Blame BuRiChiFaN for planting the idea in my head. It just wouldn't leave me alone.
What if Ritsu and Mio did not start off in good terms? Here's my take. And yes, I know that it wasn't very imaginative of me to add the new ed's name as a title. But I don't care! It's so badass!
Tell me if it's good or bad or if I should just crawl under something and die xD
Disclaimer: Don't (say lazy!) own K-On!
"This was ..."
"An absolute catastrophe." Azusa was the one to voice the group's collective thought. Mentally, they all agreed but Yui, optimistic as always, tried to soften the blow.
"Really? I thought it was great!" Her enthusiasm could be a bit extreme sometimes.
"It wasn't so bad...we just lacked-"
"-the drums." Mugi finished for Mio. They had no rhythm to lead them. This resulted in them slowly falling apart, often making it impossible to reach the end of the songs in one piece.
Houkago Tea Time -their band- was about 3 weeks old. Song ideas were abundant, thanks to the united creativity of Mugi and Mio. All of them knew how to handle their respective instruments. They were friends and trusted each other. They had a teacher from school who supported them..in her own unique way.
Everything should've gone smoothly, except for the tiny little fact that they did not have a drummer, and none of them knew anyone who could play.
The problem weighed heavily on their minds. Not even the cakes or the tea could soothe the group.
Mio looked over at the unused drumkit in the corner. They were in Mugi's house, using the built-in studio as their main practice headquarters. The kit's presence mocked them and served as a constant reminder of what they so desperately needed.
Mugi followed Mio's gaze and noticed the darkening look of her teammate. She tried to distract Mio by offering her a chocolate cake she knew Mio liked and it worked, if only temporarily.
They decided to end practice early. They had important exams coming up and they weren't in the mood for it anyway.
Yui was proud. With the help of Nodoka, she managed to write a decent test in her opinion. To celebrate her success she called her friend, Ritsu to hang out somewhere. She hadn't talked to Ritsu in a long time, since usually one of them was busy while the other had nothing to do and they did not attend the same school.
Yui met Ritsu at the train station a few months ago while waiting for the delayed train. There was no one else at the station, and a frustrated Yui attacked Ritsu with her complaints of the unfairness of it all. To her surprise during their talking she discovered that they were similar in many aspects and when Ritsu offered the exchange of phone numbers Yui was happy to oblige. New friends were always welcome, and Ricchan proved to be a great one.
They decided to catch up at a small café. One might think that Yui would have enough of all the pastries and tea thanks to Tsumugi's generous provisions but that was not the case. She never got bored of cakes, to imply such a thing would be outrageous!
Yui arrived perfectly on time since she did not want to "upset" the delicious treats-uh I mean, Ritsu. She spotted her friend at one of the tables and headed there. She was welcomed by the other's toothy grin and answered it with one of her own smiles.
"Could you two please shut up already!" One of the customers snapped. The two in question quieted down a little, earning a relieved sigh from the others in the café.
"So Yui, how's it going?"
Yui actually paused a little with eyebrows drawn in determination to make her announcement more dramatic . "Ricchan, I passed the test!"
"Oooh nice one!" Ritsu's gaze shone with respect.
"How about Ricchan?"
"Well, I don't have any tests right now so it's all good." She sipped her tea contentedly. Yui's eyes wandered to the hand holding the cup and her eyebrows flew up in surprise.
"What happened to your hand?"
"Ah, this? I drummed a lot yesterday so I popped some blisters." She said with light nonchalance. Hearing no reply from Yui, she looked up from her cup to regard the other-
-only to find Yui to be frozen in place.
"Oi, oi! What's with the look? Yui! Snap out of it!" She snapped her fingers in front of the still unresponsive Yui. Suddenly, she sprang back to life with an intensity that startled Ritsu.
"You can play the drums!"
"Yeah, been doing it since elementary school."
"Ricchan!" The mad glint in Yui's eyes was starting to creep her out.
"Are you in a band right now?" She asked the drummer.
"Er, well I'm not in any-"
"Please join our band! We need you!"
"Huh?" She let Yui's words sink in. "Wait, what? You have a band?"
"Yup, and we only need the drummer! Please Ricchan, you'd make all of us so happy!"
"Just how many of you are in the band?"
"Four" Yui answered impatiently, eager for Ritsu's response to her proposal. "So what do you say Ricchan? Will you join?" She grabbed onto Ritsu and started shaking her. "Will you? Will you, Ricchan?"
"Alright, alright. Just let go of me." Yui eased her desperate grip and instead switched to a bone-crushing hug.
"Ricchan, you're the best!"
