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Music Video!

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FILM STUDIO DRESSING ROOM

The girls are in their Don't Say Lazy outfits. Mugi is finishing her makeup, while Yui stands in front of a mirror trying out different poses. Sawako and the Director, a petite woman, stand off to one side going over the script.

YUI
Sawa-chan made really cute costumes, didn't she?

MUGI
She did! I like them a lot.

RITSU
And they're surprisingly normal this time, too. Oh, Mio, your tiny hat's slipping.

MIO
It is? Ugh, I've been trying to get it to stay in place all morning.

RITSU
Here, I got it.

Ritsu grabs some safety pins and starts to reposition Mio's hat.

RITSU
Shouldn't Azusa be here already? It's getting late.

MUGI
Yes, she should have been here a while ago.

YUI
Oh, I'll call her.

The Director checks her watch. The Director and Sawako walk over to the girls.

DIRECTOR
Excuse me, is Nakano-san here yet? We need to start the walkthrough soon.

MUGI
We're calling her right now.

DIRECTOR
Okay. I'll go check the set dressing. Please let me know when you hear from her.

MUGI
We will, thank you.

The Director leaves the room. Yui dials and holds her phone up to her ear. Ritsu slides in on her left to listen in, Mio on her right. Mugi tries to slide in next to Mio and their heads crash into each other.

MIO
Ow!

Mio's hat starts to slide down. Mugi catches it and pushes it back into place.

MUGI
Oh, sorry Mio-chan!

RITSU
Uh, Yui, maybe you should put it on speaker.

YUI
Okay.

Yui activates the speakerphone mode. Azusa answers. Her voice is shaky and weak.

AZUSA
H-Hello?

YUI
Azunyan! Where are you?!

AZUSA
Who... who is this?

YUI
It's me, Azunyan!

AZUSA
Huh?

MIO
Azusa, it's Mio. Are you okay?

AZUSA
Ugh... don't feel good...

YUI
Azunyan! What happened?!

AZUSA
Sushi... stomach... ugh...

The girls exchange concerned looks.

MUGI
Azusa-chan, we're at the studio getting ready to shoot the video.

AZUSA
Oh! Video... need to... go...

There's a clattering noise over the phone, followed by a thud.

RITSU
Uh, what was that?

MIO
Azusa, what's going on? Azusa?

A male voice is heard over the phone.

MR NAKANO
Zu-chan, are you okay?

RITSU
"Zu-chan"? That's cute.

AZUSA
Pa... Papa?

MR NAKANO
I'm here, Zu-chan. Papa's right here. What's wrong?

AZUSA
Video... need to... go...

MR NAKANO
Video? Oh, that's right, that was today! Sorry, but you're in no shape to go anywhere right now, little princess.

MUGI
Awww, he called her "princess." That's so adorable...

Mugi begins melting into a moeblob.

MIO
Hey, Azusa would probably be embarrassed if she knew we were listening. Maybe we shouldn't-

Mio looks over to Ritsu and Yui. They're both melting into moeblobs.

YUI
So cute...

Mio gives up on them and turns to Sawako.

MIO
Yamanaka-sensei, don't you think-

Sawako is also melting.

SAWAKO
So cute...

MIO
Hey! Azusa could be really sick, you know!

All the girls and Sawako snap out of their moeblob state. Mio glares at Ritsu.

MIO
And don't you dare tease her about this later!

RITSU
Me? I would never-

Mio grabs Ritsu's cheek and stretches it.

RITSU
Ow ow ow! I won't, I promise!

Mio releases her. Ritsu rubs her cheek.

SAWAKO
Why is Mio-chan so worried about this?

Mio blushes and fidgets.

MIO
Uh, no... no reason! Sometimes people just, uh, talk different... with their parents...

Ritsu makes a smug face.

RITSU
Heh.

MIO
You better not!

MR NAKANO
Hello? Hello? Is someone there?

Yui snaps to attention and adopts a very formal speech pattern.

YUI
Yes! Greetings, Azunyan's father, sir!

MR NAKANO
Who is this?

YUI
I'm Yui Hirasawa, sir!

SAWAKO
Yui-chan, let me handle this.

