Chapter 3: So It Begins

The concert was going well, very well in fact. Everyone was so in control it was almost as if they weren't having a tribute concert for their dead friend. The world had almost started spinning again, just barely that was. The crowd was electrified, people were screaming, some of them were crying and others were just generally having a good time. By Hyde's standards everything was going very well. Dir en grey was on the stage now, they were right in the middle of "Ain't afraid to die" and the crowd was almost eerily quiet, backstage where he was now looking out into the crowd he could just barely see tears on some of the people's faces.

Everything, much to his surprise, was also running very smoothly. For that he was very appreciative, he didn't think he could handle it if anything went wrong, not on this night, anyway. He would have most likely have had a heart attack, had anything actually gone wrong. Backstage Versailles was getting ready to take the stage after Dir en Grey, and if Hyde was being perfectly honest with himself (and he was) he had to say that Kamijo didn't look that great right now. Though really, he probably didn't look his best right now either so that was ok.

There was still one thing that was bothering him. That sinking feeling was still churning in his stomach, and it just refused to go away. Now Hyde was a very sensible person and knew that he should most likely do something about and he would, later. He looked back into the dressing room that Versailles was currently occupying, just taking a cursory glance around and noticed that Azrael wasn't there. He stepped in knocking on the door to alert them to his presence. They stopped looking in his direction.

"Sorry to disturb you guys, but where is Manda?" he asked. Kamijo answered his query.

"She said she was going up to the roof for some air." He said nonchalantly.

"And she hasn't came back yet?" he asked curiously.

"No," Kamijo answered "We just presumed she needed some air before that concert. She's still taking Gaku's death hard." At the last part he hung his head slightly, and the others got quiet. The silence stretched on for awhile before Hyde spoke again.

"We're all still taking his death hard…" his sentence faded out and silence once again enveloped them, until Chacha walked by.

"Hey, what are you guys doing?" he asked startling them all and making them nearly jump out of their skin. They all turned to look at him, he was practically radiating with energy, like he was literally glowing. His little scare did its job though, they snapped out of their stupor.

"Ah yes," Kamijo said "We should get back to warming up."

Hyde nodded and left the room, following Chacha to where Gacktjob was warming up as well. Hyde would be singing Orenji no Taiyou with them and Lee Hom; they would also be singing December Love Song together as well. While they were making the last of the preparations before they started warming up, Hyde wondered what was taking Manda so long, but the dismissed the thought he knew she would never miss a performance, willingly of course.

~on the roof~

Manda or Azrael as she was known to her fans sat atop the roof of the building where a mere few below her the tribute concert honoring one the world's best entertainers was taking place and soon she would have to take part of the farewell ceremony and sing, both as an solo artist and the newest member of Versailles. She sighed the weight of her friends passing weighing down heavily upon her, movement to her left alerted her to the prescience of her long time friend, Selina.

"Still grieving I see." Selina said in a very subdued tone. "Will you never stop this?"

Amanda looked over to the source of the voice from where she sat, her voice was low and weary when she spoke.

"And you're going to tell me that you've stopped mourning him already? I wouldn't believe that in a million years."

Selina's face turned sour at her words as did her voice, "What you believe is none of my concern at the moment, nor will it ever be!" her voice turned suddenly to honey "Besides, what you should be worried about at the moment is that tribute concert you've got to perform in soon. All fans are waiting to see you; the press is waiting to tear you to pieces should your performance not go as well as it should. Do you honestly think that you should be so focused on my mental state right now?"

Amanda looked sad "I know, I know, but what else am I supposed to focus on?

Her voice was so defeated. The other went to her, opening her arms to the weary girl. Amanda collapsed in the offered arms.

"I'm sorry, love. Selina said "I didn't mean to sound so harsh. Forgive me?" She smiled and looked down at her companion and received a shaky smile in return. "Now then", she said brightly "You need to get down there and get ready; you're supposed to go on in a few minutes." Amanda nodded and disappeared into the floor. Selina stayed a few more moments more and stared at the sky. There's a storm coming she said quietly to herself.

~back downstairs~

Dir~en~Grey was just existing the stage and Kyo felt like he couldn't breathe. He needed to get away from his band mates for just a little while. He headed up a set of stairs just out of site of the stage. The room above the stage was about the size of a small classroom and held various pieces of equipment electrical or otherwise. The air was slightly musty, the one window that was in the room had clearly not been opened for a long time. Kyo didn't care though; he just needed a place to put his mask back in place, to collect himself so no one would see how broken and shattered he was.

He closed his eyes, trying to will away the exhaustion that threatened to overwhelm him. It's too bad that he was too tired to notice the slight vibrations of purposely light footsteps steadily coming towards him. Kyo opened his eyes with a much put upon sigh and was stealing himself to rejoin his friends. The person moved silent as the clouds that move in the sky, blade already drawn. Then the figure was behind him and then the blade came down…

A/N: Well yeah there it is the third chapter after over a year -_-' and with a cliffhanger, yeah I'm evil XP.