“And ding two three four, five six seven eight. And ding two three four, five six seven eight. And stop. Wonderful.”
“Y-yuki…” Mitsuki caught his breath after having danced through all of the choreography five times in a row. ‘It’ll probably help really remember all your steps. Maybe.’ Yuki had said. And that was the reason why he, Momo and Ryu were all out of breath and drinking from their water bottles. “Why exactly did you use a triangle for counting?”
“Why?” Yuki smiled, not having moved an inch from the chair he was sitting on. “I thought it might help you concentrate on the beat.”
“Ding!” he said and beat the small metal bar he was holding in his right hand against the triangle in his left.
Momo was lying on his back on the wooden floor of their studio, a pink towel covering his face. Though to be precise, it wasn’t their studio. They just had rented it for a day. Mitsuki, Momo and Ryu hadn’t debuted as a dance group yet and couldn’t afford an own studio to practise in and hold meetings and plan performances and such. They’d always meet up in a near family restaurant for anything other than actual dance practise.
“But at least now we can be sure that we can dance our routine perfectly, right?” Ryu smiled while leaning against the mirror that was attached to the entire width of one of the four walls. “We shouldn’t have any problems at tomorrow’s casting.”
“Ryu, don’t jinx it.” Momo muffled through his towel.
“Don’t worry.” Yuki stood up and dried the ‘sweat’ off his forehead with the green towel around his neck. At least Mitsuki couldn’t see any sweat that needed to be swiped off, but who was he to judge him; Yuki had always been like that, already back in high school.
“Exactly! We’ve come so far already, it’s finally time for us to make our debut!” Ryu sounded excited and infected the other two. Momo sat up on the floor and the towel fell onto his lap.
“Ryu-chan is right!” he laughed. “It’s time for NebulaZ to spread around the world!”
“Let’s take Japan first.” Mitsuki chuckled and grabbed his orange towel. “We gotta keep that promise we made, right?” he stretched out the hand with the towel. Yuki nodded, approached him and did the same. Momo jumped up from the floor and stretched out his hand as well. Lastly, Ryu stepped closer from the wall and joined his team mates and friends; a dark blue towel in his hand. “Let’s do our best tomorrow.”
Their four fists touched each other and the four differently coloured towels were hanging down from them.
“We’ll become the Number One!!”
“Why I dance?”
He had asked me with a serious expression. The sun was already setting and a cold gust of wind blew quickly past us.
“That’s simple. I…
“Hnngh…?” Mitsuki slowly opened his eyes when he heard an obnoxious sound that wouldn’t stop. After a moment of drowsiness he finally realized that it was his alarm ringing incessantly if he didn’t turn it off. He grabbed his noisy phone, accidentally touched the screen and activated its snooze mode. Seemingly satisfied due to the now silent phone, he moved the hand in which he was still holding the phone closer to him and rested his head on it. He’d regret that unconscious decision five minutes later.
After he was woken up by the ringing right next to his ear, he crawled out of bed and into the bathroom. He had a small one that was part of his room. All three bedrooms of the apartment he was living in had a bathroom of their own. When Mitsuki was looking for a room to rent after he had finished university, he didn’t expect to find such a luxurious home. He was sceptical when he found out about the cheap price, but after he had met with the landlord – who was one of the three people living there – he decided to stay there after all.
Yamato, the owner, had told him that he had too much money anyways and just wanted someone that could cook two warm meals a day for him. And since Mitsuki had just finished studying cuisine, that wouldn’t be a problem at all. Yamato was working as a paediatrician and seemed to come from a quite good house, so he wasn’t really in financial need.
“Morning Musashi.” Mitsuki greeted the round beeping vacuum robot as he exited his room. He left the door open so the small Roomba – ‘my pride and joy’, as Yamato called Musashi – could enter and clean. He wasn’t the best cleaning robot, due to his round shape he couldn’t go into the corners well. But he didn’t want to hurt Yamato’s feelings, so he didn’t tell him about it.
“OH, good morning, Mitsuki.”
“Morning, Nagi.” Mitsuki smiled. Nagi was the third resident of the apartment. He moved in shortly after Mitsuki and all three of them became friends quickly. It felt like they had known each other for a long time already, Mitsuki thought from time to time.
