The following disclaimer shall be construed so as to apply to all the fanfiction. The author does not own, and does not claim to own, anything copyrighted, trademarked, or otherwise owned by anyone else. The author does not claim to own any work mentioned here, nor the characters or events or jokes or concepts or dialogue of any work, despite any usage of the above. All intellectual properties, copyrights, trademarks, and other items are the property of their respective owners.
Anime characters come in sevens, and lots of cartoon characters are in bands. What if some of anime's most famous seven character groups formed bands and put on a concert together? We found out the answer to that question last time; now it's time to kick it up another notch.
Featuring characters from InuYasha, Yu Yu Hakusho, Fushigi Yugi, Pretear, Fruits Basket, and D.N. Angel.
This fanfiction spoils the plot developments of many stories: that is, it reveals the plot twists of these stories before you may be ready. Don't keep reading if you want to be surprised by the real stories!
There probably won't be many spoilers if you've seen:
All of Fushigi Yugi
All of Pretear
Fruits Basket to Aya's introduction (if you don't remember him you probably haven't seen him)
D. N. Angel to "The Temple of Neptune"
The Bands of Seven: Transform Into The Next Generation!
The marquee outside the theater read in large letters, "Bands of Seven Concert: Transform Into the Next Generation!" Below it were smaller letters which read, "Featuring: The Suzaku Seven, Leafé Snow, Animal Basket, and the world premiere of the Almost Mediterranean Middle School Band!" A queue of people purchased tickets and entered the theater.
"There are actually other people here!" Inuyasha commented as he walked down the center aisle, looking for an open seat. "Last time we practically had the place to ourselves." The other members of the audience were fairly normal humans, and they gawked at the vibrant red haori Inuyasha wore, as well as his long silver hair and white, doglike ears which stuck out of the top of his head. Most of the audience members incorrectly assumed that this was all an elaborate costume.
"I suspect the posters we saw on our way had something to do with this," Sango deduced. She had taken her giant boomerang off her back to fit through the door. Kirara, the two-tailed demon cat, walked primly beside her. The audience members were harder-pressed to explain this.
"There've been some radio ads, and even a TV spot," their modern friend Kagome agreed. She was allowing their young fox-demon friend Shippo to ride on her shoulder. Shippo's brown tail brushed against Kagome's shoulder-length black hair.
The others in the audience had now seen so many strange things that they decided to just ignore them. It was probably just some sort of special effects anyhow.
"The crowd looks quite lively today," Miroku, their handsome friend, agreed, then spoke about a matter weighing heavily on his mind. "I suppose you'll insist on tying me up again. It'll be awkward, but if you really think I can't control myself, I suppose I shall just have to submit to-"
"I saw you hiding that knife in your wrappings," Sango said evenly, gesturing to the cloth and string of beads that Miroku always kept around his right hand. He gulped. He had thought no one was watching him hide that tool so he could surreptitiously cut his bonds.
"It's not as though he could've gotten far from me even if he did break free," Inuyasha commented. "But he's right, I don't want people giving us grief about tying him up again. So if he does something wrong, I'll just bop him on the head like I do Shippo."
"Indeed," Miroku commented, raising his eyebrows as if daring Inuyasha to try it.
"You didn't have to hit me just because I got the last bit of ninja food!" Shippo whined.
"I had claimed that!" Inuyasha turned his head to protest.
"Inuyasha," Kagome said with a frown, and he hurriedly turned back to finding a seat, though with a growl.
They were all looking about, trying to decide on a place to sit, when someone called, "Yo!" They saw, in the front row, a handsome young man with slicked-back black hair waving at them. A beautiful young woman with brown hair sat beside him. They seemed familiar, so Inuyasha and his friends approached them.
"I never really got a chance to meet you guys from last time," the man with slicked-back hair said. "I mean, apart from your disagreements with my pals Hiei and Kuwabara. My name is Yusuke Urameshi." He gestured to the young woman and said, "This is Keiko Yukimura." Keiko bowed slightly and said, "How do you do?".
Inuyasha and his friends introduced themselves in turn, and decided to sit in the row behind Yusuke and Keiko. Kagome mentioned to Keiko, "This theater's gotten a lot better since we were last here, hasn't it?"
