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a brother's loneliness

Chapter Text

Kujou Tenn didn’t know what he was doing here. He had donned on a dust mask, a pair of glasses and a black cap, whilst he lined up in a queue to enter IDOLiSH7’s concert. Within his hand was a concert ticket, creased from how many times he’d contemplated on throwing it out.

He pulled his cap down as he observed Oogami Banri dashing past with some empty cardboard box in his hands. He safely assumed the stock for merchandise had run out.

He glanced around curiously at the amount of females holding their merchandise and murmuring about the members of IDOLiSH7. Was this what it was like outside TRIGGER’s concerts as well?

Tenn heaved a sigh, contemplating on his decision to come here. He didn’t know what moved him that day. He’d been on his laptop, browsing the internet to buy take-out for dinner and stumbled upon the concert tickets. He hesitated for only a moment, considering how numerous tickets were being sold in less than a second. If he didn’t act fast, he wouldn’t have been able to obtain one. He stared at the ticket in his hand. He had a seat relatively far from the stage, yet it was also close. He could only hope that they wouldn’t recognise him.

 

Tenn sat back in his seat as he entered the area. He had never really been to concerts as part of the audience. This atmosphere wasn’t something he was used to. Suddenly, the voices around him increased in volume, with fingers pointing to the stage. He instantly cast his gaze back to the stage to see the members of IDOLiSH7 waving to their fans with broad grins on their faces.

They assembled themselves in the centre with the audience falling silent as Riku’s voice echoed throughout the vicinity.

“Everyone! Thank you for coming!” he exclaimed, “We are IDOLiSH7! We’ll be performing ‘Monster Generation’!”

Tenn recognised it to be the first song that IDOLiSH7 sang together, and their debut song if it weren’t for their producer stealing their original debut song. In the blink of an eye, the headlights switched off with the darkness enveloping everyone. Just as quickly as they turned off, they flicked on again to see the members scattered across the stage with the music starting.

The audience began to sing the first lyrics with them, each and every one of the fans exclaiming loudly. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, jump!”

They began to wave their glow sticks as Riku started the song off. Tenn gazed forward blankly, wondering why he had come here once again. He could say it was for simple stimulation, just like Yotsuba Tamaki had said when IDOLiSH7 came to TRIGGER’s live tour. Although within him, he knew it would be a lie… nothing more than self-deception.

His heart ached at the 18 year old Riku on stage, singing endlessly despite his respiratory disorder. It didn’t feel so long ago that Riku had been tucked into his bed, calling him ‘ Tenn-nii ’. It wasn’t so long ago that they’d been sitting on the dining table together, drawing images with ketchup on their omelet rice. It wasn’t so far away that Tenn danced and sung for Riku for his entertainment.

Everything was different now. Time had gone forward relentlessly, without mercy for anyone.

When Riku arrived at their dressing room, he called out for ‘ Kujou-san ’. Riku would’ve been dining together with the members of IDOLiSH7, whereas Tenn would be with Gaku and Ryuunosuke. Presently, Tenn and Riku would sing against each other, competing for the same award and faced one another as rivals.

Once again, Tenn sat back into his chair as the melody of ‘Miss you’ by MEZZO” began to play. Why did I come here? he thought to himself. He knew the answer, but he wished that he didn’t have to admit it.


A few days later, IDOLiSH7 and TRIGGER were working together. They were to greet each other at their dressing rooms for the basic formalities.

“Aren’t you looking forward to greeting their manager more than IDOLiSH7?” Tenn mocked as he cast his gaze towards Gaku.

Gaku laughed derisively as he trailed behind Tenn, deciding to tease him back playfully. “Tenn, aren’t you looking forward to greeting Riku more than IDOLiSH7?”

"You—"

“Guys! Stop fighting!” Ryuunosuke wailed, pushing them apart as he sighed. “Let’s just go and greet them without fighting, ok?”

“Yes Ryuu,” Tenn commented, sarcasm dripping from each of his words as he opened the door.

In front of him was IDOLiSH7 with Riku at the front, hand raised as if he were about to knock on their door. He beamed, and waved energetically, “Hello Kujou-san!”

Kujou-san… Tenn thought. With that, he saw Riku turn to face Izumi Iori, grinning brightly. “See that Iori? I was able to pull it off!”

“Yes, yes, with many days of practice, you could finally say Kujou-san. So cool, Nanase-san,” Iori replied sarcastically.

Riku gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly, “Grr…”

“Now, now, don’t fight,” Sougo interjected nervously. “We came here to greet TRIGGER remember?”

Tenn continued to gaze forward. Riku found a new place that he belonged to, and it was no longer by ‘ Tenn-nii ’s side. It was next to IDOLiSH7.

Nanase Tenn made a decision five years ago to leave his family to benefit Riku and his parents. It wasn’t something he could undo. Kujou Tenn abandoned Nanase Tenn a long time ago. He could no longer afford to be lonely.

With that, he smiled calmly. “Good afternoon, Nanase Riku of IDOLiSH7.”

Chapter Text

Whenever Nanase Riku thought back on the past, there was always one memory that he would recall vividly. It was when he had been thirteen years old and his older twin brother, Tenn, was still by his side. They’d been gazing together at the notice of closure on their family’s shop, whilst Riku cried - mourning for the loss of their parents’ hard work and joint efforts.

A mysterious man had appeared, declaring that he wanted Nanase Tenn. Riku had grasped Tenn’s hand loosely, waiting for him to say that it would be fine - waiting for him to say he refused to go with the strange man. However, Tenn’s hand was pulled back from Riku’s grasp as he headed over to the strange man and instead, took their hand instead of Riku’s. He felt miserable, crestfallen, and most of all, betrayed. His chest tightened as oxygen failed to travel into his lungs, causing an attack.

Afterwards, Riku spent countless nights in the hospital, and in tears from the stress that came from the departure of Tenn. He was lonely.

There would be no more drawings with ketchup on their omelet rice. Tenn wouldn’t be singing for him anymore. They wouldn’t be sitting next to each other on the dining table. They wouldn’t be huddling together in the same bed in an attempt to keep warm during the winter. ‘Nanase Tenn’ was no more. On that night, he had taken away to a far place that Riku would never be able to reach.


Riku shot upwards as he awoke breathlessly. He recalled that night again. He wiped away his forehead sweat with the back of his hand and groggily headed over to the door. His body felt heavy from the nightmare he had just experienced. Hopefully, it would disappear the moment he washed his face. He headed over to the bathroom and splashed the droplets of water onto himself.

He shivered slightly from the coldness of it all and dried his face. After he brushed his teeth, he headed over to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Before Iori would head off to school, they would have had their daily practice together. It was silly, yet necessary nonetheless to ensure that Tenn and Riku weren’t called out as twins.

Riku sat across Iori, shifting uncomfortably in silence until Iori sighed in exasperation. “Nanase-san, we aren’t going to get anywhere if you remain silent.”

“T-That’s— Well, I’m not trying to be quiet on purpose!” Riku complained in his defense and fiddled with his fingers nervously, “I mean… imagine if you couldn’t call Mitsuki ‘nii-san’ anymore…”

“When you put it that way, then yes, I might find it to be very difficult, but I would try adapting as soon as possible in order to not trouble nii-san. Practice with that thought in mind. If you call Kujou-san as ‘Tenn-nii’, think of the consequences - how it might sabotage both of your idol careers.”