Nagi was sitting on the couch and scrolling through the website of the newspaper, like he did every morning before heading to work. He owned a popular manga and anime café downtown and worked there as the chef waiter. It wasn’t all that big but he still employed four people; two more waiters besides himself and two people to work in the kitchen. They served a variety of small pastries and sweets and Magical Kokoa, as the café was called, was always bustling with visitors. In the café he also showcased his most valuable collection of Magical Kokona goods. It’s said to be the biggest and most complete collection of that kind.
“Do you need breakfast today?” Mitsuki asked as he stepped into their open kitchen and put on his apron. He turned on the water kettle, yawned and stretched one more time.
“Thanks, but not today.” the blonde ball of sunshine beamed at him. Mitsuki wasn’t sure why Nagi seemed so sparkling to him. It was either due to him still being half asleep, the actual sun shining through their big panorama windows or the fact that he was secretly crushing on Nagi. In any case, Mitsuki quickly shook his head and focused on the now boiling water.
“Alright, then just for the old man and me.” he said to himself and poured in two coffees.
“Who’re you calling old man? Onii-san can totally keep up with the youth you know.”
“Yamato that is exactly the reason why you’re an old man.”
“Mitsu is being mean to me already.” he answered and stepped closer to the counter on which the two cups of coffee were steaming. “Which one’s mine?”
“I’m not wearing my glasses, help me.”
“Go put on your glasses then.”
“Geez, fine then.” Yamato yawned and made a U-turn back to his room.
“I can’t believe him…” Mitsuki sighed and continued preparing breakfast.
“I think it’s time for me to head out now.” Nagi said while putting his tablet on the couch table and standing up. He walked to the fridge and took a small bottle of water out of it and put it in his bag. “I wish I could eat your meals everyday…”
“What are you talking about, you always eat what I make for dinner.” Mitsuki laughed.
“Oh, but I want to eat everything Mitsuki makes.” Nagi looked at his short friend with honest eyes. How can he just say something like that, Mitsuki thought and felt his cheek turn slightly red. He hoped his tall friend wouldn’t notice anything, but Nagi only smiled and walked towards the entrance door. He put on his boots – it was a chilly day in autumn – and grabbed his jacket from one of the hooks.
“Nagi!” Mitsuki suddenly exclaimed. Nagi turned around confused. “I-if you want… I can make you a bento. So you can take it with you to work. I-I mean, not right now, I guess that’s too late. But, if you want, from now on and---“
“Really!?” Nagi swooshed back and grabbed Mitsuki’s hands with both of his. His eyes were sparkling and Mitsuki wanted to turn around as to not get blinded.
“Y-yes, if you want.”
“Thanks, Mitsuki!” he threw his arms around him, hugged him tightly and swooshed back to the entrance and left after waving with his arms.
“…b-bye-bye…” Mitsuki waved back awestruck after Nagi had been gone already.
“Woohh, someone’s making progress, huh?” Yamato whistled as he came back. “When’s the wedding?” he reached the counter and took his cup of coffee.
“Sh-shut up old man!” Mitsuki blushed and turned around to continue working.
“Oh come on Mitsu.” he took a sip. “Bitter.” he walked over to the other side of the counter and put some sugar into his coffee. “Why don’t you confess already? It’s really obvious that you’ve got a crush on him, you know?”
“Even if I had, so what?” Mitsuki answered without looking away from the chopping board. “It’s not like that’d change anything.”
“Hah…” Yamato sighed as he remembered a conversation he had with Nagi.
“Yamato… I think I might like Mitsuki.”
I was expecting a lot when he asked if he could talk to me. Like, maybe he’d want to talk about the rent costs, or something else about the apartment. I thought maybe he even wanted to get a friend for Musashi, but this wasn’t the sort of thing I had in mind.
“Ehh? Really?” I asked and drank from my beer.
“Yes, but I don’t know what to do with these feelings. I think I have never felt this strongly about anyone. Should I tell him?”
“Maybe instead of telling him directly you could try and make him understand in a more subtle way?”
“OH, I understand. Thank you very much.”
“…stupid past onii-san…”
“Did you say something?” Mitsuki finally turned around.
“No. Nothing.” he took another sip from his coffee and tried to come up with a way to make his two tenants/roommates/friends realize that they liked each other without having to actually do a lot for it to happen. He wasn’t that committed to it. “Still bitter.”
