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The blond just watched as the raven suddenly stood up from his seat. He was certain that Aoi had given up on his request, but he seemed to have noticed something and got an idea from it. He squirmed in his seat, his hands trembling as he saw the guitarist walk up towards the stage and approach a man who was obviously an employee of the bar. Aoi leaned towards the other man and whispered something in his ear. Uruha’s brows furrowed in deep wonder as he asked himself, what was Aoi planning to do? Surely, he had given up on making him play a guitar in front of him, and just so happened that he had approached the bar employee because they were friends? Yes, that was probably the reason why Aoi had suddenly left him, to say hello to his friend. He took a deep breath, trying to shake off the rapid skipping of his heart and continued observing the raven’s movements.

Suddenly, Aoi broke away from the man, looking like a cat who got the proverbial cream and climbed up the stage, emanating confidence and pride, strutting on the platform like the wonderful performer that he was. His appearance on the stage obviously caught some of the people’s attention, including his bandmates.

“What is Aoi-san doing there?” He heard Ayame ask loudly.

“Oh, great! Don’t tell me he’s already drunk. The hell is he doing going up to the stage like that?” Satoshi groaned as if he was a father who had just been embarrassed by his kid.

Uruha also had no idea what was wrong with the rhythm guitarist. They were just having a seemingly normal conversation peppered with flirting on the side when Aoi suddenly left him. He started thinking that maybe his stubbornness had offended the other man. He hoped to god that wasn’t the case. He would feel really, really guilty if he had hurt Aoi.

Aoi stood in front of the microphone stand and waved before speaking, “Hello there!” He glanced around the crowd, waiting for them to settle down before he continued. “I’m the guitarist of the band, Artia. We’re not your usual band, and we’re not here for a show tonight. But to remember this special day of meeting a special someone, and to entertain you guys, of course.” The brunet flashed a charming smile, earning a couple ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the female demography. “I’d like to perform a little song, a song with a beautiful double guitar solo.” His piercing obsidian eyes somehow managed to find a certain beautiful face amongst the sea of clustered people, smirking, he said, “Please welcome my dearest friend Uruha to come up the stage and join me in this performance!”

All of a sudden,Uruha felt all eyes were on him as the spotlight beamed upon him. He didn’t know what was happening! He had no idea why it was even happening! Did Aoi just tell all these people in the bar that he would be playing? On stage? With him? He blinked stupidly before a look of pure horror slowly spread across his beautiful place. This was not happening! This wasn’t freaking happening! He looked around, looking like a lost duckling, and saw some of Aoi’s bandmates cheering him on, Ayame murdering him with his deadly brown eyes and other people gazing expectantly at him.

What should he do? He couldn’t just play in public without practice! He wasn’t a professional and his skills were not on par as Aoi’s! He suddenly wished the ground underneath his feet would crack and swallow him whole. He would gladly vanish and never return just to escape this embarrassing situation. “No! I… I can’t!” He muttered, his voice thick with panic and anxiety. ”No!” But no one seemed to have heard him because the next thing he knew, he was being dragged away from his seat and was being guided towards the stage. He didn’t even know who was pulling him and he had no idea why he wasn’t trying to escape. He closed his eyes and desperately wished this was all just a dream, that he had just gotten drunk and his mind was just playing a trick on him, but when he opened them again, he was already on the stage, standing next to Aoi, meeting an audience that was eyeing him with great interest.

Oh, hell.

He wouldn’t be able to escape now.

“Hey,” The mischievous raven softly whispered in Uruha’s ear, trying to ease the other’s tension, “You can do this, Uru. You must know how to play X Japan’s Weekend, right? Don’t be nervous. You’ll do great.” He had to resist the temptation of holding those shaking lithe fingers with all his willpower. Unconsciously, the urge to protect the blond filled his heart, and with a tender gaze he said, “We’ll do this together, I’ll just be right here beside you.”