Riku frowned. Iori did have a point, but he didn’t need to phrase it so rudely. Couldn’t Iori have been nice for once? It appeared as though kindness was an aspect forgotten by him. He sighed, and inhaled sharply, determined to get it right the first time. “Tenn— I mean, Kujou-san!”

“Again,” Iori demanded.

“Te— Kujou-san!”

“Again.”

“Nii— Kujou-san!”

“Again.”

“Kujou-san!”

Riku felt mentally exhausted from trying so hard in such a simple task. Iori had folded his arms across his chest, sighing in exasperation. “Nanase-san, you still have a long way to go. You got it wrong three times. Three times, Nanase-san. I shudder to think of how many times you’ll screw up in front of the person themselves. For example…”

Iori paused, and rummaged through his school bag. With that, he extracted a poster and held it in front of Riku, who recoiled back with surprise. In the centre was… “Tenn-ni—”

“And there we have it,” Iori interrupted, and sighed as he rolled up the poster. With it, he smacked Riku over the head, who grumbled in annoyance. “Nanase-san. You are continuously failing at this practice. The moment you see Kujou-san, you instantly revert back to calling him ‘Tenn-nii’.”

“But I’m trying my best!” Riku wailed, “Iori, you’re so obtuse!”

“Nanase-sa—”

Despite Iori calling out for him, Riku ran out the door and slammed Iori’s door shut, returning straight back to his room and closed the door behind him. He plopped onto his bed, and pulled his blanket over himself. He was trying his best. Why couldn’t Iori understand? How was he supposed to change so quickly?

He didn’t spend countless nights crying out for ‘ Kujou-san ’, but ‘ Tenn-nii ’. He’d spent more than 18 years of his life calling him the latter after all. How could he change a habit that he was so used to? It was like asking Iori to abandon Mitsuki. There was no way he would do that. Iori would probably get angry if he was requested to do so.

Riku sighed, and tucked in his knees, burying his face onto them. He was trying his best, yet he knew that somewhere within him, he couldn’t abandon the ‘ Tenn-nii ’ that he had always cried out for as a child. He heard a knock at his door, with a voice calling out for him.

“Nanase-san. I want you to know that we’re doing this practice for the better of IDOLiSH7 and TRIGGER,” Iori said.

“I know!” Riku exclaimed from his bed and headed over to the door. “I know… it’s just that I… without saying Tenn-nii, it doesn’t feel like there’s a connection between us. Iori, you’ll always have Mitsuki by your side...”

“...Nanase-san, that’s where you’re wrong.”

Riku blinked, and opened his door to reveal a melancholic Iori. Iori closed his eyes and tossed his head to the side, almost as if to disregard his previous statement. “Nanase-san, let’s practice again.”

Riku nodded obediently, deciding not to inquire about what Iori had meant. It was inaudible, but he murmured an apology.


It was a few days later that IDOLiSH7 and TRIGGER would’ve been working closely together. Tsumugi had requested them to greet the members, while she would’ve visited Anesagi Kaoru. They did so obediently, heading over to TRIGGER’s dressing room.

Riku raised his fist, and felt as though he would shrink under Iori’s gaze that had been directed at him so intensely. He prepared himself to knock on the door, although it had opened before he had done so to reveal Tenn. Riku beamed, and waved to him energetically, creating a little bit of distance between the two.

“Hello, Kujou-san!” he exclaimed. With that, Riku felt a personal sense of accomplishment for getting it right. He turned to face Iori, grinning broadly. “See that Iori? I was able to pull it off!”

Iori replied sarcastically, as a cheeky smile played on his lips. “Yes, yes, with many days of practice, you could finally say Kujou-san. So cool Nanase-san.”

Riku clenched his fists and pouted. He had tried so hard to please Iori, and to finally get it right yet he wasn’t met with praise. He gritted his teeth, grumbling under his breath. “Grr…”

Suddenly, Sougo pushed the both of them away from each other to prevent a dispute from occurring, especially since they were in front of TRIGGER. It would’ve been inappropriate for them to argue right now.

“Now, now, don’t fight,” Sougo interrupted shyly. “We came here to greet TRIGGER, remember?”

Riku nodded obediently, deciding that he would relent to Sougo. Sougo was far nicer than Iori. With that, he unclenched his fists, deciding that he didn’t need to be so worked up over Iori not praising him - even if it was incredibly frustrating.

Riku couldn’t help but wonder if Tenn was proud of him for not screwing it up, yet there was no trace of that. After all, why should he have been proud? Tenn had already mastered calling him ‘Nanase Riku’ instantaneously. Tenn was a true professional, it seemed as though he hadn’t even been lonely - that the only person who spent countless nights crying was just Riku. Alas, Riku finally observed Tenn parting his lips to speak as he smiled at Riku calmly.

“Good afternoon, Nanase Riku of IDOLiSH7.”

Chapter Text

Ever since Iori was scouted that day by Takanashi Productions, he knew he had to impose the condition of Mitsuki debuting if they wanted him to debut. For as long as Iori remembered, he didn’t have a dream, or rather his dream was to fulfil Mitsuki’s dream which was to become an idol just like Zero.

If Iori could’ve helped him accomplish that, then he would do so without hesitation. It was a surprise to see that they were going to debut with several others; Nikaidou Yamato, Yotsuba Tamaki, Osaka Sougo, Rokuya Nagi, and Nanase Riku.

Each of them had unique aspects, including himself and Mitsuki. He was happy that Mitsuki was finally on his way to achieving his dream.

He should’ve been satisfied with just that, yet… things were slightly different now.

Ever since the formation of IDOLiSH7, everything changed.

Rather than Izumi Iori, and Izumi Mitsuki, it gradually separated into two as they drifted slightly apart. Nanase Riku and Iori. Rokuya Nagi and Mitsuki.

Iori ate the chestnut on top of his Mont Blanc in relish, and smiled sweetly as he savoured the taste of it. He had taken a Mont Blanc from their family bakery and had consumed it the moment he returned home from school.

It was even more delicious, considering Riku wasn’t here to bother him. He’d never forget the last time when they went to ‘ fonte chocolat ’ and Riku had eaten his favourite part right in front of him. He had taken the chestnut and plopped it in his mouth mercilessly with Iori exclaiming out in shock and horror. He had always saved the best part until last, yet it seemed as though Riku had completely disregarded that fact.

He headed over to the kitchen bench and threw the wrapper around the Mont Blanc in the bin and washed his cutlery. He heard something drop onto the floor and he turned to see Yamato bending down to pick up a fallen beer can.

“Nikaidou-san,” Iori chided, “Make sure to clean up the spill.”

“Don’t worry Ichi,” he grinned, “This one’s finished. Poor onii-san ran out of beer. I’m so upset.”

“Then please throw out your trash responsibly.”

“Ichi you’re so harsh. I’m going to go to the convenience store. Can you ask everyone what they want?”

Iori sighed, and wondered if Yamato had any regard for his schedule whatsoever. He was reluctant as he already had plans to study. Although Yamato had an expectant gaze on him. He gave in, and decided to do so - it shouldn’t have been too time-consuming.

With that, he headed over to Tamaki’s room and knocked on the door. “Yotsuba-san, Nikaidou-san is—”

“Ah crap! I died again!” his voice yelled out. 

