[Semi-Important AN: I re-wrote a fair amount of Chapter 2, and I suggest you read it, or skim it, if you don't want to read the whole thing again. Here is Chapter 3, enjoy!]


Chapter III

Nameless Artist

..~*~..

"Umm, excuse me, but could you tell me where room 317 is?" Sora asked the woman behind the desk in the hospital entryway.

"What's your name?" the nurse asked as she started typing on her computer.

"Sora, Sora Naegino. From Kaleido Stage," she replied quickly.

After her conversation with May, Sora had decided to go check on Layla and Yuri. She had gone back to Kalos to get their hospital room number, and so here she was now.

"Oh, yes it's up on the second floor in the section of private rooms. To the left when you get off the elevator," she said pointing towards the public elevators.

"Thanks!" Sora jogged towards the elevators and pressed the button, impatient to see Layla and Yuri. She was rather surprised the nurse hadn't questioned her to the moon and back, maybe the staff had been told to let Kaleido Stage members back.

Once the all too slow elevator opened on the second floor it only took Sora a minute or two to dart out and locate room 317.

Knock, knock. "Miss Layla, Yuri? Can I come in?" Sora sked as she knocked lightly on the room door.

"Sora? Is that you? Come on in," Layla, or at least who she presumed was Layla, responded.

"Hi Miss Layla. How are you? Kalos and May just told me you were in an accident," Sora asked as she took a seat on one of the chairs by the window.

"It wasn't too bad. The worst I've got right now is a concussion and sprained wrist. I think Yuri's got it worse," she (Layla) just shrugged.

"That's a relief. But where's Yuri?" the purple haired teen asked as she looked around the room for any trace of the blonde haired man.

"He's getting a cast. He broke his ankle, not badly just a small fracture, not even all the way through. Don't worry Sora, we'll be back before you know it," Layla tried to calm Sora, although (oddly enough) she was calmer than she usually was in her 'crisis mode' as Layla liked to call it.

"Oh. That's good," Sora trailed off absentmindedly, being swept up into her thoughts about the alterations that would be made to the upcoming show. If Yuri had broken a bone there was no way he could perform, but they didn't have any other leading male artists.

"Keep me company until he comes back?" Layla asked Sora trying to break the other girl from her thoughts.

"Oh, yes of course," she said as she broke from her reverie.

For the next half hour, until Yuri joined them, they talked about anything and everything. Even after he was back, Sora stayed with Layla and Yuri for another hour before giving her excuses to leave and head back to the dorms for lunch. She needed to pick up Marion's new costume on her way too. Excusing herself she hurried through her errand and grabbed a quick lunch before heading to the stage to meet Marion in the dressing room.

..~*~..

"Marion, that costume looks great on you!" Sora cheered as Marion modeled her new costume for the first time.

"Thanks Sora. What do you think, Jonathan?" Marion turned to her furry(ish) friend, receiving a bark in agreement.

The new costume was almost the same as the original except for the colors. Marion and Sora had agreed on changing making the color scheme of the new dress. It wouldn't be blue and silver, but rather light orange with gold. They were hoping to have a moon and sun kind of theme. Marion would be the sun, and Sora the moon, after all Juliet was Romeo's sun, and as he's her opposite he'd be like the moon. It just seemed fitting, also since the original costume was blue and silver it was easier to do than make two new costumes.

"Do you want to practice in your costume?" Sora asked an excited Marion who was twirling in front of a mirror.

"Can I? Can I really?!"

"Yeah, it should be okay. You have to get used to a new costume anyways, and the mask too. It would be a good idea to practice in it," Sora concluded as she handed Marion her gold and orange mask, decorated with swirls and little gleaming gems, it was also the same design as the one Sora would wear, but like the dress was made in a different color scheme.

While Marion had performed on the Kids Stage in costumes that were of varying design and complexity, she had never had a mask, or anything on her face, save for the occasional make-up or sticker for a costume. Masks weren't hard to get used to per say, but they could throw you off if you didn't practice with one on at least once.

"You should wear your costume too!" Marion said as she held up the hanger with Sora's blue and silver costume.

"I'll wear mine next time. Let's go practice," Sora replied as she hung the hanger back on the rack with her other costumes.

No one was using the stage today for anything, so Sora and Marion when there to practice on the trampolines that had been set up. Since they were still in the rehearsal phase there were mats covering every inch of the floor should anyone miss their mark and fall.

"Okay, ready?" Sora smiled at Marion and they began.

The first few times were a bit rough. The mask, while held on securely, was odd to Marion. It didn't block her view though; it was merely a new sensation. In no time at all they were doing it perfectly. Every spin, jump, flip, they were all perfect. They were ready to show Cathy and Kalos at last.

"Marion! That looks great. I think we can show them tomorrow after lunch. What do you think?" Sora asked as they finished their second perfect run-through in a row.

"Really? That's awesome! Kalos said we could audition tomorrow?" Marion cried ecstatic but nervous, followed by a happy bark from Jonathan who had been watching from the sidelines.

"Yeah, I think we've got it perfectly. I'll go through it with you tomorrow at 11:30 am, before lunch, if you want? We could do a dress rehearsal of sorts?" Sora suggested, sensing Marion's nervousness.

