Disclaimer: I don't own anything in this fic. I don't make any money on this fic. Please bring Idolmaster to the west.
Summary: Tension and stress are high a few days before a Live. Hibiki does her best to think of a way to help reduce it, especially for the producer. Comfort. Fluff.
"Being an Idol wasn't all fun and games. ...Actually it was mostly work. If you wanted to get to the top you gotta work. And if you wanted to stay at the top... you gotta work even more."
A thick cloud of tension had descended on 765 Pro. It was three days before a major live performance. The logistical and technical staff was working hard to prepare the massive concert hall. Their two producers were busy making last minute negotiations with their sponsors, and changes to the performance lineup. Even the company's infamous secretary, Otonashi, was working overtime to keep the office from falling apart from the madness.
The live was going to include all of 765 Pro's Idols. (Except for Ritsuko; she'd been too busy helping the producer with the planning.) The girls were going to do several performances that night that would showcase a new album that has yet to be released. There would be a few trios and duets, but most of the performances will be done with all of the Idols on stage, since the C.D. was centered around 765 as a whole, instead of separate units.
The producer was hoping to use the new Album as their flagship Record, hoping to finally reach a higher rank as production company. It was crucial that everything was perfect. So, two weeks ago, the producer hired a team of choreographers. It took them a few days, but they had managed to create several new routines that were believed to fit perfectly with the new songs.
But..., frustratingly enough, the girls themselves have yet to perfect any of the new dance routines after several days of practice.
Still, Ganaha Hibiki couldn't help but be amused by the scene in front of her. She grinned her toothy grin, looking at the pile-up of girls that their latest mess up created. Apparently, Haruka had activated her trademarked clumsiness, turning the wrong way during a mass position shift, and ended up slamming into 765's smallest idol, Yayoi. This caused the orange haired girl to comically fly back into the twins, which... well... the domino effect.
"Nano!" "Ara~" "What the &% #!" ""Gyaa!"" "Help me!" "Oh." "..." "Uwaa!"
Makoto, the only other idol besides Hibiki to dodge the fall, shouted, "Haruka! What happened!? Jeeze... We almost had it that time!" She quickly went to getting the girls back up onto their feet. One heavy body at a time.
At least ditzy girl received instant chastisement, having ending up at the bottom of the heavy pile. Hibiki started laughing at the thought.
The masculine idol turned her head to the okinawan and said, exasperatingly, "Stop laughing Hibiki and help me out here!"
"Haha,Yeah yeah, hahaha, gotacha, haha..."
xXx~A Few Hours Later~xXx
Hibiki and Makoto had stayed behind in the dance studio, while the rest of the girls returned home for the evening. The two girls were sitting on the padded ground, with several charts in front of them, discussing different changes they should make to the dance routines.
"-but we can't have Iori in the front row for too long, she'll collapse." Makoto argued in a tired voice.
"Thats the problem I guess, some of the girls simply can't do the entire show..."
"Yeah... the choreographers did made make cool routines, but they didn't take into account our physical capabilities. Some of us (Yayoi and Yukiho) just don't have the stamina yet to dance for that long."
"Or the co-ordination (Haruka)... " added Hibiki.
Makoto sighed, choosing to ignore Hibiki's jokes, "What was the producer thinking when he approved of all of this?"
"Hmmnn, well... He's been stressed with everything else recently." Hibiki leaned her head against an opened palm, "Maybes he accidentally overlooked this. Ya know."
"But its been two years since he started producing us" Makoto growled under her breath, "He shouldn't still be making mistakes like this. Especially if it concerns us!"
"Makoto..." Hibiki said, with slight disapproval in her tone, "I think you're being unfair toward the Producer. Remember... Us Idols only have to worry about ourselves and our own performances when we do a show. The producer, he has to worry about us. All twelve of us." She paused, "Thirteen, whenever he convinces Ritsuko to take that stick out of her butt and get onto that stage. Hehe."
"...Well I guess," Makoto sighed again. "... I just wish he was just little more... you know... reliable."
"He is reliable Makoto. Look how far he's gotten us in such a short amount of time." Hibiki pressed.
"I know, I know. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be even doing a live as large as the one in a few days... Heck, I don't think we'd be doing any lives at all... But..."
"...but nothing. If we really want him to be more reliable, then we have to be as well." At her friends questioning face, she explained. "Look, the Producer spends most his time worrying about a lot of big things. Like scheduling, contracts, staff management and other stuff that involves money. Right?"
"Right... his job."