No matter how sweet or supportive those words could be, Uruha couldn’t help but glare at Aoi. He still had no idea what to do, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to escape this situation anymore. He was trapped in a corner, forced and ambushed. He had no choice but to give what Aoi wanted. He just had to do his best, he thought with a groan. “I swear I’m going to kill you once we get off this stage!” He hissed between clenched teeth and even though he was shy, he stepped in front of the microphone and spoke, a twisted smile present on his angelic visage. “Y-yes, I’ll be performing with Aoi-san. B-but forgive me, though. I’m not really good at this and I might disappoint you guys.” He shyly admitted. “S-still, I’ll do my best to en-entertain all of you.”

The crowd clapped and cheered for him, which motivated him to do his best. He just wished that he wouldn’t make any mistake because he was so nervous. He had never played in front of a live audience before and he would be playing with an amazing guitarist. He had to do his best no matter what.

An electric guitar was passed onto him and a shudder ran through his body when he touched the beautiful musical instrument. He would be fine. Everything would be fine. He had been playing guitar since he was in middle school. He just needed to pretend that he was practicing with his guitar in his bedroom and he wasn’t being watched by an audience. He took a deep breath and tried to relax, cocking his head to the side to look at the person standing next to him. He wasn’t alone. Aoi would be supporting him. He could definitely do this. He placed the strap over his neck and around his body before taking hold of the neck and the pick which was helpfully given to him by the person that Aoi had talked to a while ago.

Closing his eyes, the raven took a deep breath to get into the mood of performing. As he once again revealed those jet black irises, his fingers obtained a life of their own, running carelessly along the neck of the electric guitar and jumping exhilaratingly between strings, summoning a river of complicatedly arranged notes to scream out from the amplifier. The rhythm guitarist’s movement was confident and natural. He belonged on the stage more than anyone, the spotlight and the cheering of the crowd served him as a source of energy, allowing him to express his emotions freely and to become the person that he wanted to be. He had always loved the stage, but having the blond here besides him just made everything even more spectacular. Remembering the guitarist who was close to having a nervous breakdown, the brunet turned his body in a seductive sway. Never stopping the fluent shift of his lithe fingers, he pleasantly glanced at his new partner with the sexiest smirk on his handsome face.

When Aoi spared him a glance, Uruha was caught up in the moment, transfixed at the mesmerizing scene before him, drowning in the heartfelt melody that came from Aoi’s guitar and how his fingers moved expertly along the neck, perfectly creating each chord and rift. He knew he had to perform, do his best to at least live up or level the amazing skill the other was playing. With a deep breath, he prepared himself, waiting for his part to begin, receiving his signal when Aoi delivered his last chord and looked at him with an alluring smile on his handsome face. He released the breath he was holding and closed his eyes, recreating every part and furniture of his room in his head, making himself believe that he was in his territory, that he wasn’t being watched and judged, trying to bury his nervousness and fear in the deepest part of his heart. His fingers automatically moved, dancing over the frets in lightning speed, the sound it produced when his strumming hand slashed across the strings created a powerful sound that went well with the first part of the solo.

Uruha felt more confident, moved and happy when he heard himself, his own tune echoing from the loudspeakers, relieved that he hadn’t made any mistake yet. He was doing okay. He was doing good. He could definitely do this. He slowly opened his eyes, ignoring the blaring lights, the many pairs of eyes that stared at him and focused on the other man standing next to him, an ecstatic smile evident on his luscious lips. For the first time since he got on stage, he was happy to have given the chance to play. Now he knew why musicians loved the stage, why they were addicted to performing, why they loved the spotlight and the cheering shouts. He felt his body sway with the tune he created himself, amazed that he was actually playing outside of his bedroom for the first time or not around his close friends back home. With a smirk, he cocked his hips to the side and flipped his hair, throwing a teasing grin at Aoi.

The raven’s eyes widened in astonishment. He wasn’t expecting this, not at all! He knew Uruha wouldn’t be as bad as he said judging from the sensitivity the blond had towards music, but he had never imagined that this pretty face would be this skilled at guitar. Absolutely talented! The way the blond’s milky fingers graze exquisitely along the rough metal strings and the way each sound came out gloriously under his command. Nothing about this guitarist was dull nor lame. Aoi couldn’t believe what he was seeing, the shy and timid Uruha a minute ago disappeared without a trace, instead, here he was, an extremely brilliant guitarist who had mastered some of the most difficult techniques of guitar, smiling teasingly and seductively at him. The rhythm guitarist could literally felt his chin drop, then a chuckle of delight soon came out from his parted pierced lips. His mysterious stranger had just became even more special and unique, auring him to fall for him any second, as if he hadn’t already. Feeling a warm tide of joy sweep across his body, he innerly thanked fate once again for letting him meet this extraordinary man.

