A/N: My updates for this fic have been so infrequent. I'll slap myself, don't worry.
Disclaimer: The members of the GazettE do not belong to me; only the plot is mine.
It was a Wednesday during the middle of the recording schedule when everyone was working their hardest and was their most motivated when Ruki decided he was bored. He glanced around the studio, filled with all matter of sound and recording equipment, as well as countless instruments and hundreds of tangled wires. His eyes captured each of his bandmates either with a set of headphones over their ears as they strummed on their guitars or tapped rhythmically across the range of drums available until a steady pattern came to mind.
He huffed, a wisp of too-bleached hair flying upwards with the force of the small gust that had followed. It turned out that their guiding producer wanted Ruki's vocal track recorded last for this song, however it turned out that despite this, the short blonde was still required to come into work each day. It was usually pointless, as all he generally was left doing was doodling in his notebook for five to ten hours. Everyone else had something to do.
"Oi," Reita's voice called to him from across the desk at which he was sitting with an energy drink in front of him, "stop looking so glum, Ruki. It doesn't suit you."
The vocalist glanced up, glaring through his bangs at his oldest friend, "I'm not being glum." He mumbled. After a short pause and an extended stare from Reita, he continued. "I'm just so bored." He sighed dramatically, inwardly chastising himself for making the complaint.
A deep chuckle escaped the bassist as he shook his head, pulling a Red Bull from the dark green plastic bag with the label of the local conbini printed across it and cracking it open, "You're not very good at sitting still, are you?" He questioned before taking a sip of the caffeine-pumped beverage.
Ruki smirked faintly, "No." He admitted.
"That was something my mom always noticed, you know. You wouldn't sit still for more than half an hour at a time. Otherwise you'd always be off and doing something. Usually distracting me." The blonde grinned at his younger friend.
Ruki smiled apologetically, "I'm sorry, you were still in school. I shouldn't have been such a pain." He chuckled, "I was just so… so…" He searched for a word.
"…Bored?" Reita offered.
"Exactly that." The vocalist responded. Even the mention of the word was starting to make him feel irritated. "I need something to do." He sighed.
"You could always go and visit Coffee Girl whilst you're not needed." The bassist suggested with a wink. Ruki rolled his eyes as the blonde continued, "And when you do, you can pick me up a mocha. I love their mochas." He grinned boyishly behind the white strip of fabric that covered his nose.
Reita had taken to wearing the thing since he'd started high school. The superficial environment had meant that he'd had to suffer with some the cruel and childish taunts of his 'friends' there, and eventually the youngster had grown so tired of the remarks that he'd simply cut the side of a sleeve from one of his old t-shirts and tied it around his face so that it hid his nose completely.
Nobody really said anything after that. Ruki supposed that they had all gotten the message because Reita was far too gentle and much too shy in character to actually speak out against the comments that were being made about his nose. In a way, the noseband had become his signature characteristic. Ruki was almost thankful for it; it was just one more thing that made them all different and individual. It was also the one thing that had recently attracted the line of girls to the bassist's bedroom door. They were attracted to the mysterious aura that he seemed to emit as the noseless wonder of the band.
"I've already seen 'Coffee Girl' recently." Ruki smirked, tone coy. An eyebrow twitched from Reita in suspicion. "We went out last Saturday evening." He said, timing his announcement perfectly with the motion of the bassist taking another sip from the blue and silver can between his fingers and thumb and causing him to choke and sputter for a good few seconds. Ruki chuckled to himself, amused.
"You did what?!" The bassist managed to squawk at the vocalist.
"I asked her out for dinner and she obliged." Ruki repeated calmly, glancing quickly around to make sure that the other members were still headphone-clad and deaf to the world. Yes. "But—Reita, please don't tell the others yet."
"I'm seeing her again this weekend and I just… I don't want them to find a way to hunt us down or something." Ruki shrugged, "You know how Aoi can be."
A dark look crossed Reita's face as he folded his arms across his plain white t-shirt, humming in agreement. "That's true." He murmured. "Let me guess, you're telling me because I'm the only one with any sense not to do that? Because I'm you're bestest-best friend?"