"But he also worries about a lot of small things too! Like getting us to an appointment on time, getting us ready to do a show, making sure we know our lines, and generally keeping us healthy and happy.
"A lot things we can do ourselves! Yet we don't! Or we don't do well enough that he wouldn't need check. Makoto, think about it. If the Producer didn't have to those small things, he'd have more more time to himself to work on the more important stuff!"
"I guess that makes sense..."
"Don't worry, it does!" Hibiki grinned. She got up and began stretching out. "And I'll prove it to you. Once we put the Live behind us, I'm going to start helping the producer out a little here and there. Just watch, you'll notice the difference."
Makoto, who was still sitting down, watched her friend stretch silently for a few seconds before asking, "Why?"
"You should understand, because I like him thats why. And I thought you did as well!"
An instant blush blossomed across the tomboy's face. "What!?"
Hibiki saw her reaction and immediately gaffled at the normally cool looking idol. "Gahahahaha! Priceless! Hahahahaha!"
"Hibiki! Stop messing around like that!"
"Hahahaha.~ Silly Makoto." The Okinawan wiped away a stray tear, "But seriously, just wait and watch! He'll become a much better producer once he starts worrying less."
She straightened up, "Okays, Lets look over from the beginning again! We gots to make sure the rest of girls can do all moves fluently."
xXx~A few more hours later~xXx
"The lights are still on... Anyone still in here?" A tired voice called out from the dance studio's hallway.
"Heyas! Producer!" Hibiki greeted him as he walked in.
"Ah. Hibiki, Makato. The both of you haven't gone back home yet?" The producer asked, then shook his head slightly. "Well, no matters. I've been meaning to ask one of you for a while now, how are the choreography practices going?"
"Well.. Not too great, producer..." Makoto said slowly.
"Actually, I disagree! All's wells."
"What? Hibiki, your joking right? You were with us the whole time. We're having a lot of trouble here! I don't think we'll be ready in time for the concert!"
"Noooo~, I think we're doing fine! Sos, no needs to worries. Hihi."
"Hibiki- oofff!" Makoto looked down to see that her fellow idol had elbowed her in the gut. A growl was about to escape her lips before the Okinawan's arm swung over her shoulders, putting her in a light headlock.
"Leme talks with you for a bit!" Hibiki said with an unnaturally cheerful voice. She gently dragged the other girl to the corner of the room, farthest from producer.
The young man in question was confused by the actions of his idols, but a raised hand from Hibiki stayed him.
With their backs toward the Producer, the taller girl whispered into the other's ear."Makoto! What did we just talk about a few hours ago!?"
"Wha-" "Quieter!" "Grr... Hibiki, I was just going to tell him the truth!"
"No, absolutely not! Did you not see him? He is not in any position to listen to your complaints!"
"What?! He looks fine-"
"Damnit Makoto!" Hibiki hissed, now sounding truly annoyed, "Open your damn eyes and take a better look!"
She motioned toward the wall mirror in front of them. The producer was still where they left him, but he was now leaning against the wall. Instead of looking them, like tomboy thought he'd been doing, he was looking straight ahead... At something pretty far away...
Suddenly, the Producer's obsidian colored eyes seemed very tired to Makoto. And the longer she looked at him, the more she recognized the markings of fatigue and exhaustion. Mussed hair. Shadowed eyes. Wrinkled clothes. Slouched back. Slight frown. And several other small signs.
"Do you see what I was talking about earlier Makoto!? See how hard he's been working? It's the little stuff like you're complaining that will eventually tip him over!"
"...I" Makoto closed her own eyes for a few seconds, then said softly, "Ok. I understand Hibiki. Let me go."
The Okinawan saw the look on her fellow idol's face and was satisfied that Makoto finally understood. So she released her hold. The two of them slowly walked back to the producer.
"What was all that about?" He asked curiously, with a new smile.
Hibiki returned it with her own, "Oh~, we were just talking about something silly! Nothing to worr-"
"Producer," Makoto interrupted her, "We've been under a lot of stress lately."
"Makoto!" Hibiki growled, turning to face the girl.
765's dance mistress had suddenly become terrifying. Her brows had scrunched, her mouth turned into snarl, and her eyes burned with a frightening amount of fury. This was the most hate and anger the Producer had ever seen displayed by the normally cheerful idol. And it was all directed at the other girl.
Who ignored it all and continued speaking to the Producer, "All the other girls have been working very hard, they've been doing our best to learn the routines. But, a lot of it is just too difficult for their current level."
"Makoto, shut up!"
"Hibiki and I just spent the past couple hours making changes to the routines so it'll be easier for the other girls."
