one furthest from the one he had hopes for. Like all the other times, the strings rang clear. When he nervously reached the final one, he knew that his trouble had been worth the effort. The string rang with a rich clear note, equal to the other three. He gently strummed the wooden instrument, old childhood songs springing from his fingertips. He stopped playing for a brief moment and looked down at the wondrous thing in his lap. He had spent several hours restoring the guitar in his free time. The tarnish had been worked away from the wood and once faded colors now danced lively along its surface. Those blue eyes in the wood shone with a happiness that he had not seen in the mirror for many years.

He set the guitar aside next to his bed and reached for his sword and shield. Perhaps there was still time to get in some last minute training before his session with Pyrrha. He did need some practice with his footwork after all.