In a bedroom of another apartment the alarm clock woke up two men. They were lying on a bed, next to each other, one having his arms around the other. The taller of them, the one being closer to the ringing alarm clock, stretched out his arm and accidentally shoved the clock down from the bedside table. It continued ringing on the floor and was now even further out of reach than before.
“Momo, the clock fell down.” Yuki mumbled.
“Mhm.” Momo nodded.
“How much time did it take before it stops ringing?”
“We bought one that wouldn’t stop so we’d have to get up from bed, remember?”
“Whose stupid idea was that?”
“Right, I remember.” Yuki stretched out his arms again and turned away from Momo. He decided to stand up and bowed down to grab the clock and turn it off. “Now back to be---“ he was about to crawl back into bed, but Momo threw a pillow at him and stood up as well.
“We have no time to sleep.” Momo yawned. “We gotta get ready for the audition.”
“But I’m not dancing.”
“You still have to be there, you’re our manager, aren’t you?”
“I thought you might forget about it for a day.”
They had been a couple since Momo confessed to Yuki in high school. It had been about one year after they and the other two met in their school’s dance club. Yuki didn’t seem to think much of going out with anyone during his school years, but he didn’t see any reason to decline either. And now over ten years later they were still together, not missing any chance to act like an old married couple.
“Anyways, I’ll go take a shower. Could you prepare breakfast, darling?” Momo asked as he picked up a towel from the chair. It wasn’t any chair, it was that one specific chair everyone had in their bedroom that was used for anything but sitting on it. They had two of those chairs, one for each.
“But I need to take a shower as well.”
“You can take it afterwards.”
“But if we take one together, then it’s quicker and we save water.” Yuki explained and Momo started thinking about it.
“…n-no Yuki I’m not falling for that. Not again.” he said and waved his arms around above his head, as if he needed to erase the traces of the imaginative cloud that had formed when he thought about what Yuki had proposed. Momo left their room and headed to the bathroom while Yuki sighed, gave in and headed to the kitchen.
“Do you know which train we have to take to go the audition place?” Momo asked as he put on his pink, sleeveless hoodie. He decided to wear their ‘official’ NebulaZ dance outfit already instead of changing on site. Said outfit consisted of a sleeveless hoodie – Ryu’s was dark blue, Mitsuki’s was orange – black baggy pants and black sneakers with accents in their respective colour and silver. Adding to that, Momo wore a pair of black arm warmers, Mitsuki wore black fingerless gloves and Ryu several black bracelets.
“I do, I looked it up before bed yesterday and wrote it down.” Yuki nodded satisfied with himself as he buttoned his dress shirt. He wanted to at least look the part of a serious manager. “I also texted Ryu and Mitsuki. We’ll meet up on site.”
“Wow Yuki you’re so cool…” Momo marvelled.
“Fufu, I know.”
They got dressed and were ready to leave, but Yuki just had to quickly water all of his plants. After he was done they quickly left the apartment and headed to the nearest train station. Yuki texted the other two again, asking if they were already on their way. They both answered positively. Mitsuki was cycling there – he had stopped his bike to answer when he heard his phone received a message – and Ryu was driving because he was dropping off his little brothers at their schools. He apologised in advance if he would arrive a bit later.
When Yuki and Momo got to the building where the auditions were taking place, they found Mitsuki and Ryu already waiting in front of it.
“You’re late.” Mitsuki said with crossed arms. Both he and Ryu were already wearing their dance outfits as well.
“Sorry Mitsuki-chan, but it seemed like the train had some problems and departure was delayed a bit.” Momo explained.
“Good thing we decided to meet up with more than enough time before it was our time to perform.”
“You can never count on technology when you really need it.” Yuki added. “In any case, Ryu, you weren’t late.”
“Oh I got here 15 minutes ago.” Ryu said.
“Ryu-chan is very Japanese. He apologises in case he arrives late before he’s even nearly there yet is still the first one to appear.”
“True.” Yuki nodded.
“True.” Mitsuki agreed.
“G-guys?” Ryu looked at them a bit troubled.
“That’s just how you are and we love that part of you as well, Ryu.” Yuki smiled at him.
“Wow where did you pick that up?” Mitsuki raised an eyebrow.
“Did I sound like a good manager? I read it in a book I bought recently.”