Driven by heated passion and an immense amount of attraction towards the beautiful figure that was dominating the stage, Aoi hastily stepped up to the center of the platform, closing the distance between him and the blond and gently pressing his back onto the other’s fragile body. A shot of electricity jolt through him the very moment their skins touched, and before he knew it, he was already submerged in the warmth that radiated from the gorgeous guitarist, overwhelming his whole being with satisfaction. The raven briefly glanced over his shoulder at his partner adoringly as they began their solo in sync. The distinct sounds of the two guitars were in union, together they rose through the peaks and valleys of the melody with the exact same speed, fusing and entwining with each other as if they share the same breath, as if they belonged to each other in the first place. No words were spoken from the dark haired male to maintain this unison, none was needed because he already could feel the other’s heart beating at the same beat with his own.

Uruha was in the same state himself, his heart moving with the music as his fingers and movements mirrored those of the man beside him. He wasn’t even thinking of making a slip anymore or humiliating himself and Aoi in front of all these people. He immersed himself on the beautiful melody that he was creating with the gorgeous creature next to him, allowing every note and chord to guide him. He felt his heart burn with too many emotions, feelings varying from too much bliss and something that he didn’t want to label yet, though he knew, he damn well knew what it really was. He closed his eyes and leaned closer to Aoi, feeling his warmth seeping through his jacket and shirt, and it felt wonderful because he felt so safe, so free, like nothing else could go wrong. Slowly, his eyes fluttered open, his aureate saucers gliding to the side and meeting Aoi’s obsidian eyes that gazed back at him with emotions that his heart could define. He could see his smile reflected in those piercing dark orbs and he realized that their bodies weren’t the only ones that had become one, but so were their feelings and their hearts. Uruha thought he could play with the raven forever, thought he could look into those enigmatic eyes and get lost in them till everything on Earth wither and die, but like all good things, he knew this moment had to end. They had to close the curtains on this magical performance.

The last riff vibrated from their guitars, bringing the song to its conclusion. For a moment everything fell silent except for the rapid beating of Uruha’s heart in his ribcage and the heaving sound of Aoi’s ragged breath. The amateur blond still couldn’t believe that he managed to perform perfectly, that he didn’t embarrass himself in front of Aoi and all these people. He still felt numb, his blood ringing in his ears as he waited for what would happen next. He couldn’t hear anything but he saw the people in the bar clapping and screaming. They did a great job, didn’t they? They did well. He took a glance at Aoi again, thoughts of killing him once they get off the stage now forgotten as his chest was filled with so many intense emotions.

Aoi dropped his hands from the guitar and turned to stare at the unearthly gorgeous blond, completely overlooking the enthusiastic crowd cheering excitedly for them. The roars of encouragement turned into a small buzz in his eardrums, and all of a sudden, he felt like he was under water, dark and isolated from the rest of the world. The only things he could see were those pools of golden orbs sparkling within this darkness, trying to bring him back up to the surface. As if his life depended on them, he deeply looked into those beautiful eyes with great concentration and allowed silence to peacefully surround him. Neither of them was able to speak or even produce a sound, yet this moment wasn’t any less than the one they just shared.

Sadly, the magic between the two was broken when a voice suddenly interrupted them. “That was awesome, you guys!” The man whom Aoi was talking to beamed. “I know you’re a talented guitarist Aoi-san, but this guy…” He smacked Uruha on the shoulder. “is also fantastic! You did that so perfectly together, it’s like you two were meant to play guitar together forever!”

Uruha blinked, finally snapping himself from the high brought by his intense performance and looked at the man next to him, a shy expression present on his flushed face. “T-thank you.” He only managed to mumble. He still couldn't believe that his first time on stage was successful, but the man sure was a living testament to that.

