Wow, chapter 6, finally! I really need to learn to update faster, but this fic could have many many chapters. So we'll see! Moving on to thank yous!
ILK: K! Wow, that long? Cool…anyway. You are easily amused my friend, very easily amused. Yes, you are a doofus, as I am a loser. Ry is the dark-guy. YOU HAVE THE DARK-GUY! Hee. Are you sure you're not drunken high? That's weird…
Kelset: No, not happy. But whatever. Wow then…I didn't understand any of that last part. All I know is that you no longer have a computer. Just tell Vince to buy a new one, since he has a job anyway! I have no idea.
CartoonHeroes: Well, thank you very much! I updated as quick as I could, enjoy!
DawnAurilain: Yep, nice long chapter. Glad you liked it.
Sillie: Thanks! I continued!
minnermon: On the way to Stardom huh? Guess you could say that. A lot of people thought the Tarial part was cute. Which is good, since I plan on adding more before the Yamachi. I continued!
crazyamzy: Uh, thanks then. I'm glad I could help change that perspective. And thanks again for the compliments! Here's an update on this fic!
Sen-Tay: Yea, I'll write out your response in the document I post in your LJ.
Melissa-T: I'm glad you read it either way. I love NBC too! It's so awesome! Some people were like 'oh my god!', but mostly everybody was like, 'oh how cute!' Everybody loves Arial. And I can't figure out why. Now he's pouting at me and flipping me off. Oh well. I can imagine you as a Mangaka (your art is beautiful!) and you'd name him Arial? Aw, coolness! I know, too little of Yama, but he will be around in this chapter more times then you can count!
Shadow-Seraph: Ha, I could tell! Wow, that's an interesting kind of love. Yes, savor the Tarial parts! Thanks. Ciao!
Mimi-102: Thanks so much. Here's an update!
Tsuki no Lomelinde: Yay, glad you liked it! Don't wait too long, since the next one is right here! And S will prove to be…only slightly sinister.
Yakari Taito: Hee, thanks a bunch! I loved writing the Tarial part. Glad you thought it was cute, since there will be more of them in coming chapters before the Yamachi.
LadyK Na-No-Da: LK! I return the glomp-tackle-hug! Ah, no, you're not the first this time, but that's ok! Yeah, S is kind of sinister…he's going to have fun torturing those poor boys. This isn't soon but…oh hell you know! And why haven't YOU updated? HMM? Kidding.
HIKED: Yay, I updated! Yes, I kind of guessed, thanks for telling me though! Wait no more, here's an update. Nah, that's not cheesy and I couldn't sue you if I tried! YES! Worship Tai with me! Yama's cool too but I like Tai best. Ah yes…Taito love.
Prince Izzy1: Yep, long is what I go for. Glad you liked it, here's the next chapter.
Redvind: Ha, I never thought about that actually…guess they did! And the more I think about it, I love writing in the Tarial parts.
OrangeOctopus: Thanks a lot. But actually, brunette just means dark hair, so it could be either black or brown. Although, I've never heard anyone use brunette to describe someone with black hair. I even looked it up in a dictionary just to make sure I was making sense! Thanks for letting me know though, although I will most likely call him a brunette still, since I was raised to call people with brown hair brunettes.
Meri-chan: This is why I have people ALWAYS read my author's notes. Yeah, the Tarial was a slight shock if you weren't prepared for it, but think of it as opening the doors to Yamachi! Tai has to discover his un-heterosexuality somehow right? Anyways, don't worry, all of my chapters are super-long. I like that line too, it amuses me. Laughing? Laughing good! Yay! Here's an update! But unfortunately, I can't carry out the request for Ari/Ryan. For one thing, Ryan's straight. And b.) Ryan's got a girlfriend and Ari has a boyfriend. Oh well!
Dark Willow (aka: Admiral2: Aw, thanks! Here's some more for you to read!
Kimra Dattei: Oh don't worry about it, at least you remembered to review at all! Glad you loved the chapter. I think I made a good choice adding in Tarial since everybody seemed to be cool with it, but we all know that we must get to the Yamachi! I'm not sure how long it'll be until I get there, since in AUs I have to have them interacting quite a lot before I can even get them thinking on terms of love…oh well. All right, I'll be waiting for your review then!
Plaidnsuspendahs: You know what's funny about you asking that? I have no idea what's going to happen! I have a very very vague idea, and that's about all. So we'll see where this goes! Thanks a lot, here's an update!
nEo: Your name is so funny to type N-chan, seriously. Ah, where have you been? I MISS YOU! You're never on MSN anymore! Oh wait, this is to reply to your review, not babble. Kay, yeah NBC HAS become uber-popular, but that's totally ok. You always love my chapters though! You need to update before I fly to Canada to stalk Simple Plan and hunt you down to kick your butt on the way! Please start working? Please?
The Kaizeress: Thanks a lot. Here's an update!
Aero-Grrl: Aero! Yay, you read it! This makes me happy! Glad you like it too, this also pleases me. I'm updating! Yay!
Maira: Well now, that's perfectly fine not being able to review, because this definitely makes up for it! I'm glad you're enjoying it, and yes, the slash will come around soon. I kept writing, so I hope you keep reviewing!
Octavo: Yes, now you understand. I love Ari to death! He's my little helper. Anywho, S isn't his real name, but it's what he'll go by for now. And I realize the few little errors. I'll probably take one of these weekends and go through editing…I did with Black just recently. Anyway, I admit, Black is cooler then this fic but I love them both the very same.
All righty, that's about everybody then! 27. I feel calm and satisfied. So now, without further procrastinating, chapter 6!
"From this day forward, you are a drop-out," the blonde boy insisted, folding his arms over his chest.
"No way! He can't drop out, he's only 16!" Daisuke protested. Tai sat on the couch that separated the two older boys, watching the verbal brawl play out.
"He has to drop out! We need to focus on this band!" Matt shouted back.
"Well, you're not making me drop out."
"That's because you're close to graduating."
"And he's close to finishing his tenth year. What's the difference?"
"If he continued now and finished tenth year, he'd have to go back for eleventh and twelfth year. We can't afford that now that we have a chance to go somewhere with this band."
"Do I not get a say in this?" the younger brunet broke in suddenly.
"Yes." Cinnamon clashed with blue once more.
"Why does he get a say in if he wants to drop out or not?" Daisuke asked.
"Because it's his choice if he wants to play or work. End of story." Matt shifted his gaze to the other boy, raising a fine blonde eyebrow. "So which is it, Yagami? Work? Or play?" The words spilled from his lips smoothly.
"Play," Tai said without hesitation. A smirk made it's presence on Matt's lips and he turned his eyes back to Daisuke.
"See? Problem solved. Tai's out of school." he nodded once to confirm it with his mind.
"Matt, it's May. He only has to go until June!"
"Isn't that your sister's name?"
"How is Jun anyway?"
"Argh, shut up and stop changing the subject!" Daisuke yelled in frustration. Tai burst into giggles and Matt rolled his eyes.
"Look, it's only a month," Matt tried once more to reason with the mahogany-haired boy.
"Besides, it's not like I'm passing any of my classes anyway, so it's not going to hurt me." Tai shrugged, stretching his legs out in front of him.
"Why aren't you passing?"
"You're not my parents, so blow it!"
"That's the dumbest card you could have played, seriously." Daisuke raised an eyebrow at his cousin.
"Well still, you're not my father, so stop trying to act like you are. I don't need you digging where you don't belong," Tai said hotly, staring at Daisuke with glared eyes. Daisuke held up his hands in mock-defense and grinned slightly.