“Of course you did…”
“Yuki ikemen!!” Momo yelled and wrapped his arms around his boyfriend.
“Anyways!” Mitsuki exclaimed. “Let’s enter and register and stuff.”
“Let’s.” Yuki nodded.
“I’m getting a bit nervous suddenly.” Ryu laughed.
“Everything will be A-Okay!” Momo showed him a peace sign.
“Y-y-yuki, I’m nervous now t-too…” Momo’s voice trembled.
“Didn’t you say before that everything would be A-Okay?” Mitsuki asked.
“That was before we were standing in front of the door.” he put a heavy emphasis on that last part.
“This.” he pointed at the door in front of them.
“I know what a door is!!”
“Then why did you ask?” Yuki asked.
“That’s not what I meant!”
“You’re acting weird, Mitsuki.”
“You’re the last person I want to hear that from, Yuki.”
“G-guys, let’s stay calm and focus on our performance, okay?” Ryu tried to intervene, but all of a sudden, Momo started laughing. He was laughing so much that tears formed in his eyes and he infected Ryu and Mitsuki as well.
“’If your team is nervous or on edge, brighten the mood by making them laugh.’ is what the book said too.” Yuki explained with a smile on his face and made the others laugh out loud even more. “Seems like it worked.”
A person with a headset and a clipboard in their hands approached the four.
“NebulaZ, get on stand-by please.” they said.
“Alright guys…” Mitsuki calmed down again. “Let’s do this, win, and get our debut. Alright?” he stretched out his fist. The other three nodded and did the same. “Let’s spread our name around the world!”
“Like the nebulas in the universe!” Ryu continued.
“NebulaZ, GO!” Momo yelled.
“The stage is yours, please enter and good luck.” the staff said. The four nodded and walked through the door and towards their destiny.
“Everyoooone, thank youuuu!!” a young man screamed through the raging noise of applause and people yelling and squealing.
“Thank you very much!” another young man, standing next to the first one said into his microphone.
The two figures were on a TV screen. They had just finished one of their live concerts that was being broadcasted on TV. They looked like two sides of a coin. Same outfit, same height, nearly same face and same, but mirrored, hair style; if not for one being red and the other white haired with a slight tint of pale pink.
“Eventide really is amazing.” Gaku said as he picked a strawberry from the cake in front of him.
“Gaku-san, I thought I told you not to pick just the strawberries from the cake!”
“You know I like them most, Iori.”
“That is no excuse to behave like a little child.” Iori put his hands on his hips. He was standing behind the couch. Gaku was sitting on an armchair to the left and turned around.
“What do you think?” he asked the two on the couch.
“Hmm, it’s not really my kinda music, but I gotta admit they’re not too bad.” Torao crossed his legs and leaned back into the cushion.
“Eventide was their name, right Iorin?” Tamaki looked upwards and met Iori’s glance.
“Precisely.” he pushed a button on the remote he was holding and turned off the TV. He put down the remote on a table and stepped in front of the others. “Eventide. Japan’s current number one idol duo consisting of Nanase Riku and Nanase Tenn. The one and only twin idols, as they say.”
“No shit Sherlock.” Torao added. “So we got an offer to perform with them, yeah?”
“Indeed. Ever since you three debuted as the dance group Downtown AT4 we have been receiving offers from various people of interest. Yet Eventide is the biggest offer to date. It would be very unwise to not respond positively to them, but I am only your manager. I cannot make decisions if you do not agree.” Iori explained.
“Let’s do it! If we get to dance then I don’t care about who it is we’re dancing for!” Tamaki said.
“You’re such a dance idiot.” Torao laughed.
“He, yeah…” Tamaki laughed as well.
“No, that…” he sighed. “Nevermind. Gaku?” Torao turned to him and caught him trying to pick another strawberry from the cake. “Leave ’em on the cake already!!”
Gaku leaned back reluctantly and crossed his arms.
“I agree, I don’t see any reason why we should decline. It’s a great opportunity for us. Plus, I’ve read in a magazine that the twins are the puppy and the angel of the showbiz world, so what could possibly go wrong?”
“There ya have it, manager.” Torao grinned. “We’re in.”
