Hey all! So... I haven't been doing too well lately... I had a mini breakdown today, and I decided I was going to do things that would ease my stress. So, I wrote a new chapter of fanfiction! I hope you all enjoy it!
And just a word of warning: it might be a while until the next chapter too... after all, jobs don't just drop into your lap.
"Onii-sama?" Chitose peeked into his brother's room. Yahiro laid in bed, ignoring the younger Saiga.
"Onii-sama…" Chitose hesitated. "You've been in here for three days. Is… Is everything okay?"
Yahiro continued to ignore him.
"O- Onii-sama, please… please don't just-"
"Get out." Yahiro hissed. "Get out, Saiga Chitose."
Chitose took the tiniest step back, eyes wide. On the one hand, he was happy his brother was responding, but… the vicious hiss in his voice sent a brief, painful stab through him.
"I said OUT!"
Chitose fled as something made of ceramic shattered near the bedroom door. Yahiro exhaled, before collapsing back in the bed.
He turned over and tried to fall asleep, but every time he did, he could feel two horrible things invading his psyche: a woman's curvy body pressed against his, and the sound of someone running away.
"Megumi… please reconsider."
Megumi managed a small, hurt smile.
\I'm sorry, Sakura-chan./
The Ushikubo heiress' eyes filled with tears.
"Yahiro would NEVER have done that if he remembered you!" Sakura tried to convince her, but Jun put a firm, gentle hand on his girlfriend's shoulder.
"Sakura… please stop."
"I'm tired of seeing Saiga Yahiro hurt Megumi-chan," Jun admitted. "This might be good for Megumi. Maybe she can meet someone else."
\Thank you, both of you, but… I'd rather just be alone now./
The couple exchanged a brief glance, before Jun nodded.
"Call if you need anything."
Sakura gave her one final, hopeful gaze, but Megumi was already looking through her phone. She turned away from her twin and his girlfriend as they quietly left her bedroom and closed the door.
She had a text message to send. Quite a few, actually.
Three hours later, Yahiro heard the distinctive 'ding' of his cell phone. He frowned.
He was really not in the mood to-
He bolted up. That was a different ring tone. Maybe…?
He hopefully grabbed his phone, and nearly felt his heart jump right out of his chest when he saw who had sent it.
He forced his fingers to stop trembling, before he pressed 'Read'.
'As I promised.'
He frowned as he reread the text message Megumi had sent him.
Promised? What promise?
"What?" he shouted rudely, not looking up from his phone.
"There's… um… someone just dropped off an envelope for you."
Yahiro swung his long legs off the bed, and winced at the cramp in his muscles.
I guess I deserved that for not getting out of bed for three days.
He slowly opened the door, and the maid's eyes widened. He couldn't help an internal snort. He probably looked horrible; he hadn't shaved, hadn't bathed and hadn't bothered to look at anyone for the past three days. He must have looked, smelled and just overall, felt awful.
The maid, who got over the initial shock, handed him the envelope. He picked it up, and waved her away. He cautiously opened it, and a single paper fell out.
It was a concert ticket. He picked it up, and remembered, like a horrible flash of hot lightning, what it was for.
I asked Megumi… for a ticket… to invite my… fiancée.
Yahiro cringed. He wasn't really in the mood to see either woman for a while. Still…
\Akira will be there!/
He couldn't help but to feel his heart do a little flip-flop. But rather than because of Akira, it was because he could remember Megumi's heartbroken expression, the hopeful gleam in her eyes as she begged him to come.
He let out an angry sigh and punched his pillow. All he knew was, he was not risking bringing this woman in to Megumi's concert.
…so who do I bring?
He sat up, and shook his head.
Before that… I wonder how many showers I need?
"Great job today, Yamamoto-san!"
Megumi managed a smile at the eager staff crew member who beamed at her after dress rehearsal.
\Thank you. The performance is tomorrow, so I'm doing my best./
"I… I just wanted to say, I'm a big fan of your mother's! But after hearing you sing during rehearsals, I'm rooting for you more than anyone else!" the young man said rather breathlessly. "You're incredible!"
This time, Megumi managed a somewhat bigger smile.
\You're too kind./
"So… So can I get you anything?" he said, slightly bashfully. "Water? Tea? Coffee?"
\I'm fine, thank you, Hiroki-san./
Hiroki turned red. "S- So you do know my name…"
\...of course I do!/ Megumi smiled at him bemusedly. \You gave me a water bottle when I first came here!/
"O- Oh!" Hiroki turned, if possible, redder. "You remember that! Hehe… um… well…"
Megumi gave him a curious gaze.
"If… If you wouldn't mind… maybe we can… you know… um… go… go out for… for… for… f- for…"
"For more water bottles," he said weakly. Megumi's eyes widened, before she let out a tiny giggle.
