Airu expected this, really. Well, he didn’t really expect it so much as realised it would be the sure outcome once everything happened. After all, who was going to believe that he’d travelled back in time to the earlier part of the 21st century, was stuck there, and happened to meet his parents and their band?
No one, that was the answer. Unfortunately.
Hell, it sounded crazy to his own ears, and he wasn’t surprised that his parents’ band was staring at him with wide eyes, and he noted that they’d taken a couple of steps back from him.
He should never, ever have meddled with the wrist teleporter, seriously. Sudden dematerializing from his own hotel room and to this dressing room was frankly terrifying, and of course he had to end up where his parents were. Not that they were even aware that they had a time-travelling son. He wasn’t even born yet.
“Okay, let me get this straight,” said Uncle Shou - well, just Shou, Airu supposed, calling him his uncle when he was technically maybe ten years older than him at the moment was weird.
“Uh huh?” Airu said hopefully.,
“You just… suddenly appeared right in the room. We all saw that and you’re clearly tangible and real, so it’s not some mass hallucination we’re having,” Shou said.
Well, that was a start.
Then Hiroto spoke up. “You’re telling us that you actually come from, what, twenty-something years in the future, time travelled, and got stuck here years ago. So you’ve been living here, and of course, you became a guitarist in your own band.”
“Yeah, that’s about right,” Airu said, offering a smile.
“And, you’re Tora and Saga’s son,” Nao said loudly, a smile slowly spreading on his face. “You know, I can believe that. I mean, you look almost identical to them! Except that… well..."
“Except that you’re way cooler than those two there,” Hiroto finished for him, gesturing at Dad and Papa, who looked shell-shocked, staring at him.
“Oh, well, I had good influences growing up,” Airu beamed at Hiroto, and smiled at Shou as well. “You two often took me out and got me fancy clothes all the time and taught me how to style myself. Uncle Nao - I mean, uh, Nao-san - would cook for me all the time, too, when we visited!”
“Holy shit, were we terrible parents? Tora, I’m a bad mother!” Papa suddenly whined, and Airu cringed.
The thing about growing up as the son of two of the most respected and famous musicians in the visual kei industry - going strong even in their forties and fifties - was that, despite how cool it was, it was also kind of weird. His fathers were amazing people, and he owed his guitar playing skills to them, but they could be weird.
For example, his Papa Saga had quite the dramatic flair, overreacting often to things. He liked acting like he was cynical and cool, but really, he was often quite strange and - to put it simple - pretty uncool.
Tora, on the other hand, was actually much more measured, and strict where Saga was carefree. He’d be pretty normal, actually, if he wasn’t also incredibly awkward and helpless at handling Airu as a kid, and made strange jokes and tried to be cool.
“No, no, you weren’t bad at all!” Airu assured him, and god, it was so weird looking at his own father so young in the flesh. He nearly felt like he was looking into a mirror. He continued quickly, “You are wonderful parents. And you love me very, very much. Just that, well… you’re kind of weird. Both of you. Sorry.”
“But we’re good parents?” Tora said hopefully.
“Yes, yes, of course. The best. I couldn’t ask for better,” Airu replied - and okay, despite all their flaws, they were truly fantastic people and amazing parents and he loved them. “I mean, you are pretty strange, but you’re my parents.”
There was silence for a few seconds, where Airu stared at his parents’ younger selves. He suddenly missed them, the ones he knew, bickering and laughing together at home. He wondered how they were doing.
“Can I ask you something?” Saga asked softly, voice going serious.
“Well… you sound like you were really happy there and all. And you’ve got, well, the older us. So why did you come here anyway? You didn’t say just how you got stuck,” Saga pointed out, frowning slightly.
"Yeah, well... There were time travel programs by then. You always told me so much about your careers that I wanted to see what it was like when you guys were starting and the progress of the industry. But... This thing wasn't working properly," Airu replied, pointing to his wrist teleporter. "When I wanted to go back after a couple of months, all it could do was move me around my room."
"And how are we doing in the future?" Tora asked.