"Shut your mouth!"
"It was a lot of hard work for us."
"Hey! I told you to shut. your... mou..." Hibiki trailed off when she saw tears beginning to form in Makoto's eyes.
"But, we know you've been working just as hard. And that in the next few days, you are going to push yourself even harder..." She slowly stepped up to him, "You've done so much to look after us Producer... But you need to also look after yourself."
When she reached him, Makoto tightly wrapped her arms around him. "Thank you for everything you have done... Our dreams are important to us... But so are you. If anything were to happen because you worked too hard..." the girl trailed off, no longer wanting to continue.
Hibiki was speechless.
She moved forward and placed a hand on the girl's shoulder. "Makoto..." She was also going to place her other hand on the Producer's arm, but decided for a hug as well. Her arms ended joining all three of them in an embrace.
She also looked up at the producer, "She's right ya know. Our dreams be damned, if something happened to you..."
xXx~A few minutes later~xXx
After some time spent calming down, the two idols were sitting cross legged next to each other on the floor. The producer was sitting as well a few feet in front of them. He took a deep breath and finally spoke for the first time in several minutes, "Makoto, Hibiki... I'm sorry... I'm the one at fault here... Because of me, the two of you are working harder than you should."
"Hey! Didn't you hear her? You're working just as hard!" Hibiki said with a frown on her face. "Heck, I think even more!"
"I know, I know Hibiki..." The producer raised a hand to calm the girl, "I understand what the two of you are trying to tell me. But it's my job. To do my best to make all of you reach your dreams."
Makoto, who had been avoiding eye contact for a while now, turned to him and asked, "So you're saying if it wasn't your job you wouldn't-"
"No! Wait, I mean- Ugh... Look That's not what I'm saying, Ok!" He scratched his head, then looked away in embarrassment, "E-even if I was no longer your producer... I-I would still do anything to make sure you girls became.. top idols..."
He heard a giggle and quickly turned back to look at the girls. Makoto had her hands over her mouth, trying to stifle her giggles. Hibiki was leaning left and right with a massive grin on her face.
The Producer palmed his face, "... you girls... are really making this really hard for me you know..."
This caused laughter to finally rain free and break the tense atmosphere.
While the problems created by the Live still existed and that fatigue and stress still ran rampant, the Producer managed to put on a genuine smile that had been missing for the past two weeks. It was good to know that girls cared for him. That is all he needed. He will continue to do his very best.
The girls saw the smile, and it filled them with so much happiness. They couldn't help themselves. They got up and tackled the producer into a another hug. ""Producer!""
"H-hey! Come on now, stop that!" The girls giggled as they overpowered him onto the floor.
Hibiki suddenly thought about something she had recently read in a magazine. A wicked looking grin appeared on her face. This'd solve so many problems.
"Heyas... I thought of something. I think the three of could do with a little more... relaxation." she said, making Makoto and the Producer look her curiously.
"This is something different... But I read that it's a good way to relax, and get rid of stress. How about me and Makoto teach you a new dance routine?"
Yeah, that was different. The Producer started hesitantly, "Err... I don't.."
"Hibiki, that's not relaxing at all!" Makoto said.
"No, wait. Trust me on this." Hibiki smiled and gave her a wink. "We're going to like this dance a lot. Hihi!"
The producer blinked, "What is it called-" his words were cut off by Hibiki's soft lips.
The lith girl kept contact as she moved her body upwards and straddled the producer's abdomen. She continued for a few more seconds before she leaned back to sit up right. Her eternal grin seemed more so now.
"... ... ..." Makoto tried to speak. Her mouth even moved, but there were no words coming out. Her mind was trying process what her widen eyes had seen.
The producer just laid there on his back, staring up at the girl sitting on him. "Hibiki..."
The girl leaned forward again and said, "This dance is also a great source of inspiration producer." She gently caressed the his cheek before planting another kiss onto his lips.
Next to them, Makoto managed to let out something close to a whine. Hibiki turned and saw the hurt and jealousy underneath all the shock that was displayed on the girl's face.
Hibiki took Makoto's hand and pulled her closer to them. "Didn't I say 'the three of us.'"
"Ehh! B-but.. wah!? T-t-three!?"
"Oh~ don't be like that. Didn't I tell you I liked him too." Hibiki took grabbed onto the sputtering girl and pushed her onto the producer. "Now it's your turn! Also, take your time. We have the whole night! Hihihi!"
So they danced.
