Pairings: Sasuke x fem!Naruto
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any songs whose lyrics are used in this fanfiction.
Summary: For two years, the group Tanabata ruled the music industry only to mysteriously transfer before their label Akatsuki Records was charged with kidnapping and extortion. A blonde suddenly transfers into Sasuke's class, and Kyuubi takes the music world by storm.
Warnings: fem!Naruto, genderbender
Notes: A lot of band!AUs seem to be written in a way that does not describe the surroundings of the plot, so whenever I read them, I admit that the stories are great but I have to tell my brain that this music industry doesn't resemble the music industry of Japan, from which the series Naruto comes. So I have endeavored to use all my knowledge of the Japanese music industry within this fanfiction. If there are any questions or any corrections needing to be made, please say so in a review. For this fanfiction, I am willing to answer reviews every chapter.
Uchiha Sasuke looked up at the large television screen overlooking Tokyo Square and mentally sneered. On the big screen was a promotional video for Tanabata's most recent single, E-kari, pronounced Hikari, which had reached #2 on Oricon Charts on the first day.
"You don't know about Tanabata, Mio-chan?"
"Nope, but this is a pretty good song."
"You think so too? This is Tanabata's sixth single, and all their other singles were in top 5 on the music charts. I had to preorder this one three months ago!"
"When did this come out?"
"Really? That's so cool!"
Shrugging his book bag higher up his shoulder, he felt the urge to throw up. Fangirls always sickened him, and he shuddered at the mere proximity.
He took a second look at the promotional video. He knew about Tanabata; he heard the rumors and more. Tanabata, a duo who took the music industry by storm two years ago with their melodic lyrics and harmonizing instrumentals, recently transferred over to Konoha Alliance, his family's company's parent company. The transfer was kept under wraps for the time, though he had no idea why.
Maybe, he thought, everything factored into just who were the members of the famous Tanabata. Even though Tanabata's singles sold extremely well, Akatsuki Records, Tanabata's former music label, never promoted Tanabata much, which left critics in skepticism and shock. Ever since Tanabata's debut two years ago, the duo have never shown up in a live, television interview, or anything that revealed just who they were. Even their promotional videos lacked a image of their faces.
Even though their songs were used in commercials, anime, dramas, and other televised media, Tanabata never actually introduced themselves to the publicly. For that, Sasuke scoffed at the band despite reluctantly admitting that the duo were actually musical geniuses.
Mentally sighing, he walked away from the big screen, wondering what homework he needed to finish.
"Breaking News! We have just been informed of criminal charges brought up against key executives of Akatsuki Records, one of the smallest yet top music labels in Japan. According to reports, these charges were sealed and were only opened today after the official transfer of the duo Tanabata to Konoha Alliance. These charges include kidnapping, larceny, embezzlement, and assault. Though it has not been confirmed by officials, employees of Akatsuki Records are charged with accessory of the mentioned charges. We hope to bring you more news in a later report…"
"Aniki! What's going on?"
Itachi looked up from the stacks of paperwork, relieved to have an excuse to get away. He had absolutely no idea what Sasuke was thinking about, so clearly he could not answer the question. Leaning back into his oh-so-comfortable chair, he asked, "What's wrong, Sasuke?"
In his school uniform, Sasuke marched up with a newspaper in hand and slammed it on the desk.
Taking the newspaper, he calmly read the headline. "TANABATA BRINGS UP CHARGES AGAINST AKATSUKI RECORDS." That wasn't surprising considering just what Akatsuki Records had done to Tanabata. He was among the select few who knew the entire situation, and besides, he already knew who the members of Tanabata were. There was another headline underneath the first: "TANABATA TRANSFERS TO KONOHA ALLIANCE".
His fingers rubbing his temples, Itachi calmly repeated, "What is wrong, Sasuke?"
Sasuke looked miffed. "Why is this happening?"
"Tanabata was actually supposed to be under the Konoha Alliance label; Tsunade-sama herself scouted Tanabata before Akatsuki Records kidnapped the members of Tanabata."
Itachi sighed. This was going to be a lengthy affair. Giving Sasuke a pointed look, he knew that his otouto hadn't read very thoroughly; Sasuke had probably been too worried about how this would affect Konoha Alliance and their family's company. He gathered himself, and started explaining, "Akatsuki Records apparently kidnapped the members of Tanabata after Tsunade-sama scouted them; the members were held in the company's basement for two years. They were coerced into creating their six singles during that time, and without informing them, Akatsuki Records produced those singles. Akatsuki cut off all contact on Tanabata's end, so they had no idea if their message was heard."
His brother frowned, his brows furrowing in confusion. "Message?"
Raising an eyebrow, he scanned Sasuke's face for any sign of comprehension, and when he found none, he leaned back into his chair and berated himself for thinking that Sasuke would actually pay attention to Tanabata. He closed his eyes as he replied, "Figure it out yourself."
"What is that supposed to mean, aniki?"