"…Sure." Ruki responded, tone blunt and not exactly fulfilling either of the suggestions that the other blonde had made. "And also because I don't know how you're supposed to interact with foreign girls." He admitted with a heavy sigh, "They're much more forward than Japanese girls. I don't get it."
"You want advice from me about girls?" Reita snorted, "Good luck having her not run a thousand miles if you take it." He smirked. Ruki folded his arms, leaning back in his chair and awaiting a response. "Okay, well…" The bassist began, "Have you ever gone to Kyoto and seen how the geishas behave around foreign guests?"
"…Aa," Ruki nodded slowly, "louder? More jokes? Blatant sarcasm?"
"I guess, yeah." Reita nodded, "But there's obviously still that sense of grace which attracts the, let's say American, men – am I right?"
"…Yeah, I suppose you are." The vocalist nodded slowly. "But I don't see what the behaviour of a geisha has to do with Reila and I."
"You've missed the point then." Reita sighed, rolling his eyes as he sparked a cigarette and placed it between his lips, offering his pack to Ruki who gratefully took one and did the same, "Be yourself – you know, the good little stereotypical—" Ruki raised a thin, arched eyebrow. Reita froze. "Oh… right."
The younger blonde laughed, "Now, I'm hardly stereotypical, am I?"
"No…" The bassist sighed, rolling two fingers around his temple for a moment. "Okay, just be polite – you may not be stereotypical but you were certainly raised with the correct manners, right? Be polite, but make jokes and be loud and sarcastic. That girl is always apologising for stuff, right? It's because we don't seem to take the sarcasm she emits very well so she feels like she has to apologise. But if you just be your usual smartass self in response, she'll be comfortable. Do you get it?"
"Aa." Ruki nodded, a smile curving faintly across his lips as he inhaled the nicotine from the cigarette between his fingers, watching the smoke curl away in tiny clouds as he breathed it out in a single, steady stream. "I see where you're going. Just—make her feel comfortable, right?"
"Yeah." The blonde nodded. "But," Reita continued, "a lot of the foreign girls I have been with are definitely a lot more forward than Japanese girls are, so if you're not comfortable with something – you have to point it out. Do it nicely though. Like, 'ne, that's not what we do here…' or something."
"I get it." Ruki nodded, confidence slowly starting to grow where his limbs had been cold with nerves beforehand. "Because you wouldn't want her to make the same mistake with another Japanese who wasn't quite as understanding as you." He stated, trying to affirm Reita's previous statement.
"That's right." Reita nodded, "I think that's what I'd do… just be yourself, but more enthusiastic, I guess. And if you're uncomfortable, say something. But, Ruki, she's clearly been living here long enough to know certain boundaries and the way we do things. She works in a café, you know. The only differences between us are the fact that she has a different accent because she's lived in another country all her life."
"Aa, hai, hai, hai." Ruki nodded, taking one final drag of his cigarette before crushing it in the ashtray to the side of the two of them, "I'm still getting used to her."
"Yeah…" Reita nodded, "it's understandable that you'd be nervous about it." There was a pause in their conversation as the rhythmic sound of the drumming stopped and the two glanced up to see Kai scribbling something down with a look of extreme concentration on his face made clear by the way his brows knitted together in an almost concerned fashion. "Well, I'd better get back to work before Drummer Boy catches me leisurely chatting away to you."
"Do your best." Ruki commented with a wry smile as the bassist crushed the smouldering remains of his cigarette into the ash tray between them and marched in the direction of his equipment, loudly cracking his knuckles to alert everybody of his newfound energy.
A/N: Man, it's been a while since I've written – and it's been even longer since I've updated. I'm very sorry – I hope you enjoyed this chapter! I really want to establish relationships at this point. For now, separately with the boys and with Reila, and once I'm comfortable I feel like I'll be able to finally integrate them. So please look forward to that! Thanks for reading and please review, I would be ever so grateful.