Iori sighed in exasperation, and safely assumed that Tamaki was engrossed in some game of his. “I’m coming in,” he said and opened the door instantly, stepping inside.

He cringed at the dimly room. Each step would’ve been a wary one as snack crumbs had been scattered across the room, while empty king pudding jars and plastic wrappers were across the entire floor. Meanwhile, his clothes had been draped lazily across his bed. Iori began to have a glimpse of the struggles that Sougo went through.

“Yotsuba-san,” Iori started, “Nikaidou-san is going to go to the convenience store. Is there anything you want?”

“King Pudding!” he exclaimed.

“If you clean your room, I’ll ask Nikaidou-san to get you two King Pudding.”

“Huh…? Only two?” Tamaki groaned as he stole a glance at the condition of his room.

“Three.”

“Five.”

“Please don’t be so picky,” Iori sighed, “The maximum I can offer is three. Think of your other reward as relieving Osaka-san of some of his stress in taking care of you.”

Tamaki paused and cupped his chin. “For Sou-chan… alright. I’ll do it, but I want three King Pudding.”

With that, he made the victory signs with his hands as he smiled lazily. Iori decided that he’d convince Yamato to buy three somehow. He didn’t need a sulky Tamaki after all. He turned on his heel and left for Sougo’s room. He knocked on Sougo’s room to see that there was no reply. This was rare. Usually Sougo had instantly opened the door. He tried again but to no avail.

“Osaka-san? I’m coming in,” he said warily and opened the door. He was hoping that he wouldn’t see him collapsed on the floor in pain.

He breathed a sigh of relief to see Sougo laying on his stomach on his bed peacefully. He was humming an unfamiliar tune, headphones donned over his head. Although he had instantly taken them off the moment he saw Iori and paused the music.

“Iori-kun? Is there something wrong?” he said. Concern lined each of the words he spoke as he quickly shifted into a position where he’d been sitting up.

“No,” Iori replied quickly, “I was knocking on your door, but you didn’t reply so I came in, worried about you…”

Sougo chuckled shyly, “Sorry, I was listening to music. Looks like we were both worried about each other, huh? What did you need me for?”

“Nikaidou-san is going to the convenience store,” Iori started. “Is there anything you need?”

“Then… Tabasco sauce please,” he replied until drawing the outline in the air with his hands. “It looks like this, and it’s a red bottle.”

“Got it.”

“Thank you for your hard work Iori-kun,” Sougo called out as Iori began to leave.

“Of course.”

Afterwards, he headed over to Riku’s room and knocked on the door. For a moment, Iori heard something fall, then it clattered onto the floor with Riku’s short exclamation after. A little while after, the door swung open to reveal an exhausted looking Riku.

“Ah, Iori!” he beamed, “What’s up?”

Iori wondered if he should’ve questioned what was going on in there prior to Riku opening the door. He decided not to say anything, and continued onto the main topic. “Nikaidou-san is going to the convenience store. Is there anything you want?”

“Hmm… warm tea then! I’d like it for my throat.”

“Got it.”

With that, Riku waved and closed the door, with Iori heading off to Nagi’s room. He knocked on the door to receive no reply. Iori sighed, wondering why this was such a common occurrence today.

“I’m coming in,” he called out and opened the door. “Rokuya—”

He paused. Nagi wasn’t in his room. Did he go out? He didn’t recall seeing him go out. Although he closed the door hesitantly, and glanced around curiously. Nagi wasn’t in the living room, or in the kitchen. He decided he would go to Mitsuki’s room first, and then check if Nagi’s shoes were at the entrance.

As he headed over there, Iori heard a loud exclamation of Mitsuki’s voice. “I’m not going to put on the skirt!”

OH … but Mitsuki—!”

Iori turned on his heel to face the source of the sound. Mitsuki’s room. For some reason, he found himself hesitating to knock on the door. He gulped. He brushed off the strange feeling within his chest and rapped his knuckles onto the door.

With that, the door instantly opened to reveal Nagi who had beamed. He felt a pang of agony strike him. Before it would’ve been him and Mitsuki together - looking through recipe books in the kitchen, enjoying sweets together or listening to Zero’s music.

“It’s Iori!” Nagi exclaimed, interrupting Iori’s train of thought with Mitsuki to popping his head out the door.

Mitsuki beamed upon seeing Iori. “Oh, it’s Iori! What’s up?”

“Nikaidou-san is going to the convenience store. Is there anything you want?” Iori inquired.

“Oh… then, a sports drink for me,” Mitsuki replied.

“And mineral water for me!” Nagi piped in.

With that, Iori returned back to Yamato to deliver what everything had wanted. When he returned to the living room, Yamato wasn’t there. He glanced around curiously to see the older man at the entrance instead. He’d already been wearing his shoes.

“Ah, Ichi, you’re back. I was just preparing to go out.”

“Well, there’s warm tea, Tabasco sauce, mineral water, sports drink, and three King Pudding.”

“...Three? Onii-san thinks that Tama can live with just one,” Yamato chuckled, “You don’t want anything Ichi?”

“Then please think of mine as an addition to Tamaki’s and get King Pudding.”

Yamato hummed in thought curiously until he smiled a little awkwardly. “I don’t think I can remember all of that.  Can you come with me?”

“Then I can write it down for you,” Iori offered. He had plans to study.

“Onii-san wants a high school boy’s company.”

He sighed in exasperation as Yamato offered Iori’s outdoor shoes to him.

“Fine, but just this once. Don’t expect me to relent the next time,” Iori groaned.

Yamato grinned victoriously, almost as if he’d won a tough battle, then the both of them set off.

When they were at the convenience store, Iori’s eyes were instantly drawn to the poster of being able to get a free limited-time Usamimi friends phone strap for spending more than 1,000 yen.

“Cute, right?” Yamato all of a sudden said, appearing behind Iori.

He jumped slightly from the shock and instantly tore his gaze away from the poster. “Yes, but it’s not something to my tastes,” Iori said quickly.

“Really? You were staring so intensely at it that I thought you’d tear the poster off the wall and keep it,” Yamato chuckled.

“Don’t be so absurd!” he snapped.

Yamato laughed as he took Tabasco sauce from a rack close by and asked Iori to hold it. They moved to the counter and bought each of the items, only for Iori to pause as they only spent 840 yen. It wasn’t like he wanted the charm. He really didn’t. Although it was just 160 more yen and they’d get it.

“Hey Ichi, can you go get us another King Pudding?”

“Sure,” he replied and headed off to grab another. He returned with it and Yamato smiled.

“With this, we’re spending 1040 yen. Satisfied?”

Iori flushed, and wondered if it had shown on his face. He tossed his head to the side and crossed his arms. “I told you I didn’t want it,” he huffed, “Although if you have the intention of getting it, then I wouldn’t mind taking it. It’s good to recycle after all.”

“Yes, yes,” Yamato teased, “Although I guess we bought Tama’s three King puddings. If you really don’t want it, maybe I’ll give it to Mitsu. It’ll fit his cute image.”

“Please don’t try to change nii-san’s image, he’s trying to sell himself as the him that’s full of vigor—” Iori stated until he paused, beginning to realise his own hypocrisy.