They practiced for hours, trying several different routines throughout the night. They were, of course, new to this type of dancing; but they eventually learned how to move in synch. Also, having much more physical ability than the producer, the two girls had taken the lead the whole night. He didn't mind.
xXx~Three Days Later~xXx
The crowd roared, giving the Idols the raver's salute as 765 Pro's last song ended. The girls held their final pose, taking a couple seconds to catch their breaths, before excitedly addressing their loving fans.
"I hope you all enjoyed our show!"
"We gave it our all!" "Our very best."
"Because it was dedicated to all of you!"
"Our loving fans."
"So be grateful!" "Ara~!?"
""Because we're too tired to do it again!""
"That's right ~nano!"
"So to end the night..." "765 Pro. would like to say..."
"THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR COMING OUT TONIGHT!"
"We'll see ya laters mates. Till next time!"
The girls slowly exited the stage, giving the crowd a few final waves good night. Waiting for them behind the curtains were Kotori, Ritsuko, the president, and of course the producer.
"Congratulations everyone for putting on another wonderful live event." Said president Junichirou.
Kotori excitedly clasped her hands and nodded her head, "All of you were amazing!" She turned to Ritsuko, " If only you had gone up there with them. Then it would have been perfect!"
Ritsuko coughed into her hand in embarrassment, "I don't know about that... But you girls really were amazing tonight! So much that I can't believe how bright all of you shined!" She smiled widely at them.
This caused the surrounding idols to squeal and hug the bi-spectacled woman. "H-hey! Enough of that girls!"
The president laughed at the friendly skinship, "Come now Ritsuko, its a time for celebration." He turned to the rest of the Idols, "You girls really are so amazing. You have worked so hard, for so long to make this night a great success! You have made me so proud to call myself president of 765 Productions!" This brought on fresh smiles from the girls, happy to be praised by their Sachou.
"So you girls better continued working hard and doing your very best!" Kotori added.
"Heyas!" "Hibikin and Makochin worked the hardest out of all us this time around!" Came from the twins, causing the named girls to suddenly be the center of attention.
"Yep!" Ami said, and Mami continued, "Its all because of them that the rest of us got the choreography down!" The twins grinned and suddenly latched onto a surprised Haruka. ""Even Haruka here managed to do it!""
"Heyyy! Uuuu..." moaned a blushing Haruka, causing a round of chuckles.
Ritsuko turned to Hibiki and Makoto,"They're right though. I don't know how the two of managed to do it in such a short amount of time. But, the routines were great! We should just have the two create the routines for now on."
The two girls chuckled nervously. "Wells... that was some things we were thinking about." "Yeah. We were going to actually suggest that later..."
The president simply smiled, but the rest of the girls, especially Ritsuko, acted surprised. "Really!?" "Huh?!" "Why!?" ""Cool!""
"The two of you want keep making the choreography?" Ritsuko asked. "From what the Producer told me, the two of you worked extra hard the past three days to create and teach the new routines..."
"No worries, we can do it!" Hibiki said excitedly. Makoto nodded, "Next time shouldn't be as hard since we'll have more time to prepare."
"What made the two of decide to do this?"
Hibiki giggled and said, "Wells, it was all thanks to the producers inspiration! Because of him, Makoto and I have decided to do our very best, and help out whenever we can." She cheered. Next to her, Makoto blushed and mumbled an affirmative.
"Oh? Is that so? What... inspiration?" Ritsuko asked. The rest of the girls also seemed very curious.
Hibiki had another wicked idea, and suddenly walked up to the Producer and hugged his right arm. "Hihi. Now now, we can't just give away all of our secrets."
"Hibiki! Let go of him right now! He's my honey!" complained an indignant Miki. She was about to latch on to him too until something she didn't expect happened, causing her to truly become annoyed. "Makoto! Not you too!? Get away from him, Nano!"
A red faced Makoto just looked in the other direction.
To the two girls that were now hanging off both of his arms, the Producer whispered, "Hey! Cut it out! The both of you are really making this hard for me again..."
Makoto's face turned an even darker shade of red.
Turned away, with her back facing the growing looks of suspicion and irritation from the other girls, Hibiki looked up at the producer gave him a saucy looking grin."Hihi, I bet we are~"
A discrete rub made him aware of what he had just said.
"Lets have another dance lesson soon Producer! Maybe next time we'll let you 'lead!' Gyahahahaha!"
A/n: It took me a month of writing on and off to finish this. But in the end I am very happy with the way it turned out. Hibiki is my absolute favorite idol. So I wanted this to be as close to perfect as possible.
Flames and Criticism Welcomed!