"Whoa there, chill. No need to go all mental on me," he said.
"Whatever. Thank you for absolutely killing my mood!" Tai shouted in exasperation and threw his arms into the air, launching himself off of the couch and storming into his bedroom, slamming the door behind him. Daisuke blinked in surprise while Matt smirked at him, leaving him to be confused.
"What exactly did I do to him?" the brown-eyed boy asked.
"Absolutely nothing Daisuke. The kid's just too femme for his own good." Matt shrugged and sashayed into the kitchen, taking a bottle of medication out of the cabinet and filling up a glass of water.
"Define femme," Daisuke said more then asked as he watched Matt down two pills.
"He acts like a chick. He's over-sensitive, moody, whiny, clingy-"
"Hey now, that sounds more like Ari then Tai."
"Well Ari's bi and extremely dependent. What's Tai's excuse?"
"Why do you keep using Ari's sexuality against him? Seriously," Daisuke changed the subject suddenly, catching the blonde boy off-guard.
"No reason," he replied smoothly and walked out of the kitchen, standing on the other side of the bar.
"…are you a homophobe?" Daisuke asked slowly as his eyes examined Matt's expression. Matt blinked in surprise and rolled his eyes as he made his way towards his own bedroom.
"Oh yeah, Dais. You know me, biggest homophobe ever!" he made a show of emphasizing the point and opened the door. Daisuke opened his mouth to comment but Matt cut him off shortly.
"That was sarcasm, by the way," he informed the drummer and walked into the dark room, pulling the door shut behind him. It was Daisuke's turn to blink in surprise and he shook his head, flopping his body back on the couch.
"Somehow I always make everybody leave," he said thoughtfully and turned on the TV, flipping the channel to some cartoon. Somewhere behind him he heard the door of somebody bedroom creak open, shut, and then another door open and shut. He turned his head slightly to his right and saw nothing peculiar. Shrugging to himself, he returned his attention to the show on the screen before him. He hadn't been relaxing for very long after that when there was a sudden thunderous knock on the front door.
"Door!" he hollered over his shoulder, assuming someone else would answer it. The only thing that followed was silence. "Jeeze, do I have to do everything? Seriously," he grumbled a complaint as he hoisted himself off of the couch, shuffling his slipper-clad feet to the door. Yawning slightly, he unlocked the door and swung it open, only to be greeted by a shiny silver dagger pointed at his nose.
"Eep," he squeaked slightly and looked beyond the sharp object, spotting their new manager S holding said object in his hand.
"Where are the rest of the clowns?" he asked the 18-year-old.
"Inside," Daisuke answered in the same squeaky voice, being careful not to move his nose.
"Right." S dropped the dagger from Daisuke's face and made his way into the apartment, leaving the young male to follow him, breathing out a sigh of relief. S stopped and stood by the TV and folded up the dagger, tucking it away into his pocket.
"Now, go get them," S commanded and folded his arms over his chest. Daisuke nodded and took off running without hesitation. He first poked his head into Matt's room.
"Hey, crazy manager dude is here and wants to talk to us!" he panted before fleeing across the apartment to Arial and Ryan's room. Matt arched an elegant eyebrow and walked out of his room, sitting in one of the chairs in front of S.
Daisuke knocked on the bedroom door and it soon flew out at him, revealing a rather ticked-off Ryan.
"What?" the black-haired boy growled with his green eyes glaring at him sharply.
"Look, S is here and he wants to talk to us for a bit, so you and Ari need to get out here," Daisuke explained as calmly as he could. Ryan snorted and shrugged.
"Well, go find Arial yourself because he's not in here," Ryan spoke in an airy tone and brushed back the brown-eyed boy. Daisuke gave the boy a puzzled look that went unnoticed as Ryan dropped his body on the couch in an ungraceful manner.
"This is just turning out to be a wonderful day!" Daisuke muttered to himself as he reached Tai's room. Without really giving it a second thought he opened the door and closed his eyes briefly from his building frustration.
"Look, I don't care what type of excuse you have today but you need to get ou-ah!" He had chosen that moment to open his eyes. In return, he was greeted with the sight of his cousin and Arial in the midst of a zealous kiss. It was obvious to the on-looker that Arial was the leading party, gently massaging the back of the smaller boy's neck as Tai leaned into the touch. Daisuke suddenly snapped out of his trance and blinked twice, unsure of what he was seeing.
"What is going on?" he exclaimed quite loudly. The two boys on the bed lazily glanced in Daisuke's general direction and Tai's eyes went wide, launching himself as far from Arial as he could without falling off the actual bed. Arial kept his calm exterior and looked at Daisuke with lust-laced eyes.
"Can we help you?" his voice had a slight pant to it as he rolled over slightly, revealing that the top four buttons of his shirt were undone. Daisuke shook his head in disgust at his friend and averted his gaze to Tai, who was sporting a nice pink tinge on his cheeks. 'If he wasn't so tan, I'm sure it would be more red then pink.' Daisuke gave off a half-hearted grin.
"S is here to talk to us about something important, so come on out into the living room," he relayed the message and began to turn towards the door. About half-way out, he turned around and gave both his cousin and the blue-haired boy a look of disbelief. "And yes, we will be discussing this issue later," he added as an afterthought and stepped out of the room, leaving the two boys to themselves once more. Tai remained silent as Arial began to re-button his shirt, watching the younger brunet closely.
"I don't Dais is very happy…" Said brunet trailed off sadly, looking at the far wall in front of him. Arial shrugged and pulled Tai closer to him, lacing his fingers with his own.
"Well, are you happy?" he asked quietly as he held Tai in his lap.
"I guess. I don't really know what I am. I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm confused, I'm delirious, I'm dizzy and still caught-up in the moment. But I suppose, yes, I am happy. I'm happy that if I had to experience all of this, it was with someone like you…" Tai added as an afterthought. Arial nodded in approval and helped his new boyfriend to his feet and they both walked out into the living room. Arial sat on the couch next to Ryan and Tai settled in his lap, shifting uneasily under Daisuke's watchful gaze. S cleared his throat and captured their attention.
"Now that you're all done fooling around, you can listen to me. This is a serious business, boys, and you have to be prepared to sacrifice yourselves for everything. We'll be bringing you down to the studio tomorrow to start working on your newest CD but we need to make a few readjustments," he stopped and his gaze flickered over to Matt.
"Ishida, you play lead guitar and are the lead singer?" Matt nodded in return. S gave him a slightly disapproving look and turned his head to Arial. "And you do nothing but sing back-up," he stated more the questioned.
"That's right, been that way for about two years since we've started this band." Arial nestled his chin into Tai's wild hair and blinked up at S. S shook his head at this and took off his sunglasses.
"Well, this is a new band, not your old garage band. From now on, Ishida, you'll be lead guitar and back-up singer and Natsaki, you're lead singer." Arial and Matt both gapped at the intimidating blonde man.
"Now wait a second, Mr.…S. You can't just abruptly change everything!" Matt protested. Quicker then usual, S whipped out his dagger and pointed it in the space right between Matt's eyes.
"I'm sorry to disappoint you Ishida, but I'm your manager. I can do what I feel fit. And if you don't want to cooperate, you can always be replaced. Have I made myself clear?" S spoke in a low whisper, watching the blonde boy in front of his squirm slightly.
"Y-yes," Matt stuttered slightly. S smirked and pulled away, returning to his stationary spot in front of the TV.