Before Mitsuki’s debut. He had done the same. He tried to persuade Mitsuki to change himself - appeal more as someone cute and to take advantage of his short stature. Maybe then it would work out that way. However, that sparked an argument between the two of them.

Mitsuki disagreed strongly, telling him that although he wanted to debut as an idol, he wouldn’t fake his personality to do it. He told snapped at him, saying that Iori should’ve just minded his own business, rather than Mitsuki’s. He recalled that argument so vividly. His brother had returned home from failing an audition, then like a fool, Iori had approached him with the idea.

He loved his brother as who he was. Why did he think it was a good idea to suggest that he change himself? Now that he looked back on it, it was so incredibly frustrating, and excruciatingly painful. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly, feeling pain as his short nails dig into his palms.

“Ichi, is something wrong?” Yamato said, “I was calling out to you but you weren’t responding.”

“That’s— well, I… it’s none of your concern Nikaidou-san,” Iori dismissed quickly, “Although thank you for worrying about me.”

“Can’t you depend on this onii-san? He’s feeling a bit heartbroken right now,” Yamato replied, “Even if I might seem unreliable.”

Iori hesitated. He wasn’t used to confiding in others. He was the perfect high school student that was supposed to excel at everything. People leaned and depended on him, not the other way around. However, his body had already done the speaking for him.

“If… if someone told you go change yourself to be successful,” Iori began reluctantly, “How would you feel?”

“Hmm…” Yamato hummed, until he chuckled a little awkwardly. “I’m an actor, so I have to change myself to be successful.”

“I-I see…” he replied.

“But…” Yamato continued, “If we’re talking about Mitsu, then if I were him and my cute little brother told me to change myself, I’d feel hurt. I thought he’d root for me to continue being myself to be successful.”

Iori frowned. Of course Mitsuki would feel that way. There was no way he was the brother that Mitsuki wanted. Iori told Mitsuki to change himself, hurt him, didn’t allow himself to be spoiled and wasn’t cute at all. Was he even good enough for Mitsuki? Truly, someone like Rokuya Nagi would’ve been better by Mitsuki’s side.

“Am I adequate enough to be beside nii-san?” Iori said, a tremor in his voice.

“I don’t know, why don’t you go talk to him?” Yamato said as they arrived back to their dormitory. “But you have a bond that nobody else can share with Mitsu.”

“And that’s…?”

Izumi Iori. Izumi Mitsuki,” Yamato grinned, “Isn’t it obvious?”

With that, Iori decided he’d speak to Mitsuki. He’d ask if he was good enough for him, ask if he was worthy to stand by Mitsuki. He inhaled sharply and rapped his fist on his brother’s door then opened it confidently. However, his resolve was crushed as quickly as it had been strengthened. There sat Rokuya Nagi with his brother.

Ever since the formation of IDOLiSH7, everything changed. Iori was well aware of that. He should’ve known it best. The new bonds that were formed and strengthened, where the older ones could’ve withered away. The same applies to Nanase Riku and Kujou Tenn. Twins, yet they were hardly close to each other.

“I… I’m home,” Iori mumbled, “I went out with Nikaidou-san to buy the stuff at the convenience store. We have your sports drink and mineral water. That’s all.”

With that, Iori nimbly closed the door and headed back to his room. He shut the door behind him and returned himself to his bed. It was truly incredibly frustrating. He wasn’t a brocon. He just loved his brother. It was something completely natural.

He didn’t know how much time had passed, but a knock echoed within his room. He brought himself upwards and headed over to the door. He opened it to reveal his older brother and almost recoiled backwards from the surprise. He had expected Mitsuki to be with Nagi.

“Nii-san?” he started, “What’re you… why are you here?”

Mitsuki chuckled and tilted his head to the side inquisitively. “You mean I’m not allowed to visit my little brother’s room? I wanted to see you, and Nagi did this really weird thing too! He said ‘ Magical Kokona can wait, this matter cannot ’ then went back to his room. Strange, right?”

Iori secretly thanked Nagi. He had been given this opportunity, and he wanted to say something. Anything to his brother. Was it alright for him to be a little selfish? Allow himself to be returned back to the olden days as a child and he spoiled by Mitsuki for a moment?

Rather than Nanase Riku and Iori, and Rokuya Nagi and Mitsuki… he wanted it to be Izumi Iori and Izumi Mitsuki again. For just a single moment, and that would’ve been fine.

Iori stepped to the side, and smiled gingerly as he invited Mitsuki into his room. He’d say something.

Once and for all.

After that, he would be himself again, no longer weighed down by a brother’s loneliness.

“Nii-san… can we talk?”

Chapter Text

Things gradually became different when Iori outgrew Mitsuki, and the latter was well aware of that. His beloved little brother had changed throughout the passage of time in many ways, but Mitsuki still loved him regardless.

Even if Iori didn’t allow himself to be spoiled, he was still adorable. The way how he couldn’t express himself properly was cute, how he was always hardworking was cool, and the way how he always excelled at everything was amazing. However it was slightly depressing, or rather that had been an understatement.

It felt like Iori had been growing up quickly, and had slowly been leaving him behind. Strangely enough… when that thought occurred to him, Mitsuki felt incredibly lonely.


Mitsuki had been resting after one of his daily dance training sessions in his room. He plopped himself back onto his bed, and took out one of the photo albums he kept in one of his smaller shelves. He flipped it open and grinned as he gazed at the photos of his family, his parents and the younger Iori. It all felt incredibly nostalgic.

His brother was adorable. He still recalled the days when Iori was shorter than him. They shared many cute memories together. One of his favourites was when he had tickled Iori continuously since it was so entertaining, but he did it so excessively that the end result was Iori crying and he’d been practically begging for Mitsuki to stop. Iori was incredibly ticklish after all, he was full of weaknesses.

He smiled awkwardly, and guessed that Iori would squirm uncomfortably if Mitsuki were to do it again. He had tried hard to maintain his cool and composed image after all.

He plopped his chin onto his palm as he flipped through the album with growing fondness. Suddenly, he heard several knocks on the door and instantly brought himself upwards. He stumbled and clumsily shoved the photo album back into his shelf. With that, he opened his door to greet Rokuya Nagi.

Mitsuki grinned. He liked Nagi. Since Iori never allowed himself to be spoiled, it felt somehow refreshing to spoil someone once in a while, and that person was Nagi. Sometimes, Nagi had decided he would string Mitsuki along with his shenanigans, and today must’ve been one of those days. After all, Nagi had been hiding something behind his back, and was beaming positively. His sapphire blue irises had been glistening. Nagi had invited himself into his room, and Mitsuki closed the door behind his intruder - or rather, his visitor.

Nagi often did swing by Mitsuki’s room to watch Magical Kokona on his TV, yet Mitsuki was hoping that today wasn’t going to be another one of those days. Alas, Nagi revealed what he’d been hiding behind him - Magical Kokona’s outfit.

“Mitsuki! Look! Isn’t it beautiful?!” he exclaimed, “I ordered it online and it’s amazing ! Together with my magical stick, it’s the perfect pair!”

Mitsuki blinked until grinning. Nagi seemed so happy that it was adorable. However, that feeling quickly disappeared as Nagi spoke his next words. “Mitsuki… I want you to wear this.”

Mitsuki’s grin was instantly replaced by a frown as he stared blankly at Nagi. He was hoping Nagi wasn’t serious, but all things considered… he definitely was and that expression said it all. He sighed, and stole a glance at the dress. There was no way he was going to wear that.