"Yes, I think I'm going to like this concert much better than the last one," Keiko agreed. "I'm so glad that Genkai took a more active role in managing this place. I'm so glad that the bands this time will actually be composed of nice, decent people."
"That will be nice," Kagome agreed. "It's a lot cleaner in here, too." Keiko nodded in agreement. Inuyasha recalled with disgust, "Yeah, that stale popcorn all over the place was nasty!"
"So, you know the manager of the theater?" Miroku inquired. "I seem to recall that she was your grandmother." He looked at Yusuke.
"No, no, no," Yusuke laughed. "That's just my nickname for her!"
Shippo put a finger to his chin. "I thought it was odd that she was calling her own grandson a dimwit in public."
"See, that's her nickname for me," Yusuke explained with another laugh. "She's my martial arts trainer, and she gave me a lot of good advice on life, too. I don't take half of it, but she did a lot for me."
"The Spirit Orb," Keiko reminded him. Yusuke looked upwards reflectively and agreed, "She sure gave that to me, all right."
They heard a buzz from the audience around them; people were whispering at each other. They turned around and saw several conspicuous high school aged girls enter the theater. Kuwabara took one look and groaned. "Oh, let me guess," he said sarcastically. "That's the name of some super cute boy they all love, isn't it?"
The fangirls were all wearing handmade t-shirts bearing the words, in English, "Love Yuki." A lot of the buzz from the crowd had apparently been interest in this attire, but not surprise. Evidently the girls were well-known fans of the doubtlessly fortunate Yuki.
Yukina laid a hand on Kuwabara's forearm, and he relaxed and returned his gaze to the stage.
"I don't see the Suzaku Seven in the audience," Kagome noted. "Where do you suppose they are?"
"Since they're the opening act," Kurama suggested, "I imagine they're behind the stage preparing. Amiboshi's parents are over there though, as well as Miaka's older brother and friends. Ah, it looks like the show is about to start."
Kagome looked in the direction he was looking and saw an elderly couple holding up a sign saying "Go Kai-Ka!" as the house lights dimmed. She had just enough time to note Miaka's friend Yui and older brother Keisuke, as well as Keisuke's friend Tetsuya, sitting side by side. All three were immediately to the left of the elderly couple. To the couple's right were nine seats, held empty and in reserve.
Genkai walked onto the stage, her martial arts raiment flowing smoothly in the spotlight following her motions. She stood before the microphone with her arms crossed behind her back and her feet planted firmly. Genkai announced, "Welcome, all of you, to the second Bands of Seven concert. We're honored this evening to have with us these fine musicians. Opening the concert for the Suzaku Seven is a familiar face to many, renowned throughout Konan and Koutou. Please welcome the artist formerly known as Ambioshi, Kai-Ka!"
The curtains behind Genkai opened, and she rapidly cleared the stage as Kai-Ka, once Ambioshi, walked forward from behind the curtains. His blue headband was nestled securely within his blonde hair, and his blue eyes looked out merrily upon the enthusiastic crowd. He waved at the crowd with his free hand, while his other hand clasped a wooden flute. When the crowd hushed, he put the flute to his lips and played.
Keiko looked nervously and suspiciously at Yusuke and Kuwabara. She was hoping they weren't going to heckle Amiboshi again. She really didn't want to be embarrassed and have to beat them. Fortunately, Yusuke looked composed and ready to enjoy the concert, while Kuwabara was rubbing the back of his head. Evidently Yukina's lesson from last time had sunk in. Keiko relaxed.
The most junior member of Yuki's fan club, Goto, commented quietly, "Amiboshi's kinda cute, isn't he?"
The club president, Motoko, fixed her with a glare. "I will not brook any treason against our beloved Prince Yuki," she whispered venomously.
Goto, unruffled by her president's manner, nodded agreeably and returned to enjoying the performance.
From backstage, Yuki peeked out through a curtain to confirm his dread suspicion. "How could they possibly have known? We didn't tell anyone I was part of the band, it wasn't in any of the ads," he muttered to himself. He turned around to face his cousin Kyo. "Are you sure you didn't mention anything to the fan club?"