"Are there any objections from you, Natsaki?" he asked the blue-haired teen who was still wide-eyed from what just happened with Matt, so it was of no surprise when he shook his head no.
"Good to know. This leaves Yagami as back-up guitar and vocals, Motomiya on drums, and Kinomita for bass. Understood?" The other three boys nodded wordlessly. "Good. Tomorrow, we will work out your music and such but for now, just remember to be down at TS Studios 10am sharp. Got it?"
"We got it already, jeeze." Tai rolled his eyes. S snorted lightly and slipped the dagger into his pocket.
"Glad we understand each other. Have a nice day boys." He nodded and swiftly walked over to the exit, leaving the apartment building quickly. The five boys remained in silence for a good ten minutes after S had left, each with their own thoughts in mind.
"Is it just me, or does anybody else find S to be really creepy…" Ryan spoke up first, shivering slightly at the thought.
"It's just you. Because he's down-right horrifying!" Daisuke exclaimed. Matt shook his head and got out of his chair.
"We have to listen to him though. He is our manager after all." He shrugged idly and walked off into his room. Ryan got up as well and headed for his own room, but not before throwing his best friend a harsh glare. Arial didn't miss it and gave Ryan a helpless look.
"You can come chill with me in my room until he calms down," Tai whispered into his ear. Arial nodded in agreement and the new couple got up, slowly waking towards the bedroom door.
"Wait a second, Tai. I want to talk to you." Daisuke's concerned tone caused the boy to halt in his place.
"It's okay, I'll meet you in there," Arial encouraged him to talk to Daisuke and disappeared into Tai's room, closing the door firmly behind him. Tai walked back over to Daisuke and gave him a questioning stare.
"Sit down." Daisuke pointed to the couch. Tai obliged and waited for him to continue.
"What's going on between you and Ari?" Daisuke blurted out bluntly. Tai squirmed under his heated stare again and lowered his eyes.
"Nothing really," he mumbled more to himself them to Daisuke.
"You consider making-out nothing?" A red-brown eyebrow shot up.
"Well I mean, he's kind of my boyfriend now." Daisuke shook his head and closed his eyes, hoping he hadn't just heard what he thought he heard.
"Pardon?" he said in a feeble attempt to cover up his surprise.
"I said he's my boyfriend. Is there something wrong with that?" Tai gathered enough courage to look up into Daisuke's eyes indignantly. Daisuke shook his head again and sighed.
"Damn him. Tai, look, you shouldn't attach yourself to Arial and since when are you not straight?" he changed the subject abruptly. Tai shrugged in return.
"After yesterday I just kind of got to thinking about things and how I had actually liked having him kiss me…" A new blush formed onto his face as he trailed off. Daisuke once more shook his head furiously.
"No no no! Tai, you can not date Arial," he insisted. His cousin narrowed his eyes briefly.
"Because…listen." Daisuke sat on the couch next to the mud-eyed boy and continued talking. "Arial is a mutt."
"Male slut. He has been since he discovered he was bi. We're pretty sure he's still a virgin, but don't expect him to remain faithful to you. He has a tendency to chase after anybody who catches his eye, even if he does have a girlfriend or boyfriend. He's cheated on so many people it's hard to keep track. Point being, I just don't want you getting hurt because he acts like a major dipshit," Daisuke finished his explanation. Tai gave Daisuke a look of disbelief and closed his eyes.
"Why does he do it?"
"That we're not too sure of. We think it's just because it's his nature to be flirty…but who knows. Point being, if you stay with him in a 'committed' relationship, you're going to get hurt. And I just don't want that. You deserve better," Daisuke finished, praying with all his might that his words had gotten through.
"I don't believe you." No such luck.
"Tai, you can't be serious!" Tai rose up from the couch and gave his cousin a glare.
"I am serious, Daisuke. I'm not going to let your opinion get in the way of something I want. So go tell someone who cares," Tai sneered and turned around, racing into his bedroom and shutting the door. Daisuke sighed and leaned his head back, staring at the white ceiling.
"Well shit, now he's probably going to tell Ari everything and he'll get mad at me too…what the hell am I suppose to do?" he asked himself. His eyes wandered over to the second bedroom door on the right-hand side of the apartment. With a curious expression, Daisuke wandered over to Ryan's door and knocked on it gently.
"Go to hell, Ri," the same gruff voice from before responded to his knock.
"Ry? It's me," Daisuke replied and waited. The door opened, much more slowly then the first time, and Ryan stood there leaning against the doorframe.
"What do you want, Dais," he spoke in a quiet voice, stating his words rather then asking them.
"Can we talk?" Daisuke ran a hand through his mahogany hair. The green-eyed boy nodded and swiftly stepped away from the door, leaving Daisuke to come in on his own accord. The slightly tanner boy closed the door behind him and sat in a chair next to the bed, where Ryan laid sprawled on his stomach.
"What's up?" he used that soft tone again, confirming all of Daisuke's suspicions that there was indeed something wrong.
"I should be asking you the same question…" he couldn't think of a way to finish his sentence. Ryan shrugged and looked at his bedspread.
"Did you know that Ari's dating your cousin?" he said off-handedly as he picked at a loose thread in his covers.
"I could have only guessed when I walked in on them kissing in Tai's room." Ryan shook his head sadly and gave a somewhat forced laugh.
"Well, sucks to be you then, doesn't it?" Daisuke shrugged in return and said nothing, plunging the room into silence. Ryan broke it with a deep breath and a sigh.
"I just don't get why he degrades himself like that, y'know? It's almost like he enjoys being a whore," he choked out another laugh and Daisuke could tell he was on the verge of hysteria. Silently, he leaned forward and clasped his friend's shoulder, letting him know he would continue to listen. "I know I shouldn't be so surprised but I mean, Tai's only been living here for like a week! He barely knows him and he asks him out! It just…argh! I feel like crying because of what he's doing to himself but I also feel like beating the shit out of him for what he's going to do to Tai." Daisuke snorted and rolled his eyes.
"Don't bother beating him up. It'll be Tai's own fault if he gets hurt."
"He told me that he didn't my warning. So he's risking it himself."
"Still…I feel slightly guilty."
"Ryan, don't go there."
"No, I really do." Ryan sat upright suddenly, his head just barely brushing the bottom of the bed above him.
"It's not your fault though. We've had this discussion many times, remember? Get it out of your head that you are responsible for what he does." Daisuke sighed slightly, knowing that it would take quite a bit of convincing on his part to make Ryan get it.
"I am responsible for him, Daisuke, including what he does. I have been since he first came to live with me and my family," Ryan defended his point and folded his hands into his lap.
"That was seven years ago though and you and I both know he was already screwed up at that point in his life."
"I have a strong feeling his mother influenced him in more ways then one, that's all."
"His mother was such a…" Ryan growled half-way though his statement and tensed up at the mere memory.
"We all know that. But the point is, you're not the guilty one here. Arial's just doing this on his own, and there's nothing we can do about it. The only way I suppose he could stop is if he really found somebody he was determined to stay with."
"Well, you and I both know that won't be happening any time soon." Ryan shook his head. Daisuke bit his lip and stood up, pulling Ryan with him.
"I have to do the grocery shopping this week. Why don't you come with me, since you're the one who does most of the cooking anyway?" the tanned boy suggested and began dragging Ryan out of the room and towards the front door without waiting for a reply. The two boys walked out into the hall and into the elevator, walking towards Ryan's car and taking off.
The night in the Wolves' apartment was rather stiff and they barely spoke, Tai and Arial attached at the hip and Daisuke and Ryan rather peeved. Matt was yet again clueless as to what was going on but ignored it like always.