“I don’t want to put it on,” he said.

“Please Mitsuki!” Nagi protested as he clasped his hands together, “Everyone else is too broad to fit this!”

“Are you telling me indirectly that I’m small?!” Mitsuki exclaimed.

OH! I think it’s very direct though…”

Mitsuki grumbled. Putting on a skirt and damaging his pride wasn’t a hit he was willing to take, even for Nagi. He’d only do it for work… and some special occasions, like the time he had to dress up as the heroine in ‘ Nemesis ’ when they celebrated Yamato’s birthday. Other than that, he refused.

No !” he said blatantly.

“You’d look wonderful in it though…” Nagi said, in an attempt to persuade Mitsuki once again.

Mitsuki puffed his cheeks outwards, and hoped Nagi would give up. He’d never put it on, no matter how much Nagi wanted him to. “I’m not going to put on the skirt!”

OH… but Mitsuki,” Nagi exclaimed until suddenly lowering his voice as he gazed at the outfit. “Think of how nice it would look on you…”

“Well, I—”

All of a sudden, a knock resounded throughout the room. Instantly, Mitsuki felt victorious as if he had just won a long battle. After all, a distraction had appeared - he could’ve used it as an excuse to not wear the dress. He headed over to open the door, yet Nagi was already on his way - hand on the doorknob and opened it himself rather than Mitsuki.

“It’s Iori!” Nagi exclaimed.

Mitsuki could feel himself grinning for some reason. Maybe it was because he was just recently thinking about Iori, and then he was visited by him. Mitsuki felt strangely giddy. Maybe Iori wanted to hang out with his older brother again? He shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up, yet he couldn’t wipe the grin off his face as he headed over quickly to greet his brother. He attempted to feign his usual personality, yet he knew he was still beaming to some degree.

“Oh, it’s Iori! What’s up?”

“Nikaidou-san is going to the convenience store. Is there anything you want?” Iori started.

Mitsuki sighed mentally. Of course he’d gotten his hopes up. He smiled gingerly, feeling more than just a little disappointed. He sincerely hoped that it didn’t show on his face, and that he was still smiling. “Oh… then, a sports drink for me.”

“And mineral water for me!” Nagi chimed in.

With that, Iori nodded and left. Mitsuki frowned as he closed the door and felt deflated. He was well aware of the fact that many things had changed with the formation of IDOLiSH7. Gradually, it felt as though Iori began to enjoy the company of Tamaki and Riku’s more than his. Perhaps it was because they were around the same age. He missed the times when he was able to spoil Iori when they were younger.

He reminisced of when he used to read fairytales to Iori so that he would be able to sleep peacefully. He recalled when they travelled to an amusement park together and went on the teacups. He remembered the times when he went to school and Iori was still young - Iori would start crying and call out for Mitsuki, telling him not to go to school since he’d be lonely.

Now… it seemed as though the only person that was lonely was Mitsuki.

He could feel tears threatening to fall from his eyes and he clenched his fists tightly. With age, it seemed as though his tear glands had been getting weaker. 

“Mitsuki…” Nagi breathed, until he beamed. “Let’s watch the box set of Magical Kokona together! I’ll go get it right now!”

With that, he dashed off quickly with no room for complaints. Mitsuki smiled bashfully. He couldn’t believe someone younger than him was trying to cheer him up, with Magical Kokona too. He couldn’t help but laugh at the prospect and guessed Nagi’s attempt was successful. Nagi returned almost instantly with his box set, and what he dubbed as his ‘magical stick’.

Yay! Let’s go!” he exclaimed as he began to take out the CD. “Magical Kokona with Mitsuki!”

Mitsuki chuckled at how hyper Nagi had appeared to be. He inhaled calmly and spoke. “Nagi.”

Nagi turned to face him and Mitsuki smiled shyly. He felt a strange sense of accomplishment that Nagi valued the members of IDOLiSH7 more than Magical Kokona. After all, Nagi’s full attention was on him, rather than the theme song of Magical Kokona playing in the background. “Yes Mitsuki?” Nagi said.

“...Thank you.”

No problem ! We’re friends after all. When you’re upset, I am also upset. When you are happy, I’m also happy… so smile Mitsuki!”

“Aren’t I already smiling?”

Yes!

With that, Nagi threw himself onto Mitsuki and hugged him tightly. Mitsuki flinched from the sudden tackle and reciprocated the gesture awkwardly. He knew that people from Northmarea were very direct with their public displays of affection. Nagi said so before, and he was a prime example of it after all.

Thinking of that made him remember the time he had kissed the manager’s hand, and the many times he’d kissed her on the cheek. As the realisation hit him, he paled and mentally prayed that the president, Otoharu, never found out about those occurrences.


Nagi and Mitsuki were about two episodes in when they both heard a sudden knock at the door. Mitsuki raised himself in an attempt to open it, but the door had already burst open to reveal his younger brother. He appeared determined yet that face expression disappeared in an instant. All of a sudden, it was replaced by a frown.

Mitsuki wondered if he was seeing things considering how quickly his facial expression had changed, yet… he felt as though Iori was about to say something but stopped himself. Was he really that unreliable that Iori would stop himself from speaking? Just the very thought of it was painful, and incredibly lonely.

“I… I’m home,” Iori said quickly. “I went out with Nikaidou-san to buy the stuff at the convenience store. We have your sports drink and mineral water. That’s all.”

With that, Iori closed the door and left them. There wasn’t even enough time for Mitsuki to say ‘ Welcome home ’. The moment had gone just as soon as it had come. He was tempted to chase after Iori and ask him what was wrong. Maybe then… Mitsuki would finally be able to play the role of a big brother again and spoil Iori just once in a while. Although he’d already been preoccupied with Nagi since they were watching Magical Kokona together.

However, Nagi suddenly picked up the remote control and turned off the TV. To his surprise, Nagi gradually began to pack away his things as he took out the CD and returned it back to his box set. With that, he turned back to face Mitsuki. Nagi picked up his magical stick and all of a sudden thrust it in front of Mitsuki. It was barely a few centimetres away from his face.

It felt like that one time when Mitsuki confronted Nagi and threatened to throw away all of his things, until the latter finally confided with Mitsuki about how everyone in IDOLiSH7 was his first friends. Although it seemed as though the roles had changed, with Mitsuki being the one that was confronted.

“Mitsuki,” Nagi started, until he continued. “Magical Kokona can wait. This matter cannot. Your mind is somewhere else right now… go there.”

Mitsuki was stunned at the sudden confrontation. However, he was being encouraged to go to Iori. How come it seemed like Nagi was constantly reading his mind today? Or was he that easy to read? Cheering him up when he was depressed, and now he urged him to go see Iori. He steeled his resolve and clenched his fists tightly. He nodded and instantly brought himself upwards and dashed over to Iori’s room. He knocked on the door.

A little while later, the door opened to reveal Iori who had instantly worn a surprised expression. “Nii-san? What’re you… why are you here?”

There was a tone of confusion within Iori’s voice and Mitsuki had no idea why, yet he felt a little upset. It almost seemed like Iori didn’t want him to be here. Despite that, he chuckled a little and tilted his head to the side inquisitively.