"You can say that again."
"Only if you buy me that strawberry cake." Ritsu sweatdropped.
"So, when do I start?"
"We have practice tomorrow at Mugi-chan's house."
"Alright, I'll call you tomorrow and we could meet up at the station."
"Great! They're gonna love you, Ricchan!"
Ritsu grinned. Yui's happiness and enthusiasm were infectious. She was excited at the prospect of meeting a whole bunch of new people and hoped she could fit in.
I'll try my best. Yui, I won't disappoint you!
Later at home Ritsu thought about practicing for tomorrow but then decided that she was skilled enough to skip it altogether. There's no need to strain myself.
On the next day Mugi, Mio and Azusa gathered at Mugi's place. Yui still wasn't there yet, but her tardiness was a common occurance so they did not dwell on it too much, though Azusa voiced her opinion with a small growl of irritation.
Finally, Yui arrived with an ecstatic face, dragging –to the rest's astonishment- an unkown individual by the arm. She marched to the trio wearing a triumphant expression. Ritsu stepped out from behind her, making sure to muster up her friendliest smile.
"Yo!" Her voice rang loud and full of energy.
Azusa stared from Ritsu to Yui. She did not seem to grasp the situation. The same could be said for Mugi and Mio. 'What kind of stupid joke is she trying to pull?'
"Yui-senpai, what is the meaning of this?" She asked in a somewhat stern tone.
"This is Tainaka Ritsu and she said she could help us out!"
"Help us out? With wha-" Azusa was cut off by Ritsu who noticed the lonely drumkit in the corner.
"Whoa! Is that a Yamaha Absolute Series drumkit?" She ran there, seemingly oblivious to the others, sat behind the drums and grabbed the sticks conveniently placed next to the seat. She felt like a kid with a new cool toy and did not hesitate to bang out some solos, testing the potential of the kit.
'Holy shit, it's awesome!'
Yui puffed out her chest proudly. She turned to the others to see their reaction, ready to boast about her find.
"She's good isn't she? Huh?" The others did not respond. They still couldn't believe that they finally found a drummer. That Yui found a drummer. It was all too surrealistic. Ritsu stopped her mini-performance and walked back to them with a sheepish face.
"Hehe sorry, I can forget myself sometimes. So, am I in?" Momentary silence, then-
"Thank you for joining us!" Azusa burst out with a dead-serious expression and accompanied it with a deep bow. She was, after all, the one who valued the actual practicing the most, as opposed to the light-hearted cake-consuming activities. Mio came in as a close second.
And so, HTT became complete. They celebrated this with tea and pastries of course, and though Ritsu found this strange at first, she quickly grew to be an avid fan of Tsumugi treats©. Then they practiced by playing the songs first to Ritsu for her to get used to the melodies and craft an underlying rhythm to them. Then Ritsu joined in and to their delight all went fabulously.
It was after some time that things took a turn for the worse.
Ritsu's skin on her hands was still delicate and could not withstand the constant pressure. The skin where the blisters have popped was raw and it did not take much rubbing for the blood to appear. Ritsu noticed this and asked for a timeout to treat her hands.
"What's wrong Ricchan?"
"It's nothing Yui. Remember my hand yesterday? It's bleeding now." There was a shriek, and then silence. Ritsu looked around, panicked. 'Did something happen?' Her eyes rested on the trembling figure of Mio who was trying to make herself as small as possible, covered her ears with her hands and mumbled incomprehensible things.
'What's up with her?' "What's up with her?" Ritsu was a person who spoke her mind.
"Oh, Mio-chan just gets scared easily. Don't worry Ricchan, she'll get over it soon."
"Is that so? Hohoho!" 'So Akiyama-san is a scaredy-cat? This is gonna be fun!' Ritsu decided to test her, just to be sure of course. She went behind Mio and whispered in her ear.
"Oh no, I have been infected with leprosy! My arm fell off! How am I going to drum with one arm?" The story was ridiculous. But Ritsu was just testing Mio. The result was a high-pitched shriek. The mumbling became clearer.
"Can't see anything, can't hear anything..!"
'Whoa! She's super sensitive!' Ritsu thought with amazement. But it was not enough for her. She wanted to drive Mio to her limit. It wasn't that Ritsu was a cruel person. She just behaved like a child many times. In this instance she could be compared to a little boy who caught a fly and decided to dissect it to pieces out of curiosity or something. Yes, it was some kind of morbid fascination. And, like any child, she pursued it without consideration.
She actually paused before her next assault. 'There's no way she would fall for this one. It's too outrageous.'