Kyo rolled his eyes. "Why would I tell them anything? I don't care about those maniacs."
Their friend Tohru Honda suggested, "Maybe they're just here for the concert."
"I'm afraid not, Ms. Honda," Yuki sighed, "from what I can see, they're wearing some sort of fan club shirt."
Tohru smiled awkwardly. She didn't like to see Yuki upset like this. She said encouragingly, "I'm sure they're just wishing you to do your best!"
"I appreciate encouragement," Yuki frowned, "but their actions at school practically smother me. I'm also worried that they may disturb others trying to enjoy the concert."
"If you don't want them bothering you, just tell them that to their faces," Kyo recommended.
Yuki raised an eyebrow. "That strategy hasn't worked well with you and Kagura," he observed.
"She won't listen to me, that's all!" he agreed angrily. "I'm just saying that's what you'd do if you were serious about not having them bother you!"
"I'm looking for a solution with a bit more tact," Yuki said distastefully. "There's no need to trample on their feelings, even if they are inconvenient to me."
"Oh, noble as ever, 'Prince' Yuki," Kyo said sarcastically. "I think you actually like being followed around by them."
"The embarrassing nickname sounds harmless coming from a stupid cat," Yuki said softly.
Kyo evidently hadn't heard this, which was just as well.
Shin swung his short legs above the floor as he sat in a chair in the dressing room of the band Leafé Snow. He happily and rapidly licked at his ice cream cone. A droplet of it got past him and started to roll down the cone. With a sad look in his eye, he held the cone towards his older friend Mannen and asked, "Cold, please?"
Mannen was growing tired of having to refreeze the treat with his powers of ice, and growled at the toddler, "Just eat it already!" He grudgingly touched the cone, being careful not to touch the part where Shin had licked, and refroze it.
"Yummy!" Shin said happily.
Hajime put a finger to his lips, in an attempt to silence his friends, listening intently to the music filtering back from the stage. Kai-Ka was an excellent flute player in his opinion.
A few seats away, Sasame murmured to his date Takako, "I wonder why he changed his name."
"I wonder," she said, and looked at him significantly. Her glance suggested that she suspected he, like they, had turned over new leaves in life.
In the audience sat a middle-school aged boy with black spiky hair and an aged but well-preserved press armband. He looked over at his friend, a seat away on his left, with a mixture of admiration, jealousy, and suspicion.
"Someone's very lucky in his choice of seats," he mouthed to his friend.
"Saehara," his friend Daisuke Niwa whispered back nervously, "I tried to save a seat for you, but, well, it didn't seem right to tell them they couldn't sit here when it's so crowded."
"I'm quite willing to be a gentleman where they're concerned," Saehara whispered back with a broad grin. "This will be quite a shot for the school paper. You right between the Harada twins, the two hottest girls in school!"
"You're not serious," Niwa muttered hopefully, his cheeks beginning to turn as red as his hair.
"Stop that!" Saehara scolded him. "You need to look confident and cool if the shot's going to be any good!"
"I suppose," said Satoshi Hiwatari, a seat away from Daisuke's left, "that this isn't a very lucky night for you after all."
"Please, I don't need this from you too," Niwa pleaded.
"I'm surprised you didn't realize," Satoshi reassured with a half smile, "there isn't nearly enough light for his camera."
"Oh, a good reporter can find ways around that," Saehara said unconcernedly.
Niwa was somewhat saved by the arrival of the Harada twins. They scooted back to their seats on either side of him.
"I'm sorry we missed part of this," Risa Harada said wistfully as she focused her attention on the stage. "It sounds like such a wonderful flute melody."
Her older sister Riku nodded.
They were both so lovely. Niwa hoped he could manage the evening without transforming.
Kai-Ka finished his performance, and the audience erupted into a standing ovation. He bowed deeply in return.
When the applause died down, he said into the microphone, "Thank you all, thank you. It's now my great pleasure to introduce Chiriko of the Suzaku Seven!"
Chiriko, a boy in a noble's clothing, with brown hair both upswept and in a ponytail, walked onto the stage.
"He's so adorable!" exclaimed Risa Harada in the audience. "I want a little brother like that!"
