Prompt: 020 ~ Because May 2011©
Fandom: Alice Nine
Focus: Tora x Namie
Word Count: 1,404
Fandom: Alice Nine
Focus: Tora x Namie
Word Count: 1,404
Seeing Tora barefoot was something that very few people were surprised at. By now, everyone involved with Alice Nine was perfectly accustomed to seeing the guitarist tramp around without shoes or socks, even on stage. By this point, nobody questioned that Tora went barefoot.
Only one person questioned why.
It was the standard reply. Everyone had given up on getting anything else out of him, everyone except Namie. It wasn’t that big a deal to most people and they were content to give in easily. But Namie was persistent.
Most of the people associated with Alice Nine assumed that it was because Namie was relatively new to the band’s company. She just hadn’t had the time to get tired of asking yet. And since she was paired up with him for boughts of stage side fanservice, Namie was spending a lot of time with the barefoot tiger.
Shou was of the optimistic opinion that Tora might actually give in to her nearly constant questioning. At least she might pull something more out of him than his bandmates had, something more than ‘because’. He’d submitted to performing fanservice with her after all, and that was pretty much a new thing for him. Tora had responded to Shou and Hiroto, and even a little to Saga, but only with smiles and hugs; nothing more dramatic than the average jam session, until Namie came along.
The decision to accept a bit of flirting around on stage with Namie was new for Tora, and Shou thought it could indicate change elsewhere. Hiroto thought he was crazy. As a fellow guitarist and one of Tora’s most constant companions, Hiroto insisted that Tora’s answer would never change.
No matter how many late nights Namie spent in the studio with the band, bringing it up in casual conversation or direct assaults, the answer would always be, “Because.”
“That’s not an answer,” Namie complained. She was taking up half of one of the studio’s couches as she lounged, going over the latest rendition of the concert’s plan of proceedings.
“Yes, it is.”
“No, it’s not.”
Childishly, the pair could keep that back and forth up for a solid ten minutes, interspersed with relevant comments about the concert plan, before their bickering transitioned over to a new issue.
They were always bickering. It cycled through every subject imaginable, but it usually ended up touching on the Shoe Thing about every hour.
“So.” Namie chirped, “Shoes. Why don’t you wear any again?”
Namie looked to Nao, asking seriously, “Is there going to be extra scaffolding? We could build up the right side of the stage a bit. It would let Hiroto-kun lay back and play upside down without blocking the stage for me and Shou to run around to you.”
“That might work,” Nao mused. “It’ll definitely work at the venues for the second and third shows and we should be able to find something to improvise with for the rest.”
“We do still have a little time to get ready,” Shou reminded.
Namie nodded. “We’ll have to make sure that we use something that Tora won’t hurt his feet on.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“Are your feet made of rubber? Don’t they have any nerves at all?” Namie wondered. “Is that why you can just walk around without shoes?”
“So, why don’t you wear shoes?”
Tora was on the other end of the couch from Namie and as he turned the page on the concert plan in his hand, he shifted so that his long legs crossed over Namie’s lap, his bare feet settling on the far side of her from the rest of him. He put his heels on her arm of the couch because he knew it would annoy her.
She hit his foot with her pen, rolling her eyes when he snatched it away from her with his toes.
“You’re part monkey then, are you? Your brain is a bit under-evolved.”
Namie leaned to one side, resting her weight on Tora’s legs like they were a table top made just for her and went on with her serious thoughts. “I still think we should use Cradle to Alpha as the opening, but bleed it into something other than Velvet.”
“But what?” Hiroto wondered. “The only songs we don’t have rooted to others are too low key to start the concert off.”
Saga commented, “There’s an awful lot of pent up energy that will need an outlet.”
“What about Senkou?” Shou mused. “We don’t really have a place for it in the concert, but if it goes after Cradle and then we put that chunk with Rainbows as the center . . . it might work.”
“It might give us an almost ‘calm’ crowd by the time that bit finishes up and we can have a little bit a talking before we get into the set with Blue Flame,” Hiroto mused. “It might break the rhythm up a little though.”
“Saga’s the only one who has trouble talking if his rhythm’s broken, though,” Tora commented. “And he’s not really needed to talk this early on in the concert anyway. It’s not my favorite, but it should work out well enough.”
Hiroto looked sideways at him. “I thought you loved playing Rainbows.”
“He doesn’t like having to wear shoes for it,” Namie explained as Tora shrugged. “Normally he doesn’t have to, but putting it after Cradle and so early on in the setlist . . . he’s gonna have to if he wants to work with the pedals.”
“Not wearing shoes makes working the synthesizer pedals easier,” Tora protested.
Namie grinned. “So that’s why you don’t wear shoes!”
“Not really, it’s just a side effect,” Tora brushed off her squeals of victory easily. In the same breath, he said, “Cradle has just been our opening too often for my tastes, it’s getting formulaic.”
Even with Tora’s seamless deflation of Namie’s victory, the admission that his shoe-wearing, or rather his lack thereof, affected him in any way at all was much more of an explanation than any of the Alice Nine members had gotten from him. As far as they’d been informed, Tora’s feet may as well have been an entirely separate entity for all that they affected his lifestyle. It wasn’t much of a revelation, but it was something more than anyone else had been given and it was enough to impress Hiroto.
He covered up his cheeky grin at the thought by countering Tora’s point with, “It’s a fun song to play and the fans love it.” He couldn’t resist adding in, “All shoe-wearing aside.”
Tora would have kicked him if Namie hadn’t been leaning on his shins. Hiroto had only just stopped teasing him, at long last, he Tora was not looking forward to a revival of it. “Still, it’s just getting too predictable, even with Rainbows as the follow-up.”
“Then what if we stick Cross Game in between Cradle and Rainbows?” Namie suggested. “You guys never perform Cross Game live!”
Hiroto jumped in with, “That’s because the anime it’s for sucks.”
“It’s still a good song,” Namie retorted, pouting. It was one of her favorite songs.
Shou agreed. “It is a good song and we really don’t play it at lives very often.”
“Ever,” Namie corrected, her comment was as well hidden beneath he breath as an elephant could hide beneath a terrier.
Tora laughed. “I’d be up for that. Nao?”
“I’m good with it,” the leader said with a nod. Then he looked to Namie, saying, “We’d have to take a weekend soon to work in a part for you, though.”
Namie waved his concerns away. “I can just whip up some choreography. Cross Game is a song, I’d rather just listen to it anyway,” she explained with a smile. “I don’t think I’d like it as much if we changed it to fit in something for me. It’s already perfect.”
“The show still sucks,” Saga added. The 50 billionth edition of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Phenomenon was pretty much unanimously regarded as a waste of a great OP song.
None of the others had any objections to the statement and they went back to reading over their concert plans. Namie took her pen back from Tora for a moment to make her edit of Cross Game to the line up. Handing it back for his toes to grab, she asked, “So, why don’t you wear shoes?”