“Are you a new member of Artia? You’re way too good not to be a pro!” The man kept on gushing. “If you’re a new member, then how about Ayame? Or are you going to have three guitarists in your band? Is that even possible?”

“Stop it Kai.” The brunet playfully stuffed his palm on the brown-haired man’s mouth, successfully stopping the other’s never ending ramble of questions. “You’re scaring him.” Aoi chuckled at both the confused blond and the overexcited brunet before starting to answer the list of questions,“His name is Uruha, and yes he is very pro, but no he’s not a new member of Artia, he’s my...” He shortly paused and spared a quick glance at the other guitarist as if contemplating on how to define their relationship, and finally said, “Friend.”

The nervousness and awkwardness that the blond felt being around Aoi all came back to him in one swoop. He almost let out a cough and tried not to fidget as he saw the knowing expression on the raven’s face. The way he said friend actually sounded as if that wasn’t what he really meant.

Kai playfully slapped Aoi’s hand away and pouted at the guitarist. “Well, you’re lucky to have a friend who can perform with a poor guy like you.” He joked before bowing. “Thank you for gracing our stage with your presence. I’m sure our patrons had a great time watching you two!” He complimented again as he helped Aoi take off the electric guitar of him.

Uruha also gave the guitar he borrowed to the other guy who had given it to him a while ago, and followed Aoi and Kai as they got off the stage. He didn’t really know who the spirited male really was, but it seemed he had been an employee of the bar for a long time. Kai shook their hands before they made their way back to their table where Aoi’s bandmates were still shouting and clapping along with the other people in the bar. As much as he wanted to hide his face because he wasn’t used to having all these attention, he walked behind Aoi with a meek smile on his lips, hoping that he wouldn’t trip and have the people around him laugh at the wrong reasons.

“You guys were awesome!” Kouta excitedly exclaimed, shouting more than saying, “You had great chemistry together! Did you guys really meet yesterday? It looks like you’ve known each other forever when you played back to back like that! It was absolutely amazing!”

The blond couldn’t help but laugh at the compliment, confused if it was right for him to be happy about it. As much as he loved the experience, he knew it would never happen again. He wasn’t a musician and Aoi already had his own band. That moment would never happen again, most likely, but somehow, he thought that maybe he should be happy that it did. At least, he would be bringing a wonderful memory with him in his return to Kanagawa. He slowly looked at Aoi and met the raven’s dark eyes, seeing the same spark that occupied the other’s saucers during their time on stage. He found himself unable to take his eyes away, but realized that he didn’t really want to stop looking at Aoi. This might be the last time they’d meet again and his only chance to engrave the perfection of his face in his memory. So, he reveled on the epitome of beauty before him, taking in the heart-melting smile and those soul-piercing eyes. He didn’t see the knowing looks that the other members of the band exchanged with each other nor the fuming glare a particular brunet was throwing on the other end of the table.


Comments: HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAI-SAN!!!!!! Yes, our mysterious manager of the bar is indeed our beloved leader-sama~ How can we forget about Kai and post a story without him on his birthday, right? So there’s a little special appearance! We know that wasn’t much, but still, that’s our way to say ‘I love you’ to our dearest drummer >/////////< Words aren’t enough to describe our love and respect for him, and truly, we wish for nothing else but happiness for this amazing person. May laughter surround him this entire day~~~ Once again… Happy birthday, Kai-san!!!!!!!!

candicecandy: Hello everyone that’s reading this story~ Sorry for the long wait this time, midterms just wouldn’t let me go… or2 But now that we’re both free, well at least for a bit, we’ll work really hard to bring out next chapter as soon as possible. Hope this chapter appealed to you guys, if you have any thoughts or feelings, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We both love comments!>///////< Thank you again for reading this~

venomousliberty: Hey, everyone! We’re back and we apologize for the long wait. My partner had been busy with her exams, so we had to postpone our task of bringing some fluffy goodness to your tables because she had to focus on it, LOL. We hope you enjoyed this chapter and if you do, please tell us what you think. Thank you for reading! ^^
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November 2013

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