"Tsunade-sama called a press conference in a few days, and you can come if you want." He didn't want to say anymore. He already told Sasuke more than what the press knew, and that in itself was a hazard.
Sasuke scowled. For a while, a silence more powerful than words hung between them and an understand passed between them. His younger brother nodded and announced succinctly, "I will be there, aniki.
There was an empty seat between Tsunade and Hatake Kakashi. There were other key executives from Konoha Alliance, Itachi included, but they were there mostly for public support and recognition of Konoha Alliance's newest artist. All of the reporters in the room instantly noticed the empty seat, and their minds sprang up with one question, "Who is supposed to be sitting there?"
From his seat near the back of the room, Sasuke could barely see the face-down nameplate in front of the empty seat. Despite his position in Uchiha Corp, he hardly received the entire story and so now, he hoped that he could gain some insight into the public facades of the individuals that he would work with in the future.
The conference hadn't officially started but everyone had already arrived, save the person of the empty seat. So technically, no one was late… yet, but it looked extremely bad on the company.
The door to the right of the raised stage opened without flair. He blinked.
He had never seen such… red. Most people were red-heads, but their hair consisted of more orange than red. This person… well, this person's red hair prominently stood out among the heads of assorted colors, mainly dark colors. This guy's hair burned like flaring fire the slight breeze of the room and under the synthetic light. There was no way that this guy's hair was actually that color.
Drawing his attention away the impossibly red hair, he focused in on the young man as a whole. The guy didn't look too old; in fact, he looked like a high schooler, but probably the most flamboyant high schooler he had ever seen. Then again… the music industry of Japan rarely contained any non-flamboyant characters. Dressed in clothes akin to leather, this guy had nothing about him that spoke of normality. From the way he walked to the way he held himself, there was nothing but self-confidence.
This guy strode onto the raised stage and moved to sit in the empty seat. Hatake looked up from an orange book that he recognized, raised an eyebrow at the newcomer, and returned to his erotica. Tsunade greeted the newbie with a smile as he sat down before looking at their audience, a serious expression crossing her face.
"I apologize for the wait but let's get this thing rolling," stated Tsunade. She took a deep breath and gave the report that media wanted. "The group Tanabata has officially transferred from Akatsuki Records to Konoha Aliiance, though that point is moot. Tanabata had a contract with us before they started releasing with Akatsuki Records."
Instantly the media popped questions:
"What do you mean?"
"Did Tanabata draw a contract with Akatsuki Records?"
"How did this come about?"
Leaning into the microphone placed in front of her, Tsunade promptly halted the flood of questions. "Tanabata never had a contract with Akatsuki Records. The group Tanabata had, in fact, been kidnapped by Akatsuki Records not a day after they signed our contract."
A reporter raised his hand, and Tsunade nodded for him to ask his question. "Does this mean that the charges towards Akatsuki Records are true?"
"We do not know exactly who is involved with Tanabata's incarceration, but we intend to bring all those involved to justice," Tsunade responded carefully. Her answer was very diplomatic and held very little information on the charges themselves and those charged.
Another reporter stood up when the noise receded slightly. "Tsunade-sama, we have all been curious, but would you please introduce your associate next to you?"
Tsunade blinked with slight surprise before turning her head to look at her red-haired associate. "This guy?" A sly smile crept upon her face, and Sasuke had the sudden urge to shiver and back away. One thing he hated just as much as fangirls were sadistic women.
The redhead, to the media's surprise, leaned forward to speak into the microphone to speak in a sultry tone. "You could have asked me yourself if you were so curious." The guy shifted his arm to rest his chin on his hand, giving the audience a smile that should be given in intimate situations. His half-mast red eyes with catlike slits for pupils darkened with forbidden knowledge (that Sasuke was sure were just contacts), and the three whisker-like marks across each cheek seemed to thicken imperceptibly, a bestial impression with the promise of extreme pleasure.
People in the audience visibly stiffened as the tension in the air suddenly thickened with sexual overtures, and several of them started shifting uncomfortably.
Abruptly, the guy laughed, dispersing the previous heavy air. He grinned, two slightly sharper pair of canines peaking out. "You, and the rest of the world, can call me Kyuubi." He flipped the face-down nameplate sitting in front of him, and sure enough the nameplate said, "KYUUBI."
After a brief silence from the reporters, the noise resumed again with the flashing cameras and questions. "Kyuubi-san, just what exactly is your relation to this press conference? Are you a member of Tanabata or Konoha Alliance?"
Kyuubi laughed again, but contrary to his actions, the mood in the room darkened and everyone could feel it. His smile became even more feral as he contemplated on how to answer. "A member of Tanabata? Are you kidding me? You think I'm just a member?"
The reporters didn't ask questions for once, highly confused and stunned by the questions. The television cameras kept on rolling and shooting, capturing all of the mysterious character's reactions.
"I am TANABATA!" Kyuubi roared.
Instantly, the crowd was in chaos
"What do you mean 'I am Tanabata'?"