"No, wait! That's not what I meant!" he burst out. "I meant… could we… have… some food with the water?"
"You know, like a meal? Like a… a date?"
Megumi's eyes widened, and she almost began to speak. "I-"
"N- Not that you have to say yes!" the boy's dark eyes were filled with panic, as if suddenly realizing what he had just done. "Wh- What am I saying, you're probably already being chased by a million male fans, and I'm just a stage hand, and you're-"
He paused when he saw his name. Megumi swallowed.
\I… I would like to eat with you./
Hiroki's dark eyes widened so hugely, it was almost comical.
Megumi gave him a small smile in response.
"G- Great!" Hiroki swallowed. "Could… Could I take you out for lunch?"
\I would like that very much, Hiroki-san./
"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, Yamamoto Megumi is eating lunch with me. Oh my gosh," Hiroki seemed somewhat in a daze, and Megumi couldn't help but to bemusedly shake her head.
Hiroki was a nice young man; he was always friendly to her during their rehearsals, and it didn't hurt that he was very cute. But…
Megumi tried to ignore the little voice that reminded her that she was just doing this to forget Yahiro, and accepted Hiroki's outstretched arm.
Yahiro rolled over in his bed that night, grinding his teeth.
Who… is calling me at two in the morning?
He groggily reached for his cheerfully jangling phone.
Yahiro almost tumbled out of the bed as he scrabbled with the phone.
"Sakura?! What the hell are you-?"
"Listen to me, Yahiro," Sakura urged. "This is your last chance to get Megumi back."
"Sakura, I'm not in the mood for-"
"LISTEN TO ME!"
Yahiro shut up.
"Listen," Sakura's voice softened, but lost no urgency. "Megumi came home today and told Jun-kun she went on a date with some other guy today."
Yahiro felt that same roiling feeling in his gut, imagining Megumi smiling at some other man, but forced the urge to vomit down.
"So?" he responded wearily. "She's free to date whoever she wants."
"I know you don't mean that," Sakura retorted. "You're in love with her."
"I barely know her!" he snarled. Sakura shook her head, although Yahiro couldn't see it.
"But deep down… the part of you that hasn't forgotten… he still wants her back."
"Look, Sakura, I don't have time for this. I'm tired. Let me go back to sleep, please."
"Promise you'll come to Megumi's concert tomorrow."
"I don't want-"
"Come on, Yahiro," Sakura wheedled. "You can bring Chitose with you. Please. Come, Yahiro. If you don't…"
Sakura then mentioned something related to blackmail, involving a fangirl from their school, pictures of Yahiro when he was a child, rope, a free bottle of chloroform, a cell phone full of-
"ALL RIGHT!" Yahiro roared. "I'll go, I'll go! Now let me go to sleep, Sakura!"
"You're the best!" she chirped before hanging up.
"I can't believe we're going!"
Chitose could barely sit still in the limousine that took them.
"Y- Yeah," he muttered. "You like that girl this much?"
"Of course!" Chitose said happily. "I already thought of her as my sister-in-law!"
He immediately regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth. Yahiro stiffened and looked out the window. The two brothers sat in the vehicle in silence.
Chitose felt like kicking himself, and quietly went back to his video game.
The two Saiga brothers turned to see Hikari run towards them with a frantic look on his face.
"-here," Kei finished smoothly, zipping right in front of her and smiling at the two of them. "Hello, Chitose."
Hikari slowly clenched her fist. "K- Keiiiiii…."
"Now, now, Ni-san," Kei smiled at her. "You'll win eventually. Let's go get seats next to each other, hmm?"
Hikari deflated. So much for sitting next to Akira. She obediently trotted after Kei into the large theater.
Akira and Tadashi approached the two brothers.
"Hi… thanks for coming," Akira said, slightly stiffly. "It means a lot to Megumi."
"Jun and Sakura already have seats," Tadashi added. "Shall we go in?"
"Let's go, Onii-sama!" Chitose said eagerly, as he dashed ahead. Tadashi bounded after him, leaving Akira and Yahiro together. He slowly slid his eyes to her.
"What happened?" Akira asked abruptly. "And don't lie to me."
"What do you mean?" Yahiro struggled to keep his voice neutral. Akira shook her head.
"Megumi called me before the concert, and asked me to sit next to you."
Yahiro suddenly remembered the text he received.
'As I promised.'
"I don't really mind," he shrugged awkwardly. "You probably want to sit next to Karino anyways."
Akira narrowed her eyes at him. "You're right, I do, but Megumi is important to me too. So let's go."
The two headed towards the theater, and to Yahiro's surprise, he felt absolutely nothing as he followed after the woman he loved since childhood.
