Standard disclaimer applied.

My usual note: Flashbacks and thoughts are italicized. Conversations are separated in paragraphs, depending on the person talking.

Hello guys! :D OMFG, I've never thought I'll be back again after 180123012302837087 years! Hahaha Kidding aside, I was really busy with all school stuff. And yes, I've graduated last year and started Med School but I have to withdraw because I got accepted in a university here in Canada. So yes, as you have guessed, I moved out of my home country. Plus, late last year my computer died on me so most of my files were lost, including the supposedly 7th instalment of this fic. T_T

By the way, I've noticed that my 'dividers' were gone so I kinda went through all chapters just to put it back up. However, I didn't bother re-reading all of it so it remained 'untouched' in a way that no changes have been made to the story itself.

Anyway, big thanks to Eirist and khryzle-chan for inspiring me to write again, and to ALL those who reviewed as well. I may not be able to enumerate all of you, but you should know that you guys all inspired me to start writing again and I so thank you for it. :)

So here's the 7th instalment! I'm dedicating this to my friend, to whom I should've given this as a birthday present last year. I let him beta read this one as payment for the late update, so if there are still errors in spelling and grammar, we're both at fault. XD haha. Enjoy~ :3

Rhythm and Blues

Chapter 7

1:23pm. Backstage of the school auditorium.

"Will you cut it out, Yanagi?" said a very irritated Fuuko.

Yanagi stopped on her tracks, settled herself beside Domon and started tapping her foot out of nervousness.

Recca's eyes roamed around the corridor. Sure, it was clean; however, it was filled with students who also participated on the Battle of the Bands which will be held in a month and a half. Aside from the non-stop tapping of Yanagi's foot, different music from various guitars filled his ears as some took their time, having their last minute practice before their turn.

"Hokage? You're next!" the student PA, Takeuchi, called.

"Yoshi! Minna, time to rock and roll!" Recca said, one fist in the air.

"Rock and roll your ass," came Fuuko's reply as she walked past him, shortly followed by Tokiya and the others.

'Sure, everyone is nervous, ne?' He couldn't help but smile at the thought as he followed them.


"Okay, so Hokage? Show us what you got," said Suzuki-sensei after reading all details regarding the band.

Finally, the whole auditorium was filled with the hitting of the drums, courtesy of Domon Ishijima, followed by Yanagi's keyboards and Tokiya's lone guitar. Soon enough it was followed by Recca's bass guitar. Fuuko stood stoically as she held the mic stand, her head down until her cue was given by the sound of Domon's cymbals.

Every time that I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face gettin' clearer
The past is gone
It went by like dust to dawn
Isn't that the way
Everybody's got their dues in life to pay

Fuuko's voice reverberated throughout the whole auditorium as the judges curiously watched her. Seeing the judges' eyes full of interest, Recca can't help but play his bass guitar with a triumphant smile on his face.

I know what nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it's everybody's sin
You got to lose to know how to win

As the former fighters went on playing their song, the judges started scribbling on their judges sheet which made Fuuko a bit more nervous.

Half my life is in books written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages
You know it's true
All the things come back to you

Stealing a glance from her bandmates who responded with nods and grins, Fuuko knew they were all saying the same thing: keep on going.

And she did.

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away

As Fuuko started singing the chorus, people started swarming inside the auditorium, most of them staring at them with awe, the others trying to get more ideas from them. Well of course, how could we ever miss the never-ending squeals from Tokiya's ever-so lovingly fan club and the Fuuko's raging-male-hormones fan club.

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away

"YATTA!" Recca shouted, a huge grin plastered on his face. "I knew we'd nail that screening!"

"I agree! Did you see all those people! They kept swarming in as if we're really performing it live!" Domon added, "Those people kept screaming out my name! Like, 'Domon-sama you're so sexy!' 'Domon-sama you're so hot!' 'You rock my world Domon-sama!'"

The group fell silent.