"Okay. I'll meet you in the dressing room then tomorrow," she readily agreed.

..~*~..

"Sora!" Mia called to her as she was just stepping into the dorm's common room. Sora and Marion had finished up practice fairly quickly and parted ways; Marion leaving with her dad and Sora heading back to her dorm since it was nearing 4:30 pm. The latter had just hopped out of the shower, before which she had tied Fool up, when her cell phone started ringing loudly. Thus was the reason her hair was dripping water all over the floor while she tried to dry it with a towel.

"Mia. What's going on? What's so important you couldn't tell me on the phone?" Sora asked a bit annoyed by the rivulets of water flowing down her back.

"You're not the only one se wouldn't tell," May huffed from her spot at large wooden table in the center of the room.

Next to her was Anna, who was making up, or rather trying to come up with, puns for her clown act. Ken was also there sitting on May's right, but that was it, the place was deserted.

"I need your help. I don't know who the guy playing Romeo is, and I don't know if he can do Yuri's part, so I need you guys to help me make different versions of Romeo's part. May, Sora you two know the original best from performing with Yuri, can you help me make a few different versions?" Mia asked as she began stressing out over all the changes that would need to be made.

"Oh, is that all?" May asked.

"That doesn't seem too hard," Sora agreed, while Mia just looked like she was going to pass out because of her stress and anxiety.

"Come on Mia. Lighten up. It's not like we'll make you do this on your own," Anna added, trying to work out a pun or something to tack on at the end, but coming up empty.

"Really?" Mia's eyes shone with tears. "You guys are the best!" she shouted as she grabbed the nearest thing to her to hug the life out of, unfortunately that 'thing' was Sora, who coughed and sputtered.

"Yeah, we will. As long as you don't kill Sora," Ken added as Sora's face started to turn blue from lack of oxygen.

"Oh, Sora, I'm so Sorry!" Mia cried as she let her go.

"I'm good, I'm good," Sora waved away the concern of her hysterical friend.

"Enough trying to kill people with hugs, we have to start working if this needs to be done for tomorrow. And especially if we don't want to pull an all-nighter too," May said brusquely.

Several hours, and several stacks of paper, later they finally had three versions of Romeo and Juliet. There was the original version that Yuri and Layla usually did, and two simpler versions. The simplest had Romeo in only the essential scenes, no really flashy displays, and there had been a few scenes they had cut, where the focus was on others, like parts of the party. The one that was between the easiest and the original had Romeo in all of the original scenes, but the moves were simpler, and there were really only one or two really flashy moves. Neither was perfect, but they weren't that bad. They would work just as well as the original script, and there wasn't anything different for most of the cast, only May and Sora had a few spots they would have to change.

"Finally done!" Anna sighed as she leaned back in her chair.

"I thought this was never going to end!" May exclaimed as she stretched out, sore from sitting on a wooden chair for the past two or so hours.

"Thanks so much you guys! I'd have never finished without you," Mia said happily as she packed away her laptop and the stack of papers.

"I'm sure you would have, Mia. But it was a nice way to kill some time," Sora replied, hoping to make Mia feel a bit better for asking them to spend so much time working on the script. It wasn't like Sora actually had any better plans or ideas for the day anyways.

"I think dinner should still be going on, we should all go get something to eat," Ken advised after checking his watch to see that it was 7:30 pm, and dinner was nearly over.

"Yes! Food! Real food! I was beginning to get so hungry I thought I'd have to eat the 'fruits' of our hard work," Anna gestured towards the script as she tried to make a joke.

"That… don't use that one in public," May said shaking her head at Anna's attempt at humor. The rest of them just rolled their eyes, too tired to really bother saying anything.

Dinner was relatively quiet. Ken had gone back to his house for the night, as the girls headed towards the kitchen/dining hall. No one really talked for the first few minutes because they were all so busy eating. When they had arrived there hadn't been anyone else there, but someone, probably Sarah, had set aside four plates of food with a note telling them to eat it.

The food was good, as it always was. Tonight was lasagna with a salad, and there was even a bit of ice cream for dessert.

After several minutes of nothing but eating May asked the question Sora had been wondering about all day.

"Mia, do you know who will be Romeo? I mean, I know you said you didn't know his skill level, and if he'd be able to take Yuri's part the way it was originally written, but do you know who the person is?" May asked in between a bite of lasagna.

"I'm not really sure. Kalos just said that he was going to bring a guy into the show this week and to be prepared for anything," Mia replied, puzzled over who the mystery man was as well.

"Well… we'll find out soon, I guess," Sora said, puzzled by the cryptic answers Kalos was giving everyone. "I'm going to go to bed now," Sora added as she got up to wash her plate.

"You don't want dessert?" Anna asked surprised by Sora's behavior.

"No, I'm too tired," Sora replied as she washed her dishes, her statement punctuated by a great big yawn. "Goodnight," she waved as she left for her room.

..~*~..


[AN: Yes, I know I usually only have on note per chapter, I'll be quick. I don't quite know if I'll bring Leon into the story just yet. I'm still trying to decide. But let me know if you have an opinion. I also love getting feedback about my writing, if it's too jumpy, and I don't spend enough time in one place at a time, or whatever. It's nice to know because I can compare thoughts of others with my own.]