“Very well. I shall let their manager know then.” he took a small notebook from a pocket and noted something down. “Then this shall be the end of today’s meeting. You are free to spend the rest of the day as you please. Thank you for your work today, and until tomorrow.” Iori bowed down slightly to the three, packed all his things and left the room. They were holding a meeting in the break room of their small studio. They received it as a ‘humble’ gift from their agency.
“I’ll cut the cake.” Gaku stood up and walked to the small kitchen of the room. The break room looked like an almost complete one-room-apartment. It had a small kitchen, a dining table that could fit four people and a corner with TV, couch and armchair. He grabbed a big knife from one of the drawers and headed back to his seat. “Who wants cake?”
“Me me!” Tamaki held up his arms. “We’re out of pudding at the moment so cake will do.”
“Alright.” he said and cut two slices. He handed one to Tamaki and took a bite from the other one. “Izumi bakery is as good as always.”
“Izumi?” Torao raised an eyebrow.
“Like our manager?”
“Yes, his family runs a bakery. Didn’t you know that?”
“Why should I know that? He never told me.”
“You probably never asked.”
“Why would I?”
“I asked him one day when I passed by the bakery and saw its name.”
“Well then you’ve got a reason to ask him, but I never passed by that bakery.”
“You should, their stuff is good.” he took another bite of the cake. “You sure you don’t want some?” he held his slice towards Torao and moved his hand back and forth. “Hmm? Hmm?”
“Oh, Sou-chan…” Tamaki exclaimed suddenly.
“Your man?” Torao turned away from Gaku’s farce and looked at the youngest member of their group.
“Mhm.” he nodded. “He texted me and asked when I’ll get home today…” he put down the cake and grabbed his phone with both of his hands. “In a meeting. Will come in 30min. Send.”
“The meeting is over though?”
“But the cake… It’s technically still part of the meeting. Like it’s been prolonged.”
“If you say so…”
“…still, don’t tell Sou-chan. He’ll get angry.”
“Well, you two enjoy the cake.” Torao stood up from the couch. “I’ll be going now.”
“Where’re you going?” Gaku asked.
“Meetin’ a friend.” he packed his things and hung his bag from the shoulder. “See ya.”
“See you tomorrow.”
As soon as Torao left the studio, he grabbed a key from his pocket and pointed it to the red sports car that was parked right in front of it. The car flashed its headlights and the door to the driver’s seat opened automatically. He threw his bag onto the passenger seat to the left, got on the car, closed the door, fastened the seatbelt, put on his sunglasses – the sun was already setting but therefore shone directly through the windscreen – and started the engine.
After a short drive to the city’s downtown, he stopped the car in front of a café. He parked on a lot reading private and left the car. Another push on the car’s key and the lights flashed once more. Torao walked towards the entrance of the café, stopped in front of it, took off his sunglasses and opened the door. The bell attached to the ceiling rang when the door pushed it aside.
“Welcome to Magica---OH!”
“Mister Torao, welcome.” Nagi greeted him with a smile. He was carrying a salver with two cups of coffee on it. “Your favourite seat is open, so please make yourself comfortable.”
“Will do, thanks.”
“Certainly.” he bowed down and continued on his way. Torao walked to his usual seat and sat down at a one-person table. He had discovered Magical Kokoa one day on his way home from practise. It looked peculiar from the outside already and piqued his interest. He entered the café and was nearly overwhelmed by the amount of anime and manga and merchandise of both. He asked for a table for one and the owner – he didn’t know Nagi yet nor that he was the owner – showed him to a seat and served him quite nicely. But after Torao’s eyes caught one of his favourite hero comics in one of the café’s shelves, he quickly became a regular and started getting closer with Nagi and the two waiters working for him.
“Here’s your Special Blend Coffee with low-fat milk and a plate of the Izumi Bakery Original Amaretti. And the newest issue of the Weekly Jounen Shump.”
“Why exactly do I have to bring you the magazine now too? You know where you can find it, don’t you?” he put the salver he was holding under his arm and glared at Torao.
“The customer is always right. Right?” he was about to take a sip.
“I hope you burn your tongue.” Touma snickered.
“Who made the coffee?”
“Owner.” he said without thinking about it much. “Wait, crap.”
“Thanks.” Torao laughed and took a sip. “I know Nagi won’t make it too hot, he never does.” he winked at Touma who glared back once more and turned around to continue his waiter duties. Torao laughed again and started looking through the magazine.
