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The Sum of His Parts

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Tsukomo Yuma had always been one to break from routine, which, for a few reasons, didn’t always fly in the world of the performing arts.

For one, the theatre often attracted a superstitious bunch. Certain rules passed from mentor to mentee became commonplace within the wings of the stage— things like “no whistling” or “the rule of three”. Good luck actually meant bad luck, and the mere mention of the Scottish play was enough to get you banned from backstage. Yuma followed these rules as best as he could— perhaps not to the ‘T’, but maybe to the ‘U’ or the ‘V’.

The night of The Accident started off as routine as any dress rehearsal night at South Den University could be. Props were set, lines were memorized, and legs were (metaphorically) broken. The cast and crew had performed their pre-show rituals and were churning through scenes for an empty auditorium— well, empty save for seats L20 and L21 (the very center of the house, or so the director insisted.)

The spots hit every dramatic queue. The scrim flooded with light at the exact correct moment. Yuma delivered his parting line before intermission so perfectly that even Atem himself couldn’t hold back a smile.

That is, until it happened.



Tsukomo Yuma had always been one to break from routine, but on the night of The Accident, sitting smooshed in the back of Yusaku’s car as he wildly chased an ambulance to the hospital, he really, really wished he hadn’t.

“It wasn’t your fault,” he heard Judai’s voice say from somewhere next to him, but it was a bit pained and nasal, as if he was trying not to cry.

“It really wasn’t,” Yuya confirmed softly from the front seat. “But it may be time to retire the phrase ‘break your face’ .”