“You mean I’m not allowed to visit my little brother’s room? I wanted to see you,” he stated, and continued quickly before Iori could interrupt him. As for the reason for why he came, he’d have to mention Nagi. “And Nagi did this really weird thing too! He said ‘ Magical Kokona can wait, this matter cannot ’ then went back to his room. Strange, right?”

On the surface, Mitsuki said it was strange but he was grateful to Nagi. He had opened up an opportunity for them to speak properly to each other again. Iori remained silent, and he felt slightly anxious. Was he going to be turned away? Despite that thought, Iori suddenly stepped to the side and smiled calmly. He gestured for Mitsuki to enter the room. He felt relieved that he wasn’t rejected.

Being anxious… reminiscing about the olden days… he’d never have thought that a brother’s loneliness would’ve weighed him down this much, but today he’d clear his mind. He’d no longer be weighed down by that feeling. He’d talk to Iori, even if it took up the rest of the day. He parted his lips in an attempt to say something, yet Iori had already made the first move.

“Nii-san… can we talk?”

Chapter Text

It was a vivid memory that Tamaki would’ve always recalled. He’d been standing closeby to the entrance of the orphanage as Aya held the hands of two strangers - her foster family. He was supposed to be happy for her, but now he would’ve been alone. However, if Aya was happy, then he too wanted to try his best to be happy, but it was hard. Difficult would’ve been an understatement.

There would be no more memories of them sharing spoonfuls of King Pudding amongst one another. No more of him scooping his vegetables into her plate secretly. No memories of them snuggling together in the same bed in an attempt to keep warm during the winter. No more reminiscences of old memories when their mother was still alive.

That day, he didn’t even have the appetite to eat dinner, or King Pudding.


The news of Aya’s foster family turning bankrupt absolutely crushed him. Apparently Aya had also disappeared with that incident. His only family… gone . He couldn’t stop thinking about the day his mother collapsed in the kitchen. He called the ambulance instantly, and shook her continuously in an attempt to wake up.

However, with each second passing by, his mother’s warmth gradually faded and she continued to slumber, never to awaken again.

Everyone important to him was gradually going away. Disappearing. That day, he should’ve grabbed Aya’s hand and begged her to stay, regardless of how much the orphanage headmaster would’ve scolded him afterwards. If he was selfish, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened.

 

A few years later, he thought he was blessed with the greatest birthday gift in his whole life. Someone had told him that they found Aya. However, his hopes plummeted to the ground as they exclaimed ‘ April Fools ’ to him. It was nothing more than a joke. He was infuriated - furious that he had been tricked, exasperated that he was so gullible. To the point where he had picked a fight with them.

Although, a few years prior to that anyway, he had taken matters into his own hands. He was going to find Aya on his own. He had a time limit imposed on him. If he couldn’t find her… she wouldn’t be able to go to high school. That was something he wanted to avoid at all costs. He was going to find her with his own power, but how?

There was a solution that hit him later. He would go make an appearance on TV. If Aya saw his face, then maybe she’d seek him out for herself. That would’ve been perfect. It was his grandmaster plan… but with that answer, another question arose. How would he get on TV?


Being scouted by Takanashi Productions was a perfect opportunity. The moment the man had said he would be on TV, he instantly accepted to being an ‘idol’ even if he didn’t really understand what the old man was saying. The most important thing was being on TV. However, he soon found that he wasn’t going to be on TV until a while and time was running out. It was rapidly decreasing. They wouldn’t be debuting until a while. It was devastating.

Yaotome Productions offered him a deal to debut with them. He would instantly be on national TV. However, there was one condition that had to be met. It would’ve been him and Osaka Sougo together. Sougo was a man that he had met in IDOLiSH7. He was reluctant to let go of the bonds he had made and cherished with the others, but he was determined to do so.

First and foremost, Aya was the reason he debuted - it wasn’t his childhood dream like Mitsuki, and he certainly didn’t join to make new bonds. It was always Aya, and that fact never left his mind.

Despite that, Osaka Sougo refused to debut with Yaotome Productions. Sougo would’ve never understood him. He wasn’t burdened with anything. He lived a normal life, with a normal family and had a normal upbringing. Everything about Sougo was… normal . ‘Normal’ was nothing more than a pipe dream to Tamaki.

“Sou-chan, you don’t understand,” Tamaki snapped, “You don’t have to worry about anything. You’re normal.”

And I’m not , he added mentally, and that fact… was incredibly frustrating.

A few days later, Takanashi Productions decided that they would debut together as MEZZO”. He was relieved that he was on TV, yet Aya never contacted him once. She never searched for him. It was so lonely. He just wanted to hear her voice once again - to see her smile. Just once, and that would’ve sated his desires. He wanted to hear her laugh, to catch her in his arms, to take care of her again, for the both of them to share King Pudding again.

If not that… then just one second. One second would’ve been enough.


Soon enough, Tamaki found that he was becoming a burden to Osaka Sougo. Seeing Sougo enter his room, without sparing him a glance, reminded him of the day that Aya left him. Afterwards, Riku found him collapsed onto the ground. Sougo ended up getting a hole in his stomach from the stress that Tamaki had imposed on him. He was quickly taken away by the hospital. Watching the ambulance drive away instantly made him remember the day his mother had collapsed and was also taken away.

At this rate… everyone was going to disappear. They were going to slip through his grasp, like how water escaped through the cracks of a person’s fingertips.

It was revealed later that Osaka Sougo was the heir to FSC until he decided to leave and became disowned by his family. Alas, Tamaki felt like they finally became a true duo. MEZZO” finally got along well. He also gradually began to realise that he wasn’t alone here.

He had IDOLiSH7 by his side. He had the manager, Takanashi Tsumugi, the president - Otoharu,  Banri, TRIGGER and Re:vale by him. Although within him, he would never forget about Aya.

Chapter Text

Tamaki was enraged that Sougo thought of hiding the four leaf charm from him. Did he truly seem so careless? He wasn’t going to make the mistake of placing Aya above work again. He had truly began to treasure IDOLiSH7. He trusted Sougo, but it seemed as though the feeling wasn’t reciprocated. He was heartbroken, but at least he knew his sister was around somewhere.

Later, Tamaki soon found that Osaka Sougo being the heir to FSC was a miracle in disguise. It was surprising, but Sougo marched straight into a studio during a talk show belonging to TRIGGER, which was sponsored by FSC. He walked in, almost as if he owned the place - truly an example of the wealth and etiquette that had been grinded into him. He had gone straight up to the staff with the four leaf charm and a transcript for TRIGGER to read out, then demanded that they read it out loud during their live talk show.

“This is a message from your sponsor FSC,” Sougo declared, “Make TRIGGER read this out. If you don’t make them do it, you can expect your funding to be retracted.”

“What do you mean a message from the sponso—”

“You’re aware of Osaka Soushi, the president of FSC?” Sougo interrupted. “I’m Osaka Sougo. I’m sure you can see the resemblance.”

They instantly heeded those words. Minutes later, she was running towards him in tears. Yotsuba Aya. Finally, he’d seen her again. He opened his arms and she gladly threw herself into his open arms, sobbing onto him. She had gifted him with King Pudding, since the transcript had stated that Tamaki was sick. King Pudding was Tamaki’s cure-all since childhood. That was a fact that none other than Aya would’ve known.