Chiriko took the microphone from Kai-Ka and said, "Thank you, Kai-ka, for that wonderful introduction, and for your marvelous flute music!" The audience applauded again.
Kai-ka went backstage as Chiriko went on to introduce the Suzaku Seven act in a sing-song voice, "And now, ladies and gentlemen, please come with me to the faraway land of Konan. The brave warriors of Suzaku have finally been assembled by the Lady Miaka. However, one of the warriors, her beloved Tamahome, has had his mind poisoned against her by the enemies of Konan. The Emperor Hotohori now risks his life to contest Tamahome's attack on the palace of Konan. If he fails, the land will lose its emperor. If he succeeds, he will have lost his friend Tamahome."
With these dramatic words, Chiriko suddenly disappeared off of the stage, and the curtains whisked open to reveal a wonderfully done set. The walls were hung with exquisite tapestries depicting large red birds flying over the land, and large red columns supported the ceiling. The furniture and appointments in the room were lavish, and a priceless tea set rested upon a handsome wooden table on the side of the stage.
Standing in the center of the stage were two people. One was a young woman with reddish brown hair that fell to her shoulders. She was dressed in a khaki middle school uniform with a blue bow at her throat. The uniform appeared worn, as though she'd been traveling throughout ancient China in it. Facing her was a tall, handsome teenage man, with long, fine black hair, and tender features.
"Wow," Goto of the Prince Yuki fan club stated, "that guy is-"
President Motoko of the fan club glared at her.
Goto was generally easygoing, but now she appeared peeved as she retorted, "I was going to say he's almost, but not quite, as handsome as Prince Yuki!"
Elsewhere in the audience, Riku Harada looked with irritated trepidation at her younger sister, wondering if she had suddenly found a new true love. On the one hand, it was annoying that Risa could be so shallow as to develop a crush on a guy just because he was cute. On the other hand, she almost wished that her sister would transfer her affections to anyone other than the thieving cad from their homeland, Phantom Dark!
To Riku's surprise, Risa hadn't been enamoured. Catching her glance, Risa whispered hotly, "I don't need your critical looks, Risa. I don't fall in love with everyone I see. This guy is cute, yeah, but I want someone who looks dangerous and cool too. And I've found that someone in Mr. Dark! And you can't deny that he's saved me and wants our relationship to grow deeper!"
"He's been involved with every pretty face in the city for hundreds of years, remember!" Risa replied, appealing to their knowledge of town legends.
Daisuke laughed nervously- it was awkward being inbetween them while they were having a whispered argument.
They both glared at him, upset about having forgotten his presence during their fight. Daisuke found another nervous laugh escaping his throat. Riku crossed her arms and turned back to the show, while Risa shot her sister a dirty look, looked away, then looked back at the show.
On stage, the woman said to the young man, "Hotohori, please don't hurt Tamahome."
Hotohori replied with a grim look, "Miaka, he has hurt you. If his mind has been taken, there is nothing I can do. Don't you understand? I must protect you."
He then proceeded to sing, "Yes! Koko ni Eien Ga Aru", to general swooning in the audience.
After his song was done, there were shouts from offstage, as other members of the Suzaku Seven called, "Your Majesty! Tamahome is attacking!"
Hotohori looked lovingly at Miaka for one last moment, then locked her in a closet to spare her the anguish of watching the battle about to unfold.
"Hotohori!" she shouted as he ran offstage, "let me out this instant!"
As the houselights dimmed, there was wild applause from the audience.
Kagome, however, did not approve of Hotohori's actions. "What if he needed her help?" she asked aloud.
Ahead of her, Keiko nodded and looked back at Kagome and added, "What right does he have to lock her in a closet anyway?"
Sango wondered about another point in the story, "This Tamahome's mind was poisoned, right? I wonder if it was kodoku that was used. The Demon Slayers have known it to be a dangerous, mind-altering plant for a long time."
Inuyasha found the whole play somewhat mysterious, but didn't really care- he wanted it to get to the fight scene already!
The set had been rapidly changed to show a stone courtyard in the palace. A stormy sky, represented by clever set pieces, was sending down buckets of rain via special effects, drenching the cast.