"How is that possible when there are conclusively at least two members?"
"There's a female member!"
"Were you really kidnapped?"
"Minna-san," Tsunade forcibly spoke into the microphone. Instantly, the noise in the room subsided. "Kyuubi-san," she said with a pointed look in Kyuubi's direction, "will answer all your answers, so please conduct yourselves in a calm and rational manner."
Another silence overcame the audience, a red hue staining their faces, and embarrassed shifting rippled throughout the room. Finally, a female reporter stood up and asked, "Kyuubi-san, in Tanabata's songs, the public has heard both a female and a male voice. How can you be Tanabata when there is no female?"
"How do you know I'm a guy?"
The same reporter stuttered with an incredulous look on her face, "E-excuse me? You certainly look like a guy to me."
"Are you sure?"
It took some time for most of the media to get exactly what was happening, but Sasuke could hear the difference from the back of the room. Kyuubi's voice had changed… from a guy's voice… to a freaking girl's!
An astounded member of the media shouted out, "You're a GIRL?"
Kyuubi raised a delicate eyebrow and shifted, his… her… its back straightening, mere posture changing the entire feel of this… person. "You think I'm a girl?" It was the guy voice.
"Kyuubi-san," interrupted Tsunade with a stern glare in the redhead's direction, "please answer their questions."
Pouting, Kyuubi replied loud enough for the microphones to pick up his words, "You ruin all my fun, baa-chan."
A tick flashed into existence as Tsunade smiled brightly. She leaned into the microphone, "Kyuubi-san can imitate a range of voices, from a male bass to a female soprano. Even I have trouble recognizing who is speaking when Kyuubi-san calls."
This answer apparently appeased the audience, but it still left the question of whether Kyuubi was a boy or a girl. With Kyuubi's long hair and delicate figure, he… she… it could pass for a girl, but at the same time, there wasn't anything he could distinctly point out as masculine. The long hair and delicate figure could be eliminated as female factors since Kyuubi could have just been a delicate-looking male.
"Is that even possible?"
Most of the audience turned to look at a skeptical reporter. The man stood up with a frown. "To have that great of a vocal range and to manipulate sounds to that extent, no human can do that."
"Are you sure?"
Again, the audience gaped. For the past several statements, Kyuubi had been changing voices so no voice was alike, whether it was male or female. To be presented evidence as damning as this halted all the doubts resting in the minds of the media; some were even wondering exactly how they could transcribe the vocal changes onto paper; after all, hearing was believing.
Tsunade cut in, sure that the audience would allow her to speak. "Kyuubi-san has been out of incarceration for two months and is currently receiving therapy. While receiving therapy, Kyuubi-san will be disbanding Tanabata—"
"Does this mean that Konoha Alliance will not be producing Kyuubi-san's music?"
"Where will this leave the company?"
"Excuse me," interrupted Kyuubi, once again using a female voice. Immediately the audience shut up. With a ferocious grin, he…she… it said, "I will be disbanding Tanabata indefinitely and starting a new band."
One reporter had the decency to get up to ask his question. "What part will you be playing in this new band, Kyuubi-san?"
"I hope to do the vocals and perhaps play the part of guitar, but I most assuredly will be doing composition. During my time with Akatsuki Records, I have been able to compose about fifty or sixty songs besides the ones composed as Tanabata. I hope to produce these songs for the public; music was my life for an entire two years, and I hope that I can extend my feelings to my fans."
The mood of the group lightened as the lighthearted words warmed their hearts; inwardly, Sasuke sneered at the obvious manipulation of the media. Such displays of manipulations were below him, and how Konoha Alliance, his parent company, was willing to condone this sickened him.
"Who else is participating in this project?"
Kyuubi leaned in and gave another brilliant smile. "I actually haven't asked…" Kyuubi abruptly stopped talking, which immediately caught the attention of the other individuals sitting at the press table. The singer had a look of stunned confusion, blinking slowly yet calmly, as if a sudden revelation didn't make sense.
The red eyes of the singer bore right through the audience, but he knew what the singer saw.
Kyuubi raised a finger and pointed. "You… I want you to be in my new band."
All eyes looked in the direction of the pointing finger, and he cursed. Everyone was looking at Uchiha Sasuke.
Author's Note: Wow… this is the first time I've ever written a modern-day Naruto fanfiction, and this came as a surprise when the infernal plot bunnies started hopping. I'm hoping that you like this. I'm not going to make this long; I hope to be finishing the next chapter of New Future of the Legends within the next couple of days, and by the end of this month, I'll have finished 2 chapters of it. I've already finished the outlines for the next two chapters of New Future, but this fanfiction will be like… a… I don't know actually… I'm writing this as I go. There's an actual plot, but I want to focus in on the music and the possible romance build up.
This is my first romance fic, so please be nice? This is my first SasuNaru, my first fem!Naru, my first modern-day Naruto fanfic, first band!AU… a lot of firsts… Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed this installment of Metamorphosis.