Title: Getting Back Up

Author: StormBrisingr

Warnings/Notes: StormBrisingr wrote this. You have been warned. Kinda Touma-centric?

Summary: A birthday fic for one of my friends, EverStarDream11. Touma, or rather Jupiter, deals with the aftermath of their decision to quit 961 Pro.

Disclaimer: Just look at the name of this site.

A/N: Posted a few hours early, but hey: A birthday present to my favorite "C" or EverStarDream11 despite that little note at the end of your profile. *cough* All you wanted was a Touma fic so... this... spawned. XD Hope you likey. Set after Jupiter quits 961 Pro and I also took from Touma's little talk with Haruka near the end, which implies that Jupiter lost lots of their popularity when switching labels.

Performing in small-town concert halls might have been one of the more obvious effects of leaving 961 Pro, but Touma had realized quite quickly that they had lost more than just that. He turned to see Hokuto and Shouta glancing at each other and quickly looked away, shame and anger simmering in his stomach.

The other two had agreed with him that Kuroi-shachou had been too hard, too untrusting, but Touma still felt that it was his fault that they were now with this little known company with barely any "real" equipment and space. They did have things, but Touma was always a bit put off when he saw what they had now as compared to the state-of-the-art gear that Kuroi had gotten them. Now though... well, he supposed that the kind-of large room was supposed to be their studio area and maybe, he thought optimistically, the equipment was no later than 10 years out of date...

He eyed the large black collection of stuff that was in front of them. They, like the room, had seen better days. Touma resisted the urge to cringe. Compared to the sleek brand-name technology Touma had just seen a week ago, it seemed like trash.

Shifting nervously, Touma wondered if he was just imagining the accusing glares burning into his back from his two partners. Maybe he never should have acted so rashly and quit 961 Pro like that...

"She's beautiful," Hokuto suddenly sighed.

"What?" Touma and Shouta looked askance at Hokuto. Touma took a moment to turn his head back at the pile of old... speakers? Something? He scrutinized them carefully. Nope. Still as ugly and out of date as ever.

"Hokuto-kun, are you alright?" Shouta asked, peering at his teammate.

"Of course I am," Hokuto scoffed.

"And you call these beautiful?" Touma asked in a kind of horrified fascination, waving his arm to take in the... well, he still couldn't be too sure but he thought they were speakers...

"Those?" Hokuto's voice changed to mild disgust. "Never. I meant that wonderful flower of a woman – the one who's going to be our dance coach."

"...Right." Touma deadpanned. Despite himself though, he felt his lips twitch into a smile. Typical Hokuto. "Well then, I shouldn't deprive you of her presence any longer. Let's go back out."

Outside, their president and new crew were waiting expectantly, smiles on their faces. Touma gave a weak smile at them though from the corner of his eye he saw Hokuto winking at a brunette – their new dance coach – and Shouta beaming. "We're sorry if this isn't what you're used to, but I it's more than enough I think," the president said, a hint of regretfulness in his voice.

Touma managed a stronger, more assured smile. "It's alright, shachou(1). We've got the skill," he said confidently.

The president chuckled. "If you say so." His next words were so cheerful, Touma had to stop to wonder if he wasn't actually quite a sadistic person behind that kind mask. "Then I'm sure you'll do fine in the introductory concert next week."

"DoS(2)." Hokuto muttered under his breath.

The day before the concert and Touma was ready to pull out his hair. It was almost laughable how the public so quickly forgot about them just because they had switched labels. Except, you know. He wasn't laughing. Touma rubbed his temples and sighed, frustrated. Well, they did have quite a few diehard fans that would attend even with the change, but he couldn't help feel irritated by how so few people had stayed.

It didn't matter. He would work hard and really show Kuroi-shachou exactly what he had lost. But first, he would have to deal with going out to a random outing in order to calm down the stressed nerves. Especially once things got so bad... Touma sighed, feeling like a new idol again, just on the verge of his first concert. He rubbed his arm where Hokuto had grabbed him when trying to wrestle him down. He glanced to his side where said blonde was walking.

The bloodied nose Touma had given him earlier was gone; Touma was not surprised however that it seemed on the verge of bursting again as he winked flirtatiously at several girls. Several of whom replied back.

"Hokuto... keep it within limits, please?" Touma asked half-heartedly, trying not to smile and encourage the other.

"You can't say anything," the other said cheerfully. "You owe me for going so crazy." A gleam entered his eyes. "Actually, didn't you say that you'd make up for that?"

Touma eyed him nervously. "Touma-kun, relax!" Shouta beamed, crossing his arms behind his head and laughing. "I'm sure it'll be something fun..."

"It will," Hokuto promised.

It actually wasn't that bad. Touma would never reach the confidence Hokuto exuded when flirting with girls, but it was always... interesting... when approaching new girls. (3) He didn't spend the entire time following Hokuto around and flirting, but seeing that many of the people actually did recognize them as Jupiter sent a thrill through his body.