For indeed all the cast was there, except for Chiriko and Miaka. Tasuki, a man with violent orange hair, incisors like small fangs, and a large black coat, was present, in stage bandages and holding a cane. He was standing too straight and sometimes forgot to lean on his cane when he moved, as he would if he were actually relying on it due to injury. Mitsukake was close by his side, still holding a roll of bandages. His black hair stood up straight, bound by a colorful bandana, which set off his green shirt. Chichiri was there, his normally smiling face worried, holding his monk staff ready for combat. Nuriko, a man with violet eyes and long dark hair, was looking angry and had his fists ready. Kai-Ka was watching the scene with folded arms. All of them were standing on a raised platform, facing the audience. Before them was Hotohori, holding his sword at the ready against Tamahome. Tamahome was dressed in black, complimenting his short blue hair. He was facing Hotohori in a martial arts stance, and appeared dispassionate about the fight he was provoking.
"Tamahome!" Hotohori demanded sternly. "Come to your senses. I am the emperor of Konan, and your friend as one of the Suzaku Seven."
"I care for none of that now," Tamahome said clearly. "I serve Lady Yui."
"That is it, then?" Hotohori snapped. "You have turned your back on Miaka, injured your comrade Tasuki, and betrayed your emperor and homeland! I must finish you quickly."
He rushed at Tamahome, who dodged the blade with his quick reflexes. Hotohori proved his swordsmanship by nearly getting Tamahome on a backstroke despite the dodge, but Tamahome managed to avoid this as well. The two circled and fought.
"The human has some talent at swordplay," Hiei commented dispassionately.
Kurama, Yusuke, and Kuwabara looked on with new interest. Such a comment from Hiei was a ringing endorsement. They saw for themselves that the fighters knew their moves well, and would be capable in a real fight.
Miaka suddenly burst onto the stage in great distress. Kagome pumped her fist and Keiko smiled.
Miaka began to sing "Itooshi Hito No Tame Ni," and the audience cheered. Inuyasha was glad that the fight scene was proceeding during the song.
Almost immediately after the song finished, in a brilliant moment of stage swordplay choreography, Hotohori appeared to mortally wound Tamahome. Miaka screamed and ran to them.
In the throes of death, Tamahome was still under the control of the kodoku poisoning, and reached for his sword to kill Miaka. She pushed down his hand and kissed him deeply. After a moment, he slowly began to embrace her back. The kodoku was overcome. Mitsukake stepped down from the platform to Tamahome, palm extended. He used his powers to heal Tamahome, and Hotohori welcomed Tamahome back into the Suzaku Seven.
The audience applauded heartily as the curtains swooshed across the stage and cut off the view. Many people leapt to their feet. Soon Tasuki and Chiriko appeared in front of the closed curtain, waving enthusiastically.
"Thank you all, we appreciate your enthusiasm!" Tasuki told them. "Thank you all so much!" Chiriko agreed.
"And now, our next number," Tasuki continued. "Seeing as I lead a gang of bandits, I thought I'd do a song in gangsta rap style!"
Beside him, Chiriko cringed. "But Tasuki, you swore to me that you wouldn't!"
Tasuki laughed, and the audience laughed with him, as he explained, "I'm just teasing ya, Chiriko! Seriously, our next number is 'Heart ni KIRAboshi Sakashitare!!.' And just for my pal Chiriko, I'm gonna do it in a hard rock style."
Nuriko appeared at the far end of the stage and tossed Tasuki a guitar. Tasuki caught it while Nuriko moved a drum set onto the stage - with only one hand. While everyone gaped at this incredible feat of strength, Tamahome calmly came from behind the curtain and set up a synthesizer. From stage left, Chiriko pulled out a xylophone mounted on wheels and rolled it near his friends. Nuriko stood behind the drums and took out a pair of drumsticks.
They proceeded to play the song, to great enthusiasm from the audience. After it was over, Tasuki waved grandly, thanking the audience.
All of the cast now appeared from behind the still-closed curtain, and there was anticipatory applause from the audience.
"Oh, thank you so much, everyone!" Miaka said happily. "We're going to be doing our best for this one, so please enjoy it!" She began to sing "Toukimeki no Doukasen," and the audience cheered once again.