He instantly suggested that they live together again. He had money from being an idol. He could afford her education and their meals. Together, they would be happy again. However, his fantasy was quickly crushed by reality as he refused his invitation.

Their time together was cut far too short when Kujou Tenn had appeared. “Aya?”

“Tenn-nii-chan?” she said.

Almost in an instant, she withdrew from Tamaki’s arms and headed over to Tenn. She’d been smiling brightly. So brightly that it was blinding. His heart ached as the truth gradually began to hit him as Tenn introduced Aya to everyone. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It was supposed to be his job to introduce Aya. He was to say that she was the sister that he’d been searching for so desperately, Yotsuba Aya.

Everything came crumbling down at her name. Kujou Aya. Kujou Tenn. This was drastically upsetting. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be Yotsuba Aya and Yotsuba Tamaki, yet he should’ve known. ‘ Normal ’ was nothing more than a pipe dream for Tamaki. However, at the same time, he was happy.

Yotsuba Aya— no, Kujou Aya was happy. She was happy with her new family.

One second was all he asked for after all, and he got it. Even if it didn’t meet his expectations. However… that reality changed suddenly the moment he realised what sort of person Kujou Takamasa was. He was determined to take back Aya. That resolve would never waver, as long as he was still alive.

Chapter Text

The reason as to why Tsunashi Ryuunosuke stood on stage was for TRIGGER… and for his family. He promised his family that he’d made enough money so that they could pay off his father’s debt from the time that he needed to buy a new boat. His father was a fisherman, so a boat was essential. It was like trying to ride a boat without oars… or fighting a war without a weapon.

Ryuunosuke would’ve never forgotten that day a few years ago when the dark clouds began to gather in the sky. A storm would’ve been coming soon, yet his father was still at sea somewhere. He rushed around the beaches of Okinawa in search for each of his little brothers. When he found them, he demanded that they return home due to the incoming storm. A few minutes later, it went from bad to worse.

The rain came down without warning, whilst the wind howled across Okinawa with many of the residents inside their homes… yet their father still hadn’t returned. Trees began to fall, with lightning mercilessly crashing down on the land and cutting off their only form of electricity. The lights flickered ominously until darkness enveloped their home.

It wasn’t until a few hours later that their father had returned home. He was exhausted and had nothing on him. The bucket of fish he’d usually have in the grasp of his hands was gone, and so was that happy smile that everyone cherished.

Usually, he’d been happy to return back home to see his family at least, yet only a crestfallen expression remained on his face. He embraced them all silently, and they didn’t discover their loss until the storm ended. Their boat was shipwrecked. The wood had ended up turning into nothing but useless, soaked planks that would snap under a person’s weight.

Everything changed on the day his father told them that he’d be taking out a debt to buy a new boat. Meals of sashimi gradually turned into ochazuke. Ryuunosuke barely got to see his little brothers as he went out and did labour to earn money to pay back their debt.

During his work, he had stumbled across a man. He wore glasses, while his hair was a darkened silver. He donned a white suit with a black undershirt. His very aura reeked of wealth. Ryuunosuke was called out to, and he headed over to the man shyly. He wondered what a stranger wanted with him.

The man invited him to a regional audition being held by Yaotome Productions where he’d be able to debut as an idol if he passed. As an idol, he was promised both fame and fortune. Ryuunosuke later discovered that ‘ Yaotome Productions ’ was in Tokyo, and the president was Yaotome Sousuke, the man that he had seen before. That meant if he wanted to debut, then he’d have to leave Okinawa. That meant he’d have to leave behind his little brothers and his father.

He was mentally challenged, especially since it would’ve been incredibly lonely in Tokyo. He wouldn’t know anyone there. Even so… he needed the money. He’d pay off their debt then return home when everything was done. He told his father decision and left.

 

That decision brought Ryuunosuke to where he was now. He never thought that he’d have found a part of himself in Tokyo, and that was TRIGGER. It was like he was meant to be a part of the trio. He was steadily earning money, and always sent a portion of it back home. He was busy everyday, so he wasn’t necessarily lonely. After all, he had Tenn and Gaku, as well as the others from IDOLiSH7 and Re:vale. Occasionally, Ryuunosuke found himself reminiscing back to the situation at home.

What were his brothers doing? Were they eating well? Were they healthy and still energetic as per usual? How was school for them? How was his father? How was the boat they bought? Was it seaworthy? They scraped together everything they had after all, but was it enough? Most of all…were they as lonely as he was? Did they think about him as much as he thought of them?

Ryuunosuke sighed wistfully as he hung his head sadly. It was lonely not being able to be by their sides, not being able to see them grow up, not being able to see how they were faring. He guessed it must’ve been the same for Tenn. He’d never seen Riku for five years until they faced off against each other on the stage as rivals.

Ryuunosuke stole a glance at Tenn. He’d been perfectly normal, straight-faced and always had a complete sense of professionalism. He didn’t allow his personal feelings to get in the way of his work, and it was respectable. Ryuunosuke was the oldest one in TRIGGER, yet it felt as though Tenn and Gaku were towering over him. He wished he could have maintained the same sense of professionalism and not let his personal feelings get in the way of his work. With that thought, he sighed once again.

“Ryuu,” Tenn started, resulting in a sudden interruption for Ryuunosuke’s train of thought. His pale pink irises gradually shifted to meet his own amber ones. With that, Tenn continued. “Stop sighing. As idols, it’s our job to sing and smile… even if the world is ending.”

“Sorry Tenn…” he sighed and paused, having realised that he just sighed again.

He resisted the urge to sigh in melancholy, considering Tenn’s intense gaze was on him. He cast his gaze downwards and felt like he wanted to shrink away from Tenn’s gaze.

“Oi, stop it Tenn,” Gaku interrupted, “Ryuu’s upset right now. Can’t you tell?”

“Of course I can tell,” Tenn shot back, “I’m just… worried.”

The last word felt like a whisper, and was almost barely audible. Ryuunosuke felt as though he had to strain his ears to hear him even though that wasn’t an actual thing. Although despite that, something warm had bubbled up within him.

“Well, your way of showing concern sucks ,” Gaku commented bluntly, “But we like how you’re honest and that you’re not afraid to say the things on your mind.”

Heh … is it just me or is Yaotome Gaku a more pleasant person than usual today?” Tenn teased as he poked fun at the older man. Before Gaku could voice his complaints, Tenn continued. “You liked the me that was honest and not afraid to say things on my mind, right?”

Gaku furrowed his brows in irritation. He parted his lips, obviously to retort what Tenn had said but he was quickly interrupted by Ryuunosuke. 

“Stop it, you guys!” he exclaimed.

Despite their argument, he felt shy that their argument had originally started out of concern for him. Ryuunosuke felt strangely bashful and scratched the back of his head awkwardly. They were worried about why he was so depressed. He wished they could’ve been more honest and friendly with each other, but it was better like this. It reminded him of his little brothers back at home. He truly guessed that Tenn and Gaku’s relationship fit the criteria of ‘ the more you fight, the closer you are ’. It was loud here and full of energy, but he knew that this atmosphere could never replicate his family back at Okinawa.

He was well aware of the fact that he was lonely and that he wanted to see his family, but TRIGGER was his priority. If they told him to quit TRIGGER, then he would instantly refuse. TRIGGER was his second family. As he recalled that fact, the warm feeling within his chest felt like it was going to overflow, and tears threatened to spill from his eyes. He had two families - one in Okinawa, and the other in Tokyo. He couldn’t believe he had forgotten something so important.