Before he only used to read western comics about superheroes, but since he found Magical Kokoa and was somewhat forced into reading a manga by Nagi, he started enjoying some action packed manga as well. And in Nagi he found a friend to talk about one of his passions he had since he was young. His brother used to bring him a new action figure every time he came to visit; now Torao buys them himself.
The sun set and the last customers left the café. After everyone was gone Touma could finally close up. Everyone but Torao. He and Nagi were sitting on two armchairs, talking about various things.
“Why is it that whenever Tora comes we two have to take care of everything?” Touma asked.
“Here’s the mop.” Haruka held a mop in front of him.
“What? I was on mop duty yesterday already. It’s your turn!”
“No, it’s Owner’s turn.”
“Then shove that mop into his face, not mine.”
“Alright, do you want to interrupt them?”
“I’m on dish duty.”
“And I’m on table duty!?”
“You can mop while you do that.”
“Come on I want to go home soon. I’m gonna video-call with A---“ Haruka stopped mid-sentence. “N-nothing.”
“You’re gonna video-call with whom?”
“N-no one. It’s not like I have plans for tonight or anything.” he blushed, turned around and disappeared into the kitchen.
“Why am I still working here…” Touma sighed and started mopping the floor.
“Anyways, it’s getting late, I should head home.” Torao said and stood up. “Thanks for the talk.”
“Oh, you’re always welcome.” Nagi answered. “Until next time.”
“See ya.” he patted Nagi on his shoulder and turned around. He passed by the mopping Touma but stopped in front of the door. “Touma.”
“Huh?” he turned to him and hectically tried to catch the 500 yen coin Torao had flipped at him.
“Sorry for earlier.” he grinned.
“Hmph.” Touma grinned back and put the tip into his pocket.
About half an hour later, Torao parked the car in the garage of the condo building where he owned an apartment. He got off the car, walked to the elevator and got to his floor. When he opened the door to his apartment, he noticed that the light in the living room had been turned on. He was already there.
“You’re late.” a voice came from inside.
“Sorry, I kinda got caught up talking.” he hung his jacket on a hook, took of his shoes and stepped into his home. “I’m back.” he approached the couch and put his arms around the person sitting on it, a book in his hands.
“Welcome back.” Minami said, closed his book and looked up. At the same time, Torao moved his head down and kissed him. Their lips parted again and Torao chuckled.
“Always wanted to try it upside down.”
“I’m glad I could be of help then.”
“Did you have dinner already?”
“No, I was waiting for you, Midou-san.”
“No problem, what do you want to---“ Minami was about to stand up when Torao put his arms on his shoulders and gently pushed him down onto the couch again.
“You must be tired from work, so stay put. I’ll cook tonight.”
“But you’ve been working today too.”
“Shut up and let me spoil my partner, will you?”
“If you insist…” he smiled and returned to the lecture of his book.
The two had been going out for a couple of years already and a few months ago Torao asked Minami if they wanted to live together. Torao knew that he wanted to spend his life next to Minami, and he was happy when he agreed to the idea of living together. But one thing the dancer didn’t like as much is that they had to keep their relationship secret from the public.
Natsume Minami. Top actor. Everyone knew him and therefore he had to strictly separate private and public life. And since Torao debuted with Downtown AT4 recently as well, he’d be sure to become more known sooner or later. He didn’t really care about other people’s opinions about him, but he didn’t want to drag Minami into any nasty gossip or rumours that could harm his career. And if the price for staying by Minami’s side was to only ‘be’ a couple when they were home, then he’d gladly pay it.
After they finished eating dinner and washed the dishes together, they sat down on the couch and cuddled while watching a movie on TV. But because it was both late and a horribly bad movie, they decided to head to bed after half an hour. They got bed ready one after the other – Minami always needed some more time so he was the last one – and they stepped into their bedroom.
While Minami put on his silk pajamas, Torao took off everything except for his underwear. When they first got together Minami had asked him if he could put on something for sleeping, but Torao just couldn’t, he was an underwear sleeper.
They crawled into their bed and Torao turned off the lights with a remote control. He moved closer to Minami and hugged him from behind, his hand finding its way to Minami’s and grabbing it. Torao kissed him on the cheek, wished him a good night and the two slowly drifted into the land of dreams.