Needless to say, all five teenaged boys were grateful the day was over when they awoke on Sunday morning.
"Come on you guys, go get ready to leave! We have to be there in 45 minutes!" Matt announced as he went around the building, pounding on the different doors rather loudly. Arial groaned and buried his head under one of Tai's pillow. The other boy lying next to him cuddled up closer to the body warmth of the older boy. Arial opened his eyes and smiled down at Tai, sweeping away stray hair that fell into his face. Dark eyes fluttered open and stared up at him, watching him closely, yet admirably.
"Good morning!" Arial chirped and tossed a cheery smile at the brunet.
"Morning, Ri. Sleep well?" Tai yawned and shivered, burying himself deeper into the blankets. Arial nuzzled Tai's shoulder lightly and made a content purr-like noise.
"Of course I did…did you?" He didn't really care since he was more focused on how soft Tai's skin was but he thought it would be nice to ask out of courtesy.
"As a matter of fact, I did." Tai grinned in response and sat up, blinking at the blue-eyed boy.
"That's good to know." Arial continued nuzzling Tai, moving down to his bicep and then onto his chest.
"Ari, stop it!" Tai couldn't help but giggle at the touch, not really minding that Arial ignored his command of stop. The dominant boy worked his way down to Tai's stomach slowly, knowing very well that Tai was enjoying it as much as he was. Suddenly the door banged open and Matt poked his head into the room.
"Now please!" he pointed to the outside of the room and walked away, leaving the door wide open behind him. Arial pouted slightly and pulled away, climbing out of the bed first.
"We'll continue where that was going later." he winked and walked away, marching into the bathroom to shower. Tai followed the figure until it disappeared, sighing to himself and getting out of bed as well.
'Damn you, Matt. Damn you to hell I say.' He continued cursing the blonde in his mind as he pulled on some pants. 'He just had to go and interrupt a good thing. No surprises there, damn fun-sucker.' He slipped on yet another black t-shirt and walked out into the living room where the 'fun-sucker' sat on the couch, all dressed up and ready to go.
'Damn you, Ari. Damn you to hell I say!' The blonde growled subconsciously to himself. He was fully aware of Tai and Arial's relationship, and it made him mad. He himself wasn't quite sure why it made him made, but it did! Was it just because of the fact that Arial was so casual about going through one relationship after another? Or was it because he was reckless and careless about everything? He felt an extra weight add itself to the other end of the couch and looked over to his right. There sat Tai dressed in a baggy pair of camouflage and a black t-shirt.
'Wonder if he owns anything besides black?' Matt inwardly chuckled and studied the shirt. On the front was a picture of a red Mustang convertible and the words All-American Rejects above it. He nodded in approval and moved on to other things.
It wasn't his fault that the kid was goddamn gorgeous. He didn't particularly appreciate his attitude, but he was a pretty thing to look out.
'But no, of course Arial had to nail him first. Stupid whore.' He involuntarily gritted his teeth as he picked a piece of imaginary fuzz off of his own shirt. Even though it was his own fault, and he knew he shouldn't be blaming Arial anyway, he couldn't help but feel a slight disgust at the idea of those two being an item. Then again, nobody knew he was gay to begin with, so he couldn't exactly publicize that disgust. Not in the way he wanted to at any rate, which mostly involved, 'Arial! Back off of my boy-toy, you little slut! He's mine! He deserves someone who's not so damn feminine like you! For I am the almighty Yamato, ha, ha, ha, ha!' Oh, how that image enticed him.
"What?" Tai's angry tone burst in through Matt's pensive cloud, causing him to meet the younger guitarist's eyes. Matt shook his head and smirked; ignoring the fact that he had caught him off-guard.
"Just trying to see if you're still a virgin or if Ari knocked you up on the first night," he snickered slightly while Tai sent him a disapproving look.
"I heard that!" Arial's voice rang out from the bathroom.
"Jokes, Ri, jokes." Matt held up his hands in mock-defense and leaned back into the couch, just as Daisuke and Ryan came walking out, both speaking to one another in hushed whispers. They both sat on the couch between Tai and Matt and kept talking lowly. So low, in fact, Matt couldn't hear a single word they were saying and he was sitting right there.
'Are they even actually saying words still?' He felt his eyebrow starting to rise up but quickly suppressed it, knowing that it was becoming a rather bad habit of his.
"Ari, hurry up and let's get going! We're going to be late and it will be all your fault!" Ryan laughed as his best friend sped out of the bathroom and into his own room, returning into the living room with two different-colored socks and his new Vans he bought a week earlier.
"Um, I was just joking." Ryan gave him a strange grin. Arial shot a playful glare at him and threw one of his dirty socks at Ryan's nose.
"Ew!" Ryan all but shrieked as he scrambled away from the sock, flinging it across the apartment.
"Jetaryane, I swear, there are times you're more girly then Ari." Daisuke shook his head sadly, trying to hide his grin.
"Hey! I'm not girly!" Arial protested and chucked the other sock at Daisuke. Not phased in the least, Daisuke picked the sock up from his shoulder and dropped it behind the couch calmly.
"You're named after a freakin' mermaid. If that's not girly, I'm not sure what is," he returned to his previous point.
"Aw, it's not girly," Matt joined the conversation suddenly with an evil glint in his eye. A glint that Arial didn't even notice at that matter.
"Thank you, Matt." Arial nodded at his comrade and tugged on his shoes.
"It's fruity." A wide grin crossed the blonde's face. Daisuke and Ryan both started howling with laughter as the fruity-mermaid boy sat on the floor with a narrowed gaze.
"It is not fruity! It's a damn font on a word processor!" Arial frowned and looked up at Tai.
"Tai, make them stop picking on me!" he begged in a childish voice, tugging on the boy's pant leg twice. Tai couldn't control his smile and he also began to laugh lightly.
"Sorry, hun, but it is kind of fruity." Tai winked to show he was joking but didn't stop laughing. Arial groaned and stood up as he gave each of his friends a spiteful glare.
"I hate you all," he grunted and headed out the front door, quickly to be followed by his still-laughing band mates.
The crowd of five arrived at the tall business building known as Tinker Sounds Studios. They pushed and shoved each other into the elevator and rode up to the seventh floor: the recording studio. S was waiting for them just outside of the door, seizing them all by the collar (and none of them could figure out how he possibly grabbed all five of them simultaneously) and stormed into the recording studio, knocking each of them into a foldable chair.
"About time you fools got here! You're 15 minutes late!" He yelled, flailing his limbs in all directions.
"Oh, get over it. We're here now." Tai was beginning to prove he had no patience for the odd blonde man and he slumped down into his chair, liking the feel of Arial massaging his shoulders.
"Right. The first thing we're going to do is explain our plans for you," S continued on.
"We?" Matt asked and once again had to suppress an eyebrow raise.
"Yes, we." S snapped his fingers and glanced at the door. Through it came a young male with dark red hair sticking up in varying directions; much like Tai's but shorter. Very much shorter. His deep brown, practically black eyes wandered over each of the Wolves and he nodded in approval, slipping into a chair next to S. He appeared to be about Daisuke's age and he was dressed professionally, clad in a pair of black pants, a green blazer, white shirt, and standard black tie.
"This is my business partner, Izumi Koushiro. He will be helping me keep you under reigns, and he will also serve as Taichi's tutor," S introduced the redhead to the group of young males.
"Tutor!" Tai suddenly exploded, staring back at S as if he was insane, which if you thought about it, was a very high possibility.