For his biological family in Okinawa, it was his responsibility as a big brother to make sure that they received the best they could get. He’d continue working as an idol to achieve that, but he yearned to hear their voices. With that thought in mind, Ryuunosuke sharply inhaled, and shouted out loud in his Okinawan dialect. “Alright!”

Gaku and Tenn wore puzzled expressions at the speech and watched Ryuunosuke swipe his phone off the desk. He couldn’t see his family physically just yet, but he’d make sure to hear them loud and clear.

He dialled the home phone number, and waited for the call to connect. Those mere seconds felt like a lifetime, and he couldn’t help but wonder why. He shrugged the thought off and smiled shyly as he heard the call connect. A strange wistful feeling seized his heart and he felt like running back home to see them, but he suppressed that urge. Perhaps the feeling had been rooted from a brother’s loneliness.

“Hey,” he breathed, and continued to speak in his Okinawan dialect. He wondered how he sounded. Was his voice able to convey that he missed them dearly? Did they think of him as much as he thought of them? Those questions would meet their answers soon enough. “It’s Ryuu-nii-san. How are you?”

Chapter Text

The light that shone on Re:vale that day disappeared, both literally and metaphorically. The moment the headlights came hurtling downwards towards Yuki, everything had ended. He had been quickly shoved aside by his co-star and friend, Banri. As a result, it scraped at the flesh on the side of his face and tore it off. In an instant, blood instantly began to gush outwards.

It had destroyed Orikasa Yukito and Oogami Banri, along with the original Re:vale.

The idol duo was on the verge of falling apart as Yuki contemplated on disbanding Re:vale. It was no longer ‘Yuki and Ban’ after all, but just ‘Yuki ’. Sunohara Momose knew he had to do something. Anything to stop them from disbanding. He and his sister, Ruri were hardcore fans of Re:vale. He didn’t want it to end now. Not yet.

He begged for Yuki to not disband Re:vale. Momo would be Banri’s temporary substitute for five years. If they could find Banri within that time span, then they would return him back to the stage.

 

Momose was well aware that there would be negativity and resistance surrounding them for a period of time, considering how the fans loved ‘Ban and Yuki ’, not ‘Momo and Yuki ’. The hatred that would spur from it was just another obstacle for the new, temporary Re:vale to face.

However, what was most unexpected was the reaction of Sonohara Ruri.

“What do you mean you’re debuting with Yuki as Momo?!” she spat out. “Momose, you can’t do that! It’s Ban-chan and Yuki, not Momo and Yuki!”

“Nee-chan, wait!” Momose exclaimed as he chased after her whilst she headed to her room, “I’m just Ban-chan’s temporary substitute. We’ll find him and bring him back to the stage. I promise—”

“This isn’t the original Re:vale that we loved,” she scowled bitterly.

With that, she entered her room and slammed the door shut, refusing to hear his pleas.


Momo found that it gradually felt as though his own home had become cold and desolate. Ruri refused to communicate with him, or even turn his way. Nothing but rejection had confronted him. She would leave the room if he had appeared, or if he tried speaking to her, she would’ve ignored him, unless necessary.

“Nee-chan, want breakfast?” Momo offered shyly as he saw Ruri emerge from her room.

He was hoping for something. Anything would’ve been ok. Just a simple ‘yes’ would suffice. However, she didn’t respond. Instead she only headed out the door with the usual ‘ I’m leaving’ . It always scared him. What if it meant ‘ I’m leaving you ’? That very thought sent a chill through him. It crept within him, and threatened to take him over, yet… despite all that, he forced himself to smile.

“Take care!” he called out after her retreating figure.

The door closed, and even though it lasted for only a moment, the sound of it closing had resounded with his mind. He sighed melancholically to himself. Ruri hadn’t been speaking to him at all.

There were none of Ruri’s usual invitations for him to come to her room so she could paint his nails. There wouldn’t be the both of them racing to the CD player when they wanted to listen to Re:vale’s album. He wouldn’t have been strung along to her shopping trips anymore. She didn’t come to his soccer practice games now.

Now, there was… nothing .


Momose entered the studio where Yuki would’ve awaited him in the recording room. However, Yuki had been humming to himself idly whilst waiting for Momose. As an original Re:vale fan, he instantly recognised the song; it was ‘ We, The Incomplete ’. It was his favourite song, and it was also the song that had ruined Re:vale since the light had fallen in the middle of that song. That melody instantly ceased as Yuki turned to see Momose.

“Momose…” Yuki started. He paused as he realised what he had said, and corrected himself, “Hello Momo.”

Momose could feel a warm feeling surging through his chest. It was like fan service but right in front of him. Never in a million years would he have imagined being this close to Re:vale’s Yuki.

Momose smiled shyly and uttered only a few words. “I love you Yuki.”

Yuki stared at Momose blankly and closed his eyes. As of late, he had been getting used to Momose’s strange and sudden displays of affection. He replied in a more friendly manner. “And I like you too Momo.”

Despite Yuki being right in front of him, Momose couldn’t help but feel depressed and anxious. The matter regarding his sister constantly weighed him down. At this rate, he wouldn’t be able to sing the songs that Yuki composed properly. He wanted to put his all into it and give his best performance for Yuki and the missing Banri, but his mind was somewhere else right now. It was going to be impossible to sing properly.

Momose took Yuki’s hand and his heart skipped a beat as he felt the slender fingertips and the natural coolness of Yuki’s hand. He cast his gaze to stare at Yuki. It was like a dream… being able to be so close to Yuki like this. He could touch him, breath the same air as him, yet… did he trade something in return for this company?

Five years with Yuki, versus his bond with Ruri. Momose wondered what was going on in his life. He would end up losing both of them. When Banri returned to the stage, he would go back to being a fan. Furthermore, that didn’t necessarily mean his relationship with his sister was going to be restored.

Suddenly, Momose felt a cool sensation run down his cheeks. It was so lonely. Incredibly lonely. No more meals with each other across the dining table. No more sessions of nail art together. No more of Ruri cheering for him during his soccer finals.

It was all different. This reality that he wasn’t used to… how should he have felt about it?

He was elated that the Orikasa Yukito was in front of him, but the bond of Sonohara Ruri and Momose had vanished.

At last, the tears began to fall from his eyes as the truth of reality hit him.

“I’m so lonely,” Momo whimpered. The words finally began to fall from his lips. “It’s not Yuki and Ban-chan, but Yuki and Momo. It’s not Ruri and Momose, but Ruri and Re:vale’s Momo.”

Yuki withdrew his hand that was being held by Momose, and wiped away Momose’s tears with the back of his hand. “Don’t worry. I’ll do something about this.”

A faint smile appeared on Momose’s lips at those simple words. Even if it was a lie, it still made him slightly happy. Momose was determined to find a way to maintain both his relationship with Ruri and Yuki.  There must’ve been a solution and he’d find it. He would restore those lost memories and ignite that relationship of siblings between them again. No matter the cost.

Until now, Sunohara Momose wasn’t aware that a brother’s loneliness would’ve felt this bad. He steeled his resolve and would’ve made sure to never feel this way again once he restored their bond.