Prompt: 049 ~ Action May 2011©
Fandom: Alice Nine
Focus: Shou x Erika
Word Count: 1,961
A/N: The basis for this one is the Number Six PV!
Fandom: Alice Nine
Focus: Shou x Erika
Word Count: 1,961
A/N: The basis for this one is the Number Six PV!
“Is everything ready?”
“But it’s just about as ready as it’s going to get, Shou-kun.”
“I don’t even know how we managed to get it this ready!”
“Nee, Hiroto-kun, I thought you were on board with this crazy scheme from the beginning.”
“That doesn’t mean I thought it would work.”
“Aish! Can’t we just do this already? It’s getting boring standing around listening to you guys whine.”
“You’re only saying that because Namie-chan isn’t here, nee, Tora-kun?”
“Yah! Will you guys shut up for a minute? This is delicate work!”
“Nao-san, just hit the button already.”
“Hi~Ro~Pon . . . I know where you live.”
“When you get yourself killed by our lovely leader, I’m going to give Mogu to Chiko as a chew toy. He’d make the perfect little snack.”
“Stop antagonizing Hiroto.”
“Aish! Is it ready yet?”
“Yep, just say the word!”
“Is this really going to work?”
“It’s not likely.”
The screen on the TV in her room flickered and the show Erika wasn’t really watching blinked into a moment of blackness before it flashed into a vibrant explosion of color and light. Erika spotted a familiar face; bright red-brown hair, thick make-up, and an outfit that looked like it’d been shop lifted from candy land. She sighed.
“Testing, testing, 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . “ Shou was saying from his place in front of the camera tucked away in the abandoned science building of his old high school. “Nee, Erika-chan? Can you hear me?”
From just under a mile away, Erika was staring at the screen transfixed. She was amazed that he’d actually come through on his bet, an almost annoyed at him for it. As Shou paused for a moment to adjust his mic, Erika changed the channel. Shou’s face still covered the screen. Changing it again and again, Erika discovered that he was on every channel. Alice Nine had pirated the entire broadcastin ntwork for the area.
Shou was speaking again and Erika paused in her channel surfing for a moment to listen warily. “Nee, Mina-san,” he said with that bright, and genuine smile he’d first shown to Erika just over a week ago. “As most of you probably know, I’m the lead singer of Alice Nine. Shou desu.” He bowed slightly and added, “And I want to tell you a story. It’s about this girl, and I really hope she’s listening.”
Erika’s phone vibrated, causing a racket as it wobbled quickly back and forth on top of her bedside table. The text message was from her best friend, Chisa. She’s been the only person Erika had told about her previous interaction with Shou. ~He’s talking about you, isn’t he? Eeek! I can’t believe he’s really here doing this! And for you! Aish! I’m jealous!~
Erika didn’t respond to the message. She knew that Chisa wouldn’t expect her to, not with her track record. Even if an answer was expected, though, Erika wouldn’t have known what to respond with.
Shou was talking again, and Erika put her phone out of her mind even as it was clutched in her hand. “About a week ago, I met this girl. I met her right here actually, this one of a kind, amazing girl. She was wonderful and sweet and smart, and she was also lonely. She had a few friends, one she even called her soul-sister, but she told me she was afraid. Her friends couldn’t help her with these fears, because it was them that she feared. People all want to make connections with other people, and sometimes we want it so badly that we make connections in our heads that aren’t really there. This girl had done exactly that a few times, gotten hurt by her own desire to avoid being hurt, and she was afraid of doing it again.”
At this point, Erika was completely unable to look away from the screen. She sat frozen, unsure whether she should be embarrassed or angry at his story. She’d made this confession to a total stranger because it could never come back to her, she’d thought she’d seen the last of him when they parted ways from the science lab last week. And now he was spreading her secrets, her private concerns, all over the district in such a humiliating way!
“But I’m sure she’s not alone. I know at the very least, I’ve done the same. I’m sure that these fears and this pain are things that we’ve all felt before. Before I met these four friends of mine, these four people who know me better than I do, I felt alone and unwanted; that everything was my fault for trying,” Shou paused for a moment, letting his words sink in, praying that the one girl in the world he was reaching out to was listening. He went on with a focus of solemnity, “I want to tell you all that you’re not alone. Your friends will come along to save you, you just have to keep trying and trust that they’ll trust you back. It might take a while to find the people who will become your true friends; and sometimes you might feel alone again, but if that ever happens, we, Alice Nine, will be your friends. And you can be our member number six!”
The camera angle shifted suddenly, directed by the controls at Shou’s feet. Now the whole band was visible to the camera. The members were all smiling at the fact that, somehow, this insane scheme of Shou’s was working. Even Shou understood that this was crazy, and he flashed a quick grin at his bandmates before saying, “To celebrate our new friendship, we want you to be the first to hear out new song! We hope that you will step forward with us, and stay with us and each other in the future.”