"Yes, tutor. If this band becomes a flop somewhere along the way, we want you to have a diploma so you can get a job in the real world. He will also help Daisuke in his last month so that we can have you both in the studio as often as possible and he can still graduate." S knew he was agitating the guitarist, but quite frankly, he didn't give a damn. In fact, it was quite the contrary. He was enjoying watching the brunet get angry.
"Who says the band will flop though? We absolutely rock!" Tai smirked with a hint of arrogance.
'Oh my god, he's turning into Matt.' Daisuke buried his face into his hands.
'Holy shit, he's turning into me.' Matt sighed and decided to step in.
"Tai, the band may very well flop. We don't know anything yet, so stop being so stubborn about what S is saying," he drawled out, knowing very well that Tai would freak out again. The brunet began to open his mouth but suddenly closed it again, sighing slightly in defeat. Tossing yet another satisfied smirk at the boy, Matt turned back to S expectantly.
"As you were saying?" he urged the manager to continue.
"As I was saying, I believe it's time for Koushiro to explain our motive." S waved a hand vaguely at his accomplice, who in turn cleared his throat importantly.
"The first thing I would like to say is that it's a pleasure meeting you in person. S brought in a sample of your music and I can honestly say I was highly pleased."
"Wait, you're his boss?" Ryan gave him a clearly doubtful look.
"That I am, Mr…" Koushiro trailed off, not sure where to go from there.
"Kinomita. Jetaryane. Actually just screw the other two names and call me Ryan, kay? Thanks," Ryan said breezily. A tad taken-aback by Ryan's wording, Koushiro sniffed and continued.
"Right. Anyway, yes, I am S's boss, so truthfully, most of what he does to you boys is under my order."
"Does that include the sharp dagger-thingy? Cause that thing is really scary," Arial pointed out the obvious. Koushiro gave his partner a skeptical look.
"Dagger?" S tugged at his collar and grinned.
"Well, you said to get them down here by any means possible," he chuckled slightly. Koushiro smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand and shook his head.
"I didn't mean to threaten them, you idiot!" he rolled his eyes and sighed. He looked over the five boys who all had their eyes trained on the pair of officials.
"Although, you did get them here. That's the only reason I won't fire you." Koushiro informed the older blonde man.
"Then again, you keep threatening to fire me, but you never do!" S grinned at Koushiro with that same psychotic grin.
"Would you like me to?" the redhead spoke in a warning tone. S's eyes widened and he shook his head furiously.
"No, no, no! S be good!" he insisted and hugged himself in his chair, looking back and forward between the band and his boss. Koushiro's face turned into a look of annoyance and disbelief, smacking S over the head lightly.
"Stop clowning around and help me explain this!" he shouted at S and threw him a glare, facing the Wolves once more. "All right. S and I have been listening through your music and we've decided on what type of band you will be."
"We already know what kind of band we want to be though!" Daisuke interrupted him.
"Yeah, we're a rock band, remember?" Arial grinned at the two formal men, both of whom just shook their heads.
"Not just rock. We'll have you boys playing everything from rock, punk, alternative, and even a little bit of pop," S remarked cautiously, obviously with Koushiro's threat still fresh in his mind.
"Pop…no way! Pop is for those stupid pretty-boys who can't play instruments to save their girly asses!" Matt was now the one becoming enraged.
"Oh, you mean like yourself, Matt?" Tai inquired innocently as he tried to mask a smirk.
"Take that back, kid," Matt growled out in return.
"Make me, Blondie. You would only deny it if it was true!"
"Stop! You're not going to get anywhere if you two keep fighting, get it?" Koushiro stopped Matt's stream of profanity. The leader and the youngest member of the band threw each other one last glare before looking away, falling back into the old habit of ignoring one another.
"As I was saying, pop, not pop music, but sort of poppy lyrics, okay? You'll keep your instruments and sound because you're supposed to be a band for crying out loud! What kind of band would you be without instruments hmm?" Koushiro spoke rhetorically before standing up, walking over to a computer in the far corner of the room. Tapping the mouse twice, he brought up a program on the big screen in front of them.
"Now, the first things we are going to do today involve the creation of your debut CD."
"Already? Awesome!" Tai cheered despite the fact he was suppose to stay quiet. Koushiro merely nodded and went through a few more pages, stopping at a page made of a datasheet that held 20 empty slots.
"Let me guess, play list?" Matt also spoke after he had been told to shut up.
"Actually, it's a list of songs to put on your CD. Now, as for what songs go on there, that is strictly your own choice. You choose your songs, we approved them, we record them and slap them on the disc. Sound fair?" S eagerly jumped back into the conversation.
"Yeah, sounds fair. But how long will that take us?" Daisuke leaned on his knees, propping his head up with his hands.
"If you boys come into the studio six days a week from 9am to 5pm for at least the next two and a half weeks, I'd say that long. But only if you work hard and don't screw around!" Koushiro took over again, directing his last phrase to Matt and Tai.
"Let's do it then! Not like we really have a choice, but hey, it makes me feel better deciding something!" Arial said in a cheerful voice, already bouncing onto his feet.
"Glad you feel that way, Natsaki. Are you all ready to start today?" S asked rhetorically and stood up as well.
"Might as well be." Daisuke stretched his arms behind his head and rose up, stifling a yawn as he went.
"Let's do it then," Matt repeated Arial and the last three boys got up as well, heading into the far recording studio.
The recording process was not as easy as they thought it would be. They would often spend the entire eight hours of the day working on one song, maybe even a little more then that. Some songs were easier however and that lifted their spirits. As for the managers…
"And stop!" Koushiro yelled to S as Matt strummed out the last few notes. Arial leaned on the microphone stand heavily, attempting to catch his breath. Why they had agreed to save the Party Song for last, he could never be sure. The plus side was they were finally finished with their CD. On the downside though, they had to record and stop Party Song at least six times before they could settle on the right version.
"Are you going to live, Blue?" Ryan teased his buddy and threw him a bottle of water. Arial glared at him lightly and chugged half of the bottle, throwing it back at Ryan roughly.
"I'd like to see you try and sing that damned song seven times!" he panted and sank to the floor as he watched his band mates pack up.
"Hey, you weren't the only one singing, love," Tai reminded him as his kissed his nose, slinging his guitar strap over his shoulder.
"Yeah, but all you and Matt were doing is da-na-na. That doesn't even count!" Arial argued back but didn't object the show of affection.
"Yeah, well what about some of the other songs we put on the CD?" Matt joined in as he shoved all of the lyric sheets into a black folder.
"Like I did all of the singing for Grow Up while you and Matt did back-up!" Tai spoke up again.
"And I did Hands Down. So you really have nothing to complain about, Ri. Get over it." Matt smirked and walked over to Koushiro and S to determine the final product.
"What is this, Pick-On-Ari Day?" The bluenette didn't even bother standing as he crawled over to the same corner.
"Everyday is Pick-On-Ari Day," Daisuke snickered and shoved his drumsticks into one of his many pockets, scooting his stool over to the others.
"All right, listen up!" S hollered and reached into his pocket.
"You pull out that dagger I'm kicking you out," Koushiro mildly warned him, but enough to draw his hand away.
"Now, we have 20 songs on your CD. Some soft, some hard, some just plain strange, but they all turned out wonderful. Congratulations, Wolves," Koushiro continued with a warm smile, holding up the final master CD.
"Woohoo! We have a CD!" Ryan whooped and danced around the room.
"Think people will like it?" Tai sat on the floor next to Ari and looked up at Koushiro expectantly.