Before he could even utter a "What?" to his companions, Domon was sent flying to the heavens.

Dream on, dream on
Dream yourself a dream come true
Dream on, dream on
Dream until your dream come true
Dream on, dream on, dream on...

"Yay, I'm so proud of us!" Yanagi squealed, as the waiter put down their food on the table.

As expected, the gang passed the first screening without even breaking a sweat. They earned a great standing ovation from the judges, as well as the other bands who watched them. To celebrate their so-called 'success,' they settled in a small Italian café where they used to hang out whenever the rooftop's occupied.

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter and sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away

"See you guys tomorrow!"

And with a wave of goodbye, the gang parted their ways home… well except for Fuuko and Tokiya who practically live a few blocks away from each other.

Silence became their third companion as both of them walked in silence, each occupied with their own train of thoughts. Fuuko's eyes scanned the area as they walk, noticing how the leaves have started turning to shades of yellow and red.

'Aah. Autumn is definitely around the corner now.' she thought. Her eyes suddenly caught glimpse of the penguin slide she used to play on. It is now filled with dried leaves, in which the kids kept on kicking and throwing up in the air. A soft smile crept on her lips as she slowly painted the scene in front of her mentally.

Shifting her gaze to the man beside her, Fuuko suddenly wondered how different it would be if Mi-chan had a normal past, living family and a happy life.

Would he be smiling like them? Would he be fooling around with them? Would he be less of a smart-ass like he is right now? Would he have cut his hair shorter? Would he be dating anyone? Would he even love h

"You know it's impolite to stare."

Fuuko broke away from her thoughts and stared at Tokiya with eyes like saucers before abruptly shifting her gaze to her moving feet. Tokiya only cocked an eyebrow in reply.

'What the hell was I just thinking?' Fuuko wondered as she slowly felt her cheeks warming. How could she even thought of Tokiya loving *ahem* her? 'I must be going crazy now.'

"Hey, we're here." she heard him called before slamming gently on his stoic back.

Muttering a soft 'sorry' to her now pissed companion, Fuuko averted her gaze from the asphalt pavement to her surroundings. Indeed, she's back home. She once again snapped out her trance as she saw a lone figure coming to their direction. A lone figure in the form of her mother… No, scratch that her stepmother.

"Ah, Mikagami-san. Nice to see you."

"Nice to see you too, Kirisawa-sama." came the iceblock's reply. After a short exchange of compliments, Mrs. Kirisawa politely excused herself as she went inside, leaving the two of them alone once again. Sensing another awkward silence coming, Fuuko initiated the talk.

"So… tomorrow at your place?" the purple-head said in inquiry, in which a nod came in reply. "See you then," she muttered as she turned her heel and headed for the door.

But something made her turn abruptly, her eyes and mouth as big as saucers.

As she heard her mother called for her as she headed for the door, her senses told her that Tokiya also muttered something to her.

Did she hear him right? She asked herself.

Shaking the thought out of her head, she once again faced the other side and opened the door to their own household with only one thing on her mind.

'Dream on, Kirisawa Fuuko. Dream on.'

Author's Note/s: and I think I once again ended this in a cliffie. –dodges tomatoes- Sorry guys, as much as I wanted to reveal what Mi-chan said, I can't seem to write it properly. T_T I hope I didn't waste a good five or ten minutes of your time. I know this chapter was lame, so much for my own resurrection. XD I know I promised that there will be more ToFuu fluff in this chapter but I can't help but postponed it to a more interesting part of the story –smugs- BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh by the way, the song is entitled 'Dream On' by Aerosmith. It's a real one helluvah classic rock (?) song and I just thought of making it one of their line-ups just to make sense with what's happening with the story. :D

Anyway, please don't forget to drop a review. I would really appreciate it if you do. Go on, just click the "Review this Chapter" link below and make other people, especially me, happy! -^_^-

See you on the next chapter! Tata for now~! :D