He paused again, turning to nod at Nao. The drummer picked up the beat for the song Alice Nine was about to blast onto the pirated airways. “Eri-chan,” Shou said, looking back at the camera, “This is for you, are you ready? Action!”
The melody kicked into gear on Shou’s cue, it was a rumbling, high-energy sound and before Shou had even started to sing, Erika had made up her mind. She bolted from her room and used her phone to pick up the video feed, she wanted to hear the song Shou had written for her more than anything, but she had to get to the old science labs before the police figured out where they were and showed up to shut down the unauthorized broadcast.
Pirating the television signals like this wasn’t terribly illegal, but Alice nine would be nailed with heavy fines for certain. And their impromptu show would be stopped the moment the police could find the signal’s origin. None of the band minded, they were Alice Nine for heaven’s sake; they could afford to pay a fine. And they were all to ecstatically happy with the adrenaline of miscreance, and the apparent success of their new song, the witten-in-less-than-three-days-because-Shou-had-found-a-pretty-girl-in-the-woods song that no one in Alice Nine ever had plans of letting Shou live down.
The song’s final notes were echoing through the building as Erika’s steps pounded around the final corner separating the band from the outside world. The telling squeal of her sneakers made Shou smile just before she appeared. His members smiled too, and the sense of anticipation was caught easily by the cameras to be broadcast to a puzzled public who suddenly realized the show wasn’t quite over.
She was there. She was panting, and rumpled, and she looked rather more than angry, but she was there, and Shou grinned at her. “You came.”
“Did you mean it?”
Erika had run nearly a mile, still undecided about what she felt about Shou and Alice Nine. The only thing she had decided was that she needed to talk to them, that they deserved a chance.
“What you said before, last week,” Erika explained breathlessly, barely aware of the fact that she was on camera. “Did you really mean it when you said we were friends?”
“I think we’re friends. You told me your story and I told you mine. We talked, we hung out; we did friend things,” Shou replied. “But the only way I can tell you that we’re friends for sure is to ask you.”
What exactly was she supposed to say to that? She’d talked with a total stranger who’d turned out to be an internationally renowned rock star. Could she really call herself his friend? Did she want to? Did she want to in order to be his friend, or just to say she was friends with a rockstar to impress the people she could actually be friends with?
Holding out his hand to her, Shou asked, “So, Eri-chan, are we friends?”
A long second ticked by as Erika’s mind flashed over all the things that had happened that week, her fears and regrets. The hope that Shou was trying to give her; and his own hope-filled smile.
She smiled back and took hold of the singer’s hand. “Yeah, Shou-kun. We’re friends.”
The phone in Erika’s other hand suddenly buzzed, echoing oddly as it’s sound was caught by the cameras broadcasting back to her phone as the video she was now a part of continued to roll. Shou squeezed her hand gently, thinking over the last time he had seen her phone ring. “Are you going to answer that?”
She hadn’t last time.
The first thing Shou had ever said to her, scaring her as he appeared all of a sudden in this very spot, had been ‘Are you going to answer that?’. Then her answer had been a scoffing and scornful no.
This time it was yes.
It was Chisa again. “Oh. My. God! You’re on TV! I’m watching you right now! So cool! Ask them what the name of the song is! I can’t find it on any of the forums!”
Erika smiled and looked towards the nearest camera. Answering Chisa on both her phone and on Shou’s microphone, Erika replied, “Number Six. The title is ‘Number Six’.”
She looked to Shou and found him smiling in confirmation. The moment of absolute stillness was broken by the sounds of a police squadron having entered the building. The five bandmates panicked briefly, scattering about in a moment of having forgotten the plan utterly.
“We have you surrounded!”
The booming call from the police from the perimeter was just enough for calm to resettle.
“We’ve got the tunnels,” Hiroto mentioned.
Saga hesitated, “What about the equipment? I thought we were going to take it with us.”
“Leave it,” Nao said. “We thought we’d have a little more time. If we want to make a grand escape tonight, we can’t take anything with us.”
Tora agreed. “It’s not like we won’t get it back. They know who we are, they’re gonna hunt us down before we even get back to the studio. If we want to make tonight out to be any kind of spectacle, we should just grab a camera and run.”
Shou’s hand was still linked up with Erika’s. “Ne, Eri-chan,” he said conspiratorially. “Do you wanna go be spectacular with us?”
She looked at Nao, who had snatched up a hand-held camcorder and was pointing it her way with the little red light blinking. With a brightness and lightness of spirit she hadn’t really felt until meeting Shou, Erika replied, “Definitely.”
“Ready?” Shou asked pointing dramatically off camera.
Erika winked in the direction of the cameras still broadcasting to her neighborhood.