"Help, help! Someone cut off my head with a chainsaw! Hey Akiyama, could you please put it back onto my body?"
Mio stopped the mumbling. Her brain was too numb with terror.
'Just one more.' "Oi, oi! Help me before I suffocate in my own pool of blood!"
Just as she predicted, Mio snapped. But the outcome was more severe.
"Holy shit! Are you crazy?" Ritsu yelled with her now bleeding nose. She hoped it wasn't broken. Akiyama could really pack a punch. This wasn't some silly little slap, it was a full-blown hit!
Mio saw red. Never in her life has she felt such rage. Probably because no one ever teased her so brutally. Yui just wasn't like that. Azusa admired her senpai too much to cause her any kind of discomfort. Mugi found Mio's reactions cute but she respected her enough not to pursue the cuteness for her own enjoyment.
"Crazy! CRAZY? I was frightened to death and you kept on pushing me! You sadistic idiot!"
"You freakin' punched me in the nose!"
"You deserved it!"
Ritsu started to shout back her reply but stopped when an idea popped into her head.
"Hey Akiyama, look what you did! My nose is bleeding like hell! There's blood all over the floor!"
"LEAVE ME ALONE!"
They stopped fighting after a while, but on the next practice session and the rest after that they would jump at each other's throats again and again. The rest of the band got used to it and did not confront the two about it, mainly because they did not want to get caught in the crossfire. It was best to leave them alone and let them sort it out by themselves. Yui even viewed it as a completely natural thing. When one day Azusa asked her about it-
"Aren't they going to kill each other if this goes on?"
-Yui replied with "Don't worry Azunyan, they're just expressing their love."
"You can be really absurd sometimes, Yui-senpai." Azusa thought with a bewildered face.
Ritsu couldn't resist bugging Mio but couldn't handle Mio's comeback (usually a hit or an insult) so they'd start yelling again. Mio grew bitter towards Ritsu and made sure to throw in some jibes, usually by criticizing her playing.
"We did well today, didn't we?" Questioned Mugi in her usual light, pleasant tone.
The rest were about to agree but Mio overtook them.
"The drumming was too fast."
"Oh yeah? Well, I can't let you slack off , can I? Otherwise you'd gain even more weight."
"Are you calling me fat?"
"No, you listen! Just shut up and listen to me for once! You always ignore whatever I have to say and just cut in with some stupid prank or something!"
Ritsu faked a yawn.
"Don't you dare joke around! You have no idea how uncomfortable you're making me with all th-"
"Oh look! A huge moth!"
"WHAT?" Mio tried to calm herself. "Ugh see? You're doing it again!" Her face was red with anger.
"Love it when you're feisty." Ritsu said with a wink.
And so it went.
It was Friday.
Mio sat in class, watching the heavy rain outside with a melancholic expression. Even after class she did not move, but continued to stare with a dull gaze. Yui wandered over to her, worried for Mio's wellbeing.
"What's wrong Mio-chan?"
"It's raining and I have to meet with that...that madman."
Yui looked at her sympathetically. It was no secret that Mio had many admirers, but this one was particularly obsessed with her. He was a fanatic, and fanatical people always possessed an underlying madness which made them unpredictable and dangerous. He stalked Mio and constantly kept asking her out on a date. Mio always refused, but started to be afraid of him and feared where her constant rejections would push him. What if he snapped and decided to harm her? 'Who hasn't heard about Lennon John-san's tragic end?'
Her friends also worried for her safety. They advised her to go on one date with him and try –very gently- to explain to him that she was not returning his feelings and would like him to stop following her. They also told her to make sure she had her mobile with her, and the police's number on speed-dial.
So Mio set up a date with the fan who was ecstatic. They agreed to meet and spend their date at an art exhibition that opened not long ago. The painter was one of Mio's favourites, and besides, an exhibition was always packed with people. Hopefully he would not try anything drastic there.
But the place itself was far and Mio forgot to bring her umbrella. She did not have time to go home for it, that would mean being late for her date and that was something she was not going to risk. There's no reason to make him upset right at the start.
"What am I to do, Yui?" It was meant as a rhetoric question so she was surprised when Yui actually answered.
"Why don't you ask Ricchan to give you a ride? She has a car." Yui readied her mobile to call Ritsu.
"No way in hell." But Mio knew that unless she wanted to arrive at the exhibition looking like a soaked rat she had no other choice. It was mainly her pride keeping her back. So, after mulling over it for the tenth time she gave in. She thought Ritsu would reject her favour, but was surprised when Ritsu did agree to drive her there.
It was going to be a tough afternoon.