"Well, that's all up to you boys. As long as you dumped all of your heart and talent into the music, they'll love you," S offered his words of encouragement, which was quite a surprise coming from a scary freak like himself.
"However, you need a name for your CD," Koushiro interrupted.
"A name? I thought you came up with the names," Daisuke interjected and scratched at his ear.
"Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. We figured since it was your first CD, you should be able to name it," the redhead explained slowly.
"…so what should we call it?" Arial asked and the four boys turned back to their former leader. Matt blinked in surprise and tilted his head sideways.
"Why are you asking me?" He choked out, feeling unusually nervous under the four intense stares.
"Well, you used to be in charge of everything. Surely you'd have a name," Ryan spoke for the whole group who nodded in back-up support. Matt swallowed lightly and bit on his lower lip, allowing his thoughts to race through his mind.
"Well, it should be something that catches the audience's attention," he said as he stalled further.
"He's got a good point. We need people to spot the title and say, 'Ooh, hey, that sounds like a cool band!' if that makes sense. It's like when a person picks out a book, they look at the title first," Tai rambled on senselessly. Matt shook his head at the kid's attention span and snapped his fingers.
"What is it?" Daisuke looked back at the blonde and awaited the results of everything.
"Ending On a Bad Note," Matt said triumphantly. Silence followed his statement as each boy let the title tumble in their mind, negative and positive ideas attaching themselves to it.
"Don't you think that if they read that as a title, they're going to think we sound bad?" Tai spoke up first, giving the blue-eyed boy a doubtful look.
"Nope. It's all reverse psychology." Matt leaned against the back wall and looked at Koushiro and S for approval.
"What do you know about psychology?" Arial gave Matt another doubtful look, very similar to Tai's.
"More then you would ever know," came the airy reply that brushed around the subject. "So what do you think?" he changed his focus onto the officials.
"I like your thinking," S said immediately. Koushiro took longer to reach his decision, rubbing his chin in thought as the five boys and S watched him like a hawk. Slowly, but surely, he nodded.
"Fine. Title it and we'll let somebody else deal with the cover art." He waved his hands vaguely and shoved the final disc into an empty CD case. Handing it to S, he also gave him an envelope and a few stamps.
"Send it into publishing. They should have all copies made within two days," he ordered to his assistant and turned back to the boys.
"You are all free to go until we call again when the CDs arrive. If things go as planned, you will have plenty of fans by the end of next week. Set up interviews, concerts, possibly start making music videos. All which will lead up to your fame."
"Fame…" Arial grinned despite himself.
"Music Videos…" Tai said dreamily.
"Fans!" Ryan and Daisuke squealed at the same time before giving each other odd glances for squealing at all.
"Concerts." Matt smirked and pushed himself away from the wall. "Then we shall come back later." He waved off Koushiro and walked towards the door. "Let's go," he beckoned the rest of the band. Tai and Arial scrambled up and trotted after their leader, followed by the drummer and the bassist.
"Have a nice day, boys." Koushiro waved and shut the door behind them. Ambling into the area that was his office, he sat in his chair and sighed contently.
"I think we may have just found our newest goldmine." He nodded assuredly and went back to business, pushing the Wolves into the back of his mind.
The following Sunday was grocery-shopping day for the Wolves, just a mere six days after they released their CD. Naturally, Matt was driving because Ryan was compiling a list of items they needed, Arial couldn't drive, Tai couldn't drive either, and Daisuke was still mourning the loss of his own car and blatantly refused to drive.
"Hey, Matt, turn up the radio!" Daisuke yelled from the backseat where he sat in between Arial and Tai, which Ryan assumed was to make sure they didn't start doing anything in the backseat of Matt's black Honda Accord. Matt rolled his eyes at the childish request but obeyed, snapping on the button and turning up the volume.
And was he glad he did. The guitar playing started and faded in and out, followed by drums.
"Breaking my back just to know your name, seventeen tracks and I've had it with this game," Arial's voice blared through the speakers. The song played on, sounding just like it had back in the studio, only better. It was a shame when it ended.
"And that was new music called Somebody Told Me by The Teenage Wolves. Hey, has anybody heard anything about these guys? New to the music world, go check 'em out! Up next is Hoobastank with Same Direction, stay tuned!" the DJ announced and Matt pushed the button in. All five of them blinked in question at the radio.
"Was that just us…" Ryan started off.
"On the radio…" Daisuke added.
"Wow. That's so cool!" Arial cheered and bounced around the back seat.
"It feels so weird, knowing that it's us." Tai kept glancing at the radio.
"Well, get used to it, kid. We're famous now." Matt shrugged nonchalantly and pulled into the parking lot, shutting the car off and getting out. The other four piled out and followed him inside and so began the process of throwing random things into the car and ignoring Ryan's protests about what they needed.
"Ice cream!" Tai dropped two boxes of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream into the cart.
"No!" Ryan threw one of the boxes back into the freezer and exchanged it with a bag of frozen chicken.
"Marshies!" Arial chucked five packages of colored marshmallows in after the ice cream.
"You don't need those!" Ryan replaced four of the packages with two jars of peanut butter.
"Pizza!" Daisuke threw in three frozen pizzas.
"You don't…oh hell keep them!" Ryan grumbled and tossed in frozen vegetables and some milk.
"Oh cheer up, Ry. It's not so terrible, now is it?" Matt winked and set two loaves of bread into the basket.
"Why are you suddenly so…Anti-Matt?" Ryan raised an eyebrow at the blonde's new attitude. Matt shrugged cheerfully and continued walking next to Ryan.
"I guess I'm just happy we're finally where we are, that's all." He grinned and threw other things into the cart. Ryan merely nodded and looked around.
"Where did the rest of them get to?" His eyes darted around the rest of the food department and his gaze wandered to the other end of the store.
"Most likely they're just goofing around, aren't they?" Matt replied and kept walking.
"Guys! Look!" Tai suddenly came barreling out from behind a display case of Pepsi and crashed into the inside of the basket, landing on the butter and narrowly missing the eggs.
"Tai! Watch it!" Ryan yelped as he moved away his precious eggs.
"Sorry, don't care. Look!" the brunet repeated himself once more. Daisuke and Arial came racing around the corner as well and they both held squares in their hands.
"What?" Matt asked and looked at the object Tai had.
"Fame!" Arial squeaked and waved his around. Ryan snatched up the flat square and his mouth formed into a surprised 'oh!' shape.
"CD! We actually have our CD in stores already!" Daisuke joined in with the excited chatter. Matt stole his copy and looked at it closely. The cover was black with silver letters that said their name and the title of the CD along with a pair of yellow wolf eyes and fangs, only seen in the lighter background.
"Impressive art. Simple, yet impressive," he praised whoever created it and flipped over to the back side. The back was also black with a silver moon covering most of it, followed by the names of their tracks in the same bold silver writing.
1.) Somebody Told Me
2.) Grow Up!
3.) Online Song
5.) Fat Lip
7.) Giving Up On Love
8.) Hands Down
10.) My Own Worst Enemy
11.) Falling For the First Time
12.) Bouncing Off the Walls
13.) Failure's Not Flattering
15.) Boys of Summer
16.) The Best of Me
17.) The Art of Losing
18.) Beautiful Soul
19.) In Love With The 80s
20.) The Party Song
"How many copies were left?" he asked the excited younger boys.
"Quite a few," Daisuke replied truthfully.
"But people were grabbing them and putting them in their carts!" Tai beamed and attempted to climb out of their own cart.