“Cheers!!” the three said at the same time as their glasses chinked against each other. While others were falling asleep already, Mitsuki, Momo and Ryu were having a party to celebrate their success of the day. They had won the auditions and where one big step closer to their debut.
“Momorin really tastes even greater after a successful day of work!” Momo laughed and emptied his glass. “Another one please!” he stretched out his hand as a waitress passed by.
“Certainly!” she said and grabbed his empty glass.
“Seriously.” Mitsuki drank another bit from his beer and put down the glass. “Too bad Yuki couldn’t come though.”
“Yes, even though he could’ve done that tomorrow.” Ryu nodded.
“I was surprised seeing him that serious though. He’s really growing into the role of manager, isn’t he?”
“Yes, it seems like he really wants to do his best too.”
“Hey, my darling always does his best!” Momo pouted but shook it off with a laugh quickly. “But I guess it’s okay, he’s not much of a drinker himself neither so…”
“Yeah you’re probably right.”
“Here’s your juice, please enjoy!” the waitress came back and put a new glass on the table.
“Thank you!!” Momo smiled and grabbed the glass.
“Momo, you should eat something too.” Ryu insisted. “Do you want to try some of the takoyaki I ordered? They’re very delicious.”
“Really? Sure!” he opened his mouth. “Ahhhhn…”
“O-okay?” Ryu was confused but complied anyway. “How is it?”
“Don’t talk with your mouth stuffed!” Mitsuki said.
“Mitsuki, do you want a bite too? Ahhn?” Ryu took another ball with his chopsticks and moved it towards him.
“What? No! Stay away with that I can eat myself just fine!” he accidentally pushed his hand and the takoyaki ball fell down on the table.
“Ahh, my takoyaki!”
“Ahahaha!!” Momo started laughing.
“Five seconds rule, quick, pick it up!” Momo added.
“Eh? What? Five seconds!?” Ryu was unable to cope with the overall situation, which just made Momo laugh even more than before. That was one way how the three (and sometimes four) liked to spend their evenings. Going out and drinking together as friends and having a good time.
They all had known each other over ten years, having met in high school for the first time. And they had stayed together almost the entire time. There was a period where Ryu had to move away for certain reasons, but after he came back they had decided to make their youthful dreams come true. They formed a dance group and started aiming for the top, starting from zero.
It had been their dream to dance on big stages ever since they created their high school’s dance club from zero as well because there was no dance club before. Their dream had been born back then as well.
“Phew, it sure is getting late though, right?” Mitsuki asked.
“You’re right!” Ryu gasped. “It’s almost midnight! Shouldn’t we head home? We have to meet with the agency’s president tomorrow and we probably should make a good first impression.”
“And arriving there with a hangover doesn’t sound like the best first impression, huh?”
“See if you’d just drink Momorin too you wouldn’t have that problem.”
“Whatever you say, Momo.” Mitsuki laughed.
“But still, you’re right. Let’s pay the bill and go home. I can drive you two with Ryu-chan’s car!”
“Thank you very much, Momo.”
“I’ll just pick you up with it tomorrow too and then give it back to you.” he winked.
“Okay!” Ryu smiled.
“You sure act like his car is all yours to use however you please.”
“Oh no worries, it’s okay, I don’t mind. And it’s the best option right now.”
“Excuse meee! Could we get the bill please?” Momo stretched out an arm and waved.
“Coming!” a waiter answered and walked towards them. They paid, stood up, put on their coats and headed outside and to Ryu’s car. Momo decided to drop of Ryu first since Mitsuki’s apartment was on the way to his own, so it’d be easier like that. After he dropped of Ryu he continued driving.
At some point he checked the rear-view mirror and noticed that Mitsuki had fallen asleep. He was resting his head against the window and breathing calmly, a smile on his face.
“Hehe, I wonder what he’s dreaming of…” Momo whispered to himself and focused on the street again.
But Mitsuki wasn’t really dreaming. If anything, he was remembering the moment after their casting dance ended and the three were catching their breaths. One of the staff observing their dance asked Mitsuki a question.
“Why I dance?” I was asked and smiled in response. “That’s simple. I dance because when the song is ending and I’m slowly nearing the end as well, when I’m all sweaty and exhausted from the choreography, when the music stops and I can strike my pose, that short moment when I’ve taken away the breath of the people watching me and before they start clapping… that split second of silence is the reason why I dance.”