Just behind the curtain, the next band, Leafé Snow, was setting up for its show.
"I really liked that last song of Tasuki's," Go commented to his fellows.
"Because it had all of those mentions of fire in the lyrics?" Hajime asked politely.
"No, I just liked the tune," Go said, bemused.
Himeno clasped her hands and faced the curtain and the source of the music. "That's really great." She turned to look at Hayate and ask, "How come we don't have any romantic songs in our lineup?"
"How much did you practice the songs we have?" he asked brusquely.
"Hey!" she spat back, "I had to study for some tests, okay! I practiced hard with all of you! I'll do just fine."
"Sure, Tulip Head," he said, sounding unconvinced.
"Stop calling me that!" Himeno growled.
"Hayate, it was you who said the other day that she was doing better than you'd expected," Sasame said quietly. "Am I right?"
Hayate looked away quickly and tried to sound gruff as he protested, "I still won't accept less than the best."
"Neither will I," huffed Himeno, although she was mostly appeased.
Mannen looked over at Kei, who was gazing fixatedly into a handheld mirror and repeatedly fiddling with a blond forelock, moving it a few centimeters only to replace it. Mannen said, "Kei, get over here and help us!"
"I am helping," he said unashamedly. "My fans have come to expect a certain level of attractiveness from me, and rightly so. I can't let them down now."
Mannen rolled his eyes, wondering why he'd bothered.
The audience began to quiet down from the last song, and Miaka looked out happily at them all, her smile almost literally stretching from ear to ear. Her eyes, however, were growing misty.
"Everyone, we've all been supported so magnificently by all of you. We really couldn't have done it without you. We wanted to thank you again. Unfortunately, tonight's going to be our last performance-" strands of the band members' hair, and the stage curtains, moved towards the audience in response to the collective, horrified intake of breath- "yes, I'm really sorry," Miaka told them, "but I'm afraid we'll all be too busy, working hard on the preparations, we won't be able to give you the songs you want to hear. I hope that we'll be able to join you on this stage again in the future. In the meantime, I hope that you'll all give me your support as I prepare for something that's really frightening, but the most wonderful moment in my life as well. Tamahome and I are getting married a few weeks from now."
He came up to take her hand as the audience suddenly broke into wild applause. There were shrieks of delight from many young female fans, loud cries of "Yeah!! Go Tamahome!" from young male fans, and loud wishes for happiness and prosperity from many other fans.
"See, he's taken," President Motoko of the Prince Yuki fan club glared at Goto.
"I didn't say anything about him!" Goto said defensively.
"Like Miaka said," Tamahome said into the microphone, "we really appreciate your support. I'll do my best to make Miaka happy. Of course, not doing concerts, money's going to get tight. So I'd appreciate any donations you care to make to 'Miaka and Tamahome's Honeymoon'-"
"Tamahome!" exclaimed a scandalized Miaka.
The audience laughed.
"Seriously, please give us your best wishes!" Tamahome exclaimed. The crowd loudly did so.
Their friend Nuriko shouted out to the audience, "Okay, do you all want one last song before we send off the happy couple?" There was a loud shout of "Yes!" and glowsticks began waving throughout the audience in affirmation.
"I think they want one, you know?" band member Chichiri said as he smiled at Nuriko.
"Then we shall do our best," Hotohori affirmed.
"I shall repay you for your kindness in letting me perform," Kai-Ka assured them, "by doing my best."
"We shall heal our hearts with the music," Mitsukake postulated.
"Let's burn through the melody!" Tasuki suggested.
"Perhaps the best course would be to simply perform as best we can," Chiriko chuckled at Tasuki's antics.
The audience waved their glowsticks in time with the music as the Suzaku Seven, Kai-Ka, and Miaka performed "Chijou No Seiza."
When it was over, the band bowed, and wept, and embraced one another warmly, profoundly happy, and left the stage to unrestrained applause.
"Great," Mannen murmured behind the curtain, "how are we going to top that?"
"Stop squirming, it's distracting!"
"I accept your challenge, Ms. Awayuki!! Haaa!"
"I think your spirit vision needs spirit contact lenses."