"So we should probably go and put these back…come on guys!" Arial took the cart from Ryan's possession and, with Tai still sitting in it, took off running down to the other end of the store, the other three chasing after him closely. Almost managing to collide into a stand of body sprays and tipping over three boxes of cat food, they reached the electronic section of the store and casually ambled into the CD section. The three placed the CDs back into the shelves and began to walk away.
"Hey!" They turned around and spotted two teenage girls standing there, both with a copy of their CD in their hands.
"Does that mean they're not very good?" the one with brown hair asked, switching over to read the back side.
"Oh, no! Why would you ask that?" Tai's head shot up from inside the shopping basket.
"Well, you just put back the CDs…" the second girl with orange-red hair trailed off.
"Oh, well, we already have their CD and we were just showing the art to our friend." Daisuke pointed at Matt.
"Big art critic," Ryan added in, falling gracefully into the act.
"So…they are good?" the first girl asked slowly.
"Oh yeah, definitely. Their songs are fantastic, real mix of different styles." Matt nodded assuredly. The two girls looked at one another and dropped the CDs into their separate hand-baskets.
"Thanks for the advice, fellas!" The second one winked and they both walked away, heading towards the shoe department. The band watched them walk away silently, blinking only once or twice.
"Y'know, if the band ever fails, we could become salesmen!" Arial grinned enthusiastically.
"Shut up, Ari!" The bluenette was promptly rewarded with four bashes to the head with fluffy white pillows the others had grabbed off the shelves, causing the whole stack to fall to the ground.
"You little punks! What the hell do you think you're doing!" A clerk spotted them not too far away.
"…run, run very fast. Now!" Matt instructed them and they all took off running with their groceries forgotten.
"We have a concert? Like, a real live concert!" Matt squeaked out at the sudden news. It was Tuesday, just a few days after their grocery store incident. The band had been called back to TS Studios and S had just delivered the great news.
"That's right. It's just a community concert in the park, just to see how people react to you. Charge will only be five bucks so it's not a total waste of money."
"Hey! We are not a waste!" Tai pouted at the statement.
"I didn't say you were, nimrod. Now, it's being held Friday, so I trust that you can be ready to go by then?" Matt nodded in response and shared a glance with Arial. After all, he was the new lead singer. But then again, he was still the ultimate leader. The other blue-eyed boy nodded at the silent question Matt had asked him.
"We'll be ready. Thanks for the warning at least." The blonde stood up from his chair and the other boys followed him, waving their goodbyes and walking out the door.
"Concert! This isn't just something little guys, it's huge!" Arial continued to babble as they piled into the elevator, riding it down to the ground level.
"We know, Ari. We heard him say it too," Ryan said calmly and chose to ignore his friend's hyper behavior.
"It's just so exciting though!" Tai backed his boyfriend up and linked their hands, walking out of the elevator first and strolling to Matt's car. Matt had every intention to hit the panic button on his key ring to activate his car alarm, just to scare the crap out of the two love-sick puppies and pull them apart.
'Just so sickening. And yet, I would probably do that same thing if I was Blue.' He shook his head and dismissed the array of thoughts, climbing into the driver's seat of his car.
"It is exciting, but don't get too worked up. You'll wind up with a really bad case of nerves when we get there and then you won't know what to do. So don't get too terribly excited," Daisuke warned his cousin and slid into the back seat, leaving Ryan the passenger seat.
"Yeah, sure, Daisuke. I'll be fine." Tai waved his hand vaguely and went back to chatting with Arial about the concert. Daisuke sighed quietly and slumped in his seat. Raising his eyes, he caught Matt's gaze in the rearview mirror, sending his own signal of sympathy to the tanner boy. Giving him a half-smile, Daisuke broke the gaze and looked out the window, not really caring what was happening in the outside world.
Matt pulled into the parking lot of the apartment building and they all got out, going through the elevator procedure once more and bursting through their front door.
"Dare I even mention practicing?" Matt asked as he dropped his keys on the little table next to the door.
"Nope," Ryan and Arial spoke simultaneously and jumped over the back of the couch, flipping the TV on to a baseball game.
"Somehow, I didn't think so." Matt shrugged off his black trench coat and grabbed a bottle of cola from the fridge, joining his two friends on the couch. Tai sauntered up to Arial and dropped himself in his lap, waiting for the bluenette to notice him.
"Ari…wouldn't you rather come back to my room instead of watching this game?" he said in a breathless voice, batting his eyelashes at him coyly.
"Busy. Game. TV," Arial replied and moved Tai over onto his other side so his hair wasn't blocking his view. A grin split the brunet's face and he nodded.
"Good because I'd rather watch the game anyway," he dropped his act quickly and focused his attention on the screen in front of him. Daisuke leaned on the back of the couch from behind it, staring rather blankly at the players.
"I'll be in my room studying if anyone needs me," he spoke up and silently slipped away, closing the door behind him. The only one who really noticed was Matt, only for the mere fact that Daisuke avoided studying at all costs.
But then again, there really wasn't much he could do, was there?
"Here it is guys, Friday. Are we ready?" Matt breathed out a breath of anxiety and fixed the collar of his white short-sleeved button-down. His hair was done up in their normal floppy spikes and he wore regular black slacks that matched the black long-sleeved shirt under his white button-down.
"I don't see how you can be wearing sleeves when it's so nice outside!" Arial chirped as he danced around backstage, decked out in a short-sleeved Green Day t-shirt, along with his black and blue loose pants, held up by a white belt.
"Because it will get colder as the night goes on," Ryan answered for the blonde as he messed up his hair even more. The bassist wore a red shirt that had black bold print across the front reading "Of Course I Believe in Evolution: Just Look at Your Mom" and a pair of khaki pants.
"Aren't those Dai's?" Matt asked the black-haired boy. Ryan nodded and pulled a black thread off of his shirt.
"My pants weren't dry by the time we had to leave, so y'know, he let me borrow his."
"Why didn't you just wear another pair of yours?"
"Because Ryan's stupid enough to wash all of his pants at the same time." Arial grinned at his best friend.
"Hey now, at least I wash only most of my boxers at the same time," Ryan spoke in his defense.
"Oh, I see we've learned from the naked grilled cheese accident?" Arial's grin grew wider as Ryan's face grew redder.
"Stop talking. Now," he said firmly and looked away from Matt, who was giving him a curious look.
"Naked grilled cheese accident?"
Meanwhile, Daisuke was on the prowl for his cousin. Their show started in 20 minutes and if he didn't find him, well, they were kind of screwed over.
"Kind of being an understatement," he growled to himself and pushed his way into the Men's public bathroom. The sound volume plunged from extremely loud crowds of people to creepy silence.
"Tai…are you in here?" Daisuke said warily as he stepped in further. A small cough answered him and he walked down to the last stall where Tai was sitting on the ground looking paler then usual.
"What's up?" Daisuke stayed on the outside of the stall, afraid to look at any damage Tai had done to the water.
"I can't go out there…" Tai trailed off slowly.
"Way too many people. A lot more then I thought there'd be…" Daisuke sighed and shook his head.
"You got too worked up, didn't you?"
"What's going on?" Arial's voice rang out from the entrance. Daisuke looked up and motioned for his friend to move closer.
"Stage Fright," he replied simply. Arial nodded and stepped in, squatting down next to Tai.
"You okay?" Tai shook his head slightly and sighed.
"I can't go…"
"Stop saying can't," Arial said firmly and pulled his boyfriend to his feet.
"Ari, stop it!" Tai protested as his world spun around. Arial shook his head in disgrace and continues marching out of the bathroom.