"Still going strong, all of you. It's pretty amazing really. At least, when I left. And well... When I said that I wanted to take part in the time travel program, you were quite supportive. Always said that no matter what, I'd surely see you again..." Airu trailed off, and looked up. “And here I am! Of course! You knew.”
“How long have you been here?” Saga asked.
“Five, six years,” Airu replied quietly. “I’ve done well though. I’ve had help.”
“Help? From?” Shou asked.
“Well.... not long after I got stuck, I met this guy. Funny hat, seemed British or something, excellent Japanese. He knew at once I wasn’t from this time, and at first he tried helping me get back. But there was some problem. I just… couldn’t. His… spaceship, machine, whatever, it wouldn’t take me back when I was inside. So he helped me out by getting me documents and stuff. Also, we battled an alien which was lying in wait at a music store. That was pretty fun. Then he went back and… I started getting involved in the industry!” Airu explained cheerfully.
More stares. Was that a bit too much for them?
“You - you battled an alien?” Saga said, mouth gaping. “Oh my god, Tora, our son is so cool! But you weren’t hurt, were you? Didn’t get any spacey diseases?”
“He’s fine, obviously,” Tora said, though there was clear awe in his voice.
His parents thought he was cool. Awesome. Airu smirked a bit at that.
Then Nao piped up, “How come you didn’t show up earlier, though? Six years seems so long to meet your own parents.”
Airu shrugged. “It’s not like I could. I figured I should stay away in case I messed something up - paradoxes or something, according to the man I met. And it’s hard to meet you in person, you know! It’s not like we ever played in the same lives or anything.”
“That’s true. And out of the blue, here you are,” Hiroto grinned. “Fate, isn’t it?”
“Yeah… I was just missing Dad and Papa, actually, while trying to meddle a bit with the teleporter. I wanted to know if it was possible to move longer distances… and I guess I can, now,” Airu said brightly.
“That - that’s seriously cool. Can we try?” Tora said, clearly trying to suppress the excitement in his voice.
Airu shook his head. “It’s bound to me only, sorry. If you tried… well. Let’s just say I might cease to exist.”
“No way!” Saga exclaimed. “I want you to exist! You too, Tora!”
“Yes, yes, of course,” Tora said soothingly, patting Saga’s head.
That was actually both sweet and sickening. His parents were always affectionate. Sometimes loudly so. He was sometimes surprised he grew up so well adjusted. Sometimes.
And then his mobile phone rang, insistently so. He looked at the screen, frowning, and answered it.
“Hiro? What’s up?” Airu asked.
“Ne, Airu-kun, did you go out or something? I forgot to bring my phone’s charger, so I wanted to borrow yours. The rest are using their own and my phone’s running out really quickly. When are you coming back?” Hiro asked.
Airu fought a smile. “Ahh… I guess I’ll be leaving soon. I was meeting, uh, a couple of old friends,” he lied quickly. “I’ll see you later.”
“Okay then,” Hiro said cheerfully. “See you!”
Airu hung up, and faced the speculative smirks of his parents and uncles. “Well, don’t let us keep you,” Saga smirked.
“Go away, Papa,” Airu mumbled, fighting a blush, and said quickly, “But, well, in case you guys ever want to meet up again or something… I could give you my number.”
“Of course!” Tora said, handing over his phone. “And have a good time.”
“Shut up, Dad,” Airu replied with as much nonchalance as he could, as they exchanged numbers. “Well… I’ll see you soon.”
“Yes, definitely!” Saga beamed, looking at him with nothing short of love and reverence, as did Tora.
Airu very nearly wanted to cry. He really did miss his parents. Quickly, he waved them goodbye, before hitting a couple of buttons on the teleporter. He hoped he was going to end up in the right place this time.
He blinked, and then he was no longer in the dressing room, but in the hotel room. Excellent.
“AHHHHHH! AIRU-KUN!” Hiro’s voice yelled, sounding high pitched and terrified.
Airu slowly turned around, facing a very frightened bassist. He really hoped that wasn’t going to ruin any chances he had with him. Not that he was thinking about that. No way.
“How did you just suddenly appear out of nowhere?” Hiro squeaked.
Airu sighed deeply, before he began with a gentle smile, “So, Hiro-kun, ever heard of time and space travel?”