And at the same time, the general indifference they mentioned Jupiter – maybe with a "you guys left 961 Pro for some reason right?" – made him drop again. Still, it was something... right?

"Jupiter! I can't believe it! I'm going to your concert tomorrow!" Touma gaped at the girl in front of him. Actually someone who had been planning to go before meeting him or Hokuto or Shouta?

The girl smiled and twirled a lock of raven black hair as she smiled. "Miss," Hokuto said. "I think I have gotten lost in paradise. Would you give me directions to your house?"

"Hokuto!" Shouta burst out laughing as Touma slapped a hand over his face.

"I'm sorry Ijuuin-kun," the girl looked amused, her dark blue eyes gleaming with mirth. "I'll pass on that." Then, "Excuse me. I didn't introduce myself did I?" She gave a short bow. "My name is Kagamine Marina."

"I'm sure you already know all of us," Touma said. "But just in case..." He began to introduce them all.

"Who's that Marina-chan?" Two other girls were approaching.


"Jupiter?" One of them looked confused, but the other immediately ran forward.

"Hello girls," Hokuto smiled.

Several minutes later, the six somehow managed to decide to wander around together. They moved through the mall, stopping at various stores or pointing out some interesting bits of things being sold.

It actually felt... normal. No stress. No concert. No defeat at the hands of a bunch of girls and no loss. Just some friends going around shopping and having fun.

They spent several hours wandering around until they settled at a restaurant and sat, eating their hamburgers and sipping at drinks contentedly. Hokuto broke the silence. "I can't believe you managed to make us sing some karaoke."

"Why not? You three have lots of talent," Marina assured him. "Or are you being shy?"

They all laughed at that. "Well, people seem to like us more for our looks. I can't blame them," Hokuto mused, tossing his head.

"Though you might have to worry about that big head..."

As Touma listened to their light-hearted banter, he felt a grin tug at his lips. She was right. They hadn't succeeded from looks alone. Skill, talent, and hard work had a share in their popularity. They had each worked to gain their fans.

"Well, I'm sure you'll start getting even more fans once you perform the concert," Marina said. "All three of you together are a sure hit." Her friends nodded in agreement.

"...Thanks," Touma said sincerely. "Your support is really nice at this time."

The other two nodded, smiling at the girls.

Suddenly, Hokuto's phone rang. He picked it up and listened for a moment before nodding and answering. He closed it and looked sheepishly at them all. "It's time to go. We've kind of ditched lessons."

"Really?" Shouta leaped up and checked the time. "You're right!"

Touma hastily got to his feet and the others mirrored him. "Thanks for spending the time with us," he said thankfully. "It's really helped." He paused, thinking and then looked at the other two. He patted his pockets meaningfully. Catching on, they both nodded with identical smiles. "Here," Touma said, looking back at Marina as he pulled something out from his pocket. "Thanks for everything, Kagamine-san." In his hands were front-row several tickets to the concert.

"I... Wow... Are you sure? I can't..." she demurred.

"Come on. Our closest fans should get the best seats," Shouta said enthusiastically.

"Well, alright then." She accepted them and smiled. "I'm definitely looking forward for tomorrow!" Her eyes met Touma's and she laughed. "You'll do great! Changing labels hasn't made you lose your talent, after all. And all of you will do great... together."

Touma felt the other two exchange startled glances as he eyed the other girl thoughtfully. Strange how her words echoed the lesson Jupiter had learned so well from their rivals: unity. Together. Always together.

"I'm glad you think so," Touma finally said.

Touma licked his dry lips as he waited backstage. The theater was already filled up with noise and chatter.

"Does it feel like your first concert?" Shouta asked subduedly, peeking out. The seats were full. The audience members were shifting already in a dark mass with little clumps of light from their glowsticks.

"It's just like a first date, Shouta-kun. You can never forget..."

The lights in the audience were dimming as their colorful counterparts on the stage began to light up, sending streaks of color everywhere. "Alright guys. It's time to go," Touma said bracingly. He turned to look at the other two. His teammates, his brothers. Unified. "Let's show the world that Jupiter is back."

He smirked. "And make 765 Pro realize that we're catching up."

Together, they all walked on stage.

A/N: ...Mhm... Yeah... Does Touma seem bipolar? Well I'm trying to show how affected he is to losing practically everything. XP The interaction with Marina was kind of rushed in my opinion but I didn't want to spam you with too large of a fic, so I condensed it. :P Hope you like, EverStarDream11. xD

(1) Shachou = president. (ie Kuroi-shachou = President Kuroi)

(2) DoS = Extremely sadistic. From InuXBoku SS

(3) Yes. Touma has become a mini-Hokuto. *Smirk* You know it's awesome. I should write more about Mini-Hokuto's adventures... Meh. Maybe.