"Take off your shirt." The absurd command threw Tai, and Daisuke for that matter, off-guard.
"What?" Tai said dumbly, allowing himself to be dragged behind the determined blue-haired male.
"Take off your shirt. You got vomit on it and you are not going on stage like that!" Arial sighed in frustration and pulled the shirt off himself.
"Hey!" Tai shrieked and wrapped his arms around his chest and boyish torso the best he could. Arial stood there and blinked quietly.
"Well, you could have said that you weren't wearing another shirt…" he said finally.
"I thought it was obvious! Since it was a t-shirt!" Tai yelled in his fit of rage and embarrassment as he seemed to forget about the large crowd of people.
"Where have you three been!" Ryan hissed as he led them back onto the area behind the small stage.
"And why aren't you wearing a shirt?" Matt's voice asked from behind him. Tai looked up behind Ryan and spotted the blue-eyed boy standing there, staring intently into his own mud-colored eyes.
'When he's not yelling at me, he's actually not so bad…' He immediately batted away that thought.
"I kind of let my nerves get to me," Tai said softly and tore away his gaze. Matt nodded slightly and took off his white over-shirt. Without looking back at the brunet, he handed it to him.
"Happens to the best of us." He shrugged and walked away, grabbing his guitar up off the floor. Blinking at the retreating figure, Tai slid into the shirt, which he found to be only slightly baggy on him, and buttoned up all of the buttons except for the top three.
"I think he was actually being nice…" Arial trailed off briefly. Tai nodded and stepped onto the stage after Matt.
"Come on guys, we have a show to do." He gave the remaining three a shaky smile and took a deep breath, turning around to grab his guitar.
"He's right, let's go." Daisuke nodded and hopped up into his drummer stool, giving the drums a few test hits. Arial walked up to the microphone and Ryan to his bass, just as the MC stood in front of the crowd on the other side of the curtain.
"Hello and welcome to the show! I'd like you all to clap your hands and welcome, The Teenage Wolves!" the man said and the curtains were drawn back.
"Note, I vote we get a new MC," Ryan snorted at the lameness and plugged the amp into his instrument. Arial nodded in agreement and smiled at the crowd.
"Hey, hey lovely people! Natsaki here, welcoming you to tonight's show! I'm pretty sure plenty of you have gone out and bought our CD already, and if you haven't, what's wrong with you? Go! Now! Show some love for the poor bums known as the Teenage Wolves! But maybe you'd like a sample first, hmm? Yes, I would too. That being said, hit it!" Arial ended his little spiel and pointed at Daisuke to start drumming and Ryan to start playing as well as he began to sing.
"This may never start, we could fall apart, and I'd be your memory. Lost your sense of fear, feelings insincere, can I be your memory?" The words flew out from pale pink lips, getting the audience to bob their heads to the sound and begin to sing along to the chorus. The song began to wind down but the crowd was just warming up.
"Can I be your memory? Can I be your memory?" The last few guitar notes from Matt and Tai faded as the music was replaced by applauds and cheers. Arial grinned at the crowd and cocked an eyebrow in a flirty manner.
"See, this is why you should buy us. Well, not us us, but our CD. Glad you liked that song, by the way. And now, I think we should slow down the hype a bit and play a song that you may already be familiar with." Arial dropped the eyebrow and nodded at Ryan who began to strum out heavy sounds, followed by Matt's guitar music fading in and out in the background as they began to belt out "Somebody Told Me." The evening went on and they played about nine songs from their CD before the park manager told them to wrap it up.
"Well folks, sorry to say, we gotta run. But it's been fun, no? We'll come back soon, but in the meantime, if you're just cravin' our sweet sound, check out your local music store. We should be in the 'hot' section." Arial winked at the crowd and more cheers followed.
"Should be? More like we dominate the hot section, am I right?" Matt got into the act as more screams of excitement filled the night air.
"That's what I though. Good night everybody!" Matt smirked and blew a kiss to his fans. No wait, their fans. They were a band now. And nothing could ever change that.
"Kou, why are we here? It's 8am on a Saturday and we shouldn't have another concert scheduled so soon," Matt explained his theories through a few yawns and slumped into his chair.
"Yeah, it's only been a week since we had our one in the park," Arial agreed and curled up in his own chair, tucking his feet under him.
"I realize that boys, but we have a few things we would like to show you," Koushiro explained in his usual 'oh-so-calm' manner. Snapping his fingers once, S came running into the room with two sheets of poster board and a large pointing stick.
"Here you go, sir." He handed all three items to Koushiro and sat on the end of the row of boys, facing his boss attentively.
"Thank you, S." Koushiro nodded and propped the first piece of poster board onto his easel. "Now, this red line here is your number of sales on CDs." Koushiro smacked the pointing stick onto the board at the red line that barely reached 7,000 sales.
"This is your popularity." He then smacked a black line on the board which reached 15 percent.
"That's not too terrible, is it?" Tai asked quietly and leaned his head on Arial's shoulder.
"Of course not. But now," Koushiro switched out poster boards and grinned. "Now your sales have reached up to 15,000 CDs and your popularity rate is at 35 percent." He absolutely beamed in happiness.
"And this is all in one week's difference," Ryan inquired rhetorically.
"That's right. Right after your concert, your sales more then doubled, as did your popularity amongst young people today! Do you realize what this means?" Koushiro was on the verge of completely ripping at the seams due to his thrills.
"Um…that we rock?" Daisuke answered plainly, seeing how it made perfect sense anyway.
"Not just that, Daisuke. You're not stay in Odaiba anymore boys. We're taking you straight to the top! If this can happen in a week-" Koushiro stabbed at his poster once more, "then think of what could happen in a month! Think of it boys, traveling Japan on tour, concerts every week or so, literally thousands of screaming fans, and maybe even the land of gold."
"You mean Tokyo Disney?" Tai exclaimed suddenly, hanging onto Koushiro's every word. The older man's face fell into a look of impatience and annoyance as he sighed.
"No, Tai, not Tokyo Disney-"
"Aw, but I wanna go to Tokyo Disney!" Tai whined and his lips formed into a pout.
"If you would let me finish!" That made him shut up.
"Now, as I was saying, you could go big boys, maybe even the land of gold. That's right, America." Koushiro relaxed now that he had said what he said.
"Are you serious?" Daisuke's eyes nearly bulged out of his face.
"I haven't been there since I left…" Arial smiled to himself.
"You really think we could make it that far." Ryan glanced up at the redhead standing in front of them.
"Oh, you'd have to get more popular in Japan first, but that shouldn't take too long. Then yes, I do believe you could. Just have to keep working at it."
"Wow…America." Tai's eyes filled with little stars at the mere thought of a whole other country.
"Matt, what do you think?" Daisuke finally remembered the blonde sitting in the far corner of the room listening to the conversation closely. A small smile threatened his lips as he glanced over his band mates.
"Well…" he started off, stopping longer just to make them sweat.
"Come on, Matt! Say something!" Arial begged him and kept his gaze locked. The small smile grew wider and Matt laughed. Not a snicker, but a genuine laugh, one that took them all by surprise. Eyes still wide, they waited for the leader to calm down patiently, and he began to speak.
"What do I think? I think we just found a new goal to work for." He nodded once in confirmation and all four of his friends tackled him to the floor, celebrating their so-far great success and creating plans to keep that success alive.
Edited, booyah bitches. J/k. That feels better now. Songs used were Somebody Told Me by The Killers and Memory by Sugarcult. HOPEFULLY, I'll post a new chapter soon.