Megumi rubbed her hands together, exhaling slowly.
She turned. "Oh… yes, Hiroki-san?"
"Good… Good luck!" he smiled at her nervously. "You'll be excellent!"
She smiled back at him. He was sweet. Not passionate nor strong, but he was definitely sweet.
"Thank you," she said softly. "Here I go…"
She walked out at her cue, eyes closed.
This is my time. This is what I've been waiting for, for so long.
She took a deep breath, poised like a gorgeous statue, with her perfectly curled hair, the golden locks tumbling down her back to meet the similarly glowing golden dress clad around her body, giving her the image of a goddess draped in sunlight.
Megumi sang to the heavens, as the brilliant lights shone down upon her. When she was here, singing on stage for everyone, she was in her element. Here, troubles couldn't touch her.
She was a queen. She was the absolute ruler of her life, and she would decide what bothered her or not.
She finally reached the high point of her song, and holding it, went even higher and smoothly sailed down, her voice a soft, silk ribbon twirling through the concert hall.
The audience broke out in thunderous applause as she beamed, giving a small curtsy. She felt a painful tug at her heart when she saw a blank-faced Yahiro sitting next to a teary Akira, but forced herself to continue smiling, as she exited the stage.
Akira wiped tears as she sniffled.
"Oh, Megumi-chan…" she bawled. "That was just beautiful… I can't believe how fast she's grown up, can you, Yahiro?"
Yahiro continued to sit, slack-jawed next to her.
Without a word, Yahiro got up from his seat and bolted, ignoring Akira's shocked calls.
Yahiro clutched his head as the tunes in his head began to stream in and out, loud and soft, like a radio.
The song Megumi had just sung was beginning to mesh with another song in his head.
A familiar, familiar song…
Yahiro clutched his head.
Think! He screamed. Think! Think! What is it?! WHAT IS IT?!
Megumi looked up when she heard a knock. She stood, and opened the door to her dressing room, eyes widening.
"Um… great job today!" Hiroki flushed vermilion. "You were… You were just amazing."
Megumi pinked as well and smiled. "Thank you. You're very kind."
Hiroki turned away, then turned back to look at her in determination.
"Megumi-san..." Hiroki took a deep breath. "Would you-?"
"Let go of me!"
Megumi and Hiroki both jumped when they heard a loud crash outside.
"I told you, no one sees Yamamoto Megumi-sama unless they have permission!"
"I'm giving myself permission, now get OUT OF MY WAY!"
Megumi flung the door open.
"Don't use your voice," he managed to pant as he struggled against the large arm holding him back.
"Do you know him, Yamamoto-sama?"
"Megumi!" Yahiro shouted desperately. "Megumi, listen, please!"
The look in the songbird's eyes lacked the warmth he was used to seeing. Usually they were always glowing, like melted honey. But now… she gave him a look of disappointment.
She looked at him with those eyes that forced the roiling feeling back in his stomach. Hiroki came up, and rather bravely, put a protective arm around Megumi.
"Get him out of here, please, Tanaka-san," he said firmly. "Yamamoto-san doesn't need to see any fans right now."
"No! Megumi!" Yahiro continued to struggle as Tanaka-san dragged him away. "You don't understand! Megumi!"
Megumi turned away.
"I remember!" Yahiro screamed. "I remember everything, Yamamoto Megumi!"
And with all the strength he could muster, Yahiro threw something at her, before Tanaka-san, in turn, threw Yahiro out.
Megumi stood there, frozen in shock and disbelief. Hiroki took one look at her face, gazed after Yahiro, then allowed his shoulders to slump in disappointment. He let out a soft laugh, which snapped Megumi out of her reverie.
"O- Oh… I'm sorry, I-"
"Don't be," he swallowed, trying not to look bitter. "I… I should have known."
Megumi gave him a confused look, as he left the dressing room, quietly closing the door after him.
She took a deep breath before forcing herself to look at what Yahiro had thrown at her. She wryly noted the irony; last time they had seen each other, she had thrown something at him. And now, he had thrown…
Megumi tilted her head in confusion. He had thrown some strange gold necklace at her…? Then she saw the small fastening at the bottom. She returned into her dressing room, closed the door, and slowly seated herself in front of the mirror.
She clicked the necklace open, and the room began to fill with music. Megumi froze at the familiar tune of the music box. She would never forget it.
It was the tune of the first song she had ever sung perfectly… in front of Yahiro. The music filled the room, and she took a deep breath.
All this time... Yahiro held on to this?
Megumi felt a tear slide down her cheek before she softly began to sing with the tinkling melody.
"Nodare wo itsuka anata ga
Hana wo saka semasu youni…"
[I hope one day you can make the flower bloom…]
Yahiro, thank you for remembering me again.