YUI
Yes, Sawa-chan-sensei, ma'am!

Sawako begins speaking into the phone.

SAWAKO
Hello, Mr Nakano. This is Sawako Yamanaka, Azusa's club advisor.

MR NAKANO
Ah, Yamanaka-sensei, hello.

SAWAKO
We heard some noise over the phone. It sounded like something falling. Is Azusa okay?

MR NAKANO
Oh, she just dropped her phone over the edge of her bed.

YUI
Mr Nakano, sir! Is Azunyan sick? She doesn't sound good, sir!

MR NAKANO
Uh, you don't need to call me sir... And Zu - Azusa ate something last night that really didn't agree with her.

YUI
Oh no! Will she be okay, sir - I mean, will she be okay?

MR NAKANO
She'll be fine. She didn't get very much sleep last night, so she's pretty out of it right now, but we called the doctor last night and he said she just needs rest and fluids.

SAWAKO
I suppose this means she won't make it to the video shoot today.

MR NAKANO
No, sorry.

AZUSA
Papa...

MR NAKANO
Oh, she's calling me. I better go. Thank you for your concern.

SAWAKO
Of course. I hope she feels better soon.

Mr Nakano hangs up. The girls exchange concerned looks again.

YUI
Sawa-chan-sensei... what... what do we do? We can't make the video without Azunyan! We have to wait until she feels better!

SAWAKO
Club President Tainaka-san?

RITSU
Uh... yes?

SAWAKO
It's your call. Do we shoot the video without Azusa-chan, or wait?

Ritsu stares blankly into space for a second.

RITSU
I don't... don't want to shoot the video without her, but... we already paid for the studio rental...

YUI
Maybe - maybe the studio would give us a refund!

SAWAKO
Sorry, Yui-chan, they require 48 hours' notice for cancellations in order to give a refund.

Yui is visibly deflated.

YUI
Oh. Guess it's too late for that then.

RITSU
Little bit, yeah.

MIO
And we had to save up for such a long time, too.

Mugi gingerly raises her hand.

MUGI
Um, excuse me...

MIO
What is it, Mugi?

Mugi looks miserable but presses on.

MUGI
The director agreed to do this shoot as a special favor to my father.

RITSU
Oh, that's right, she did.

MUGI
It'd be rude to suddenly tell her we're not shooting today after she came all the way out here. And... and even if she agreed to come another day, she's really busy, so I don't know when she'd be available.

MIO
And it would make your father's company look bad, wouldn't it?

Mugi nods, looking even more miserable.

YUI
But - but... I can direct the video! Or something...

MIO
Yui, none of us want to shoot the video without Azusa, but...

YUI
But?

MIO
But I think the choice we're facing isn't whether we shoot the video now or later. It seems like it's now or never.

YUI
Oh.

The girls stand in solemn silence for a long moment.

YUI
President Ricchan!

RITSU
Yes?

YUI
I'll support your decision, no matter what!

RITSU
Thanks, I appreciate that, Yui.

Another long silence.

YUI
President Ricchan!

RITSU
Uh, yes?

YUI
What's your decision?!

RITSU
I don't want to... but we can't... we can't just... (quietly) Sorry, Azusa.

The others stare at Ritsu expectantly.

RITSU
Let's make the best video we can, so Azusa will be proud of us!

The girls cheer in unison.

SAWAKO
Well, I'll go tell the director the shoot is on. You girls finish getting ready, okay?

ALL FOUR KEIONS
Okay!

Sawako leaves the room as the girls finish their preparations.

YUI
Next time we make a video, we need to do something really special for Azunyan!

RITSU
Like what?

YUI
We should... we should... uh... Oh! We should get her a special cake!

MIO
Is that for her, or for you, Yui?

YUI
It's for Azunyan! Azunyan loves cake!

RITSU
Then we'll get her a big cake! The biggest cake ever!

YUI
Yes!

RITSU
We'll get her a cake so big, the whole video will be just be one giant cake!

YUI
Promise?

RITSU
Super promise!

MIO
Ritsu, you shouldn't make promises like-

Mio's hat falls off.

MIO
Again?!