Prompt: 005 ~ Tail May 2011©
Fandom: Antic Cafe
Focus: Kanon x Bou & Miku x Riri
Word Count: 1,458
Fandom: Antic Cafe
Focus: Kanon x Bou & Miku x Riri
Word Count: 1,458
Kanon was getting used to it, he really was.
He was getting used to not having Bou around.
Residual pangs would forever tug at his heart, but they weren’t as sharp or as unbearably painful as before. He was really getting used to it. He was even getting used to the idea of having new members.
In the time off that Antic Café had taken since Bou had left, Kanon had gotten used to it. But there was one thing that he had not gotten used to. In the past few months of comeback prep, Kanon had not gotten used to Miku’s latest insane idea. He hadn’t gotten used to Riri.
Riri had been a roadie with An Café for years; she was an old friend of Miku’s. During the past few months of solo activities that the members had been working on, Miku had taken to singing duets with Riri. She had a nice voice and they were good friends, the progression had been natural. Kanon himself had been kept busy on his own, working with DOG and Wakeshima Kanon, but he’d kept his solo activities out of the band’s.
But Miku hadn’t. Miku had dragged his solo affairs into the band’s, citing that since the fans had loved the solo songs he had produced with Riri they would equally welcome the fact that she was going to come into An Café with a role slightly more prominent than back-up vocals. He was probably right.
Without Bou, An Café’s fanservice department was severely lacking.
Bringing in Riri was a way to supplement it. A way to replace Bou, without replacing him.
His other role had already been filled. Takuya was taking over An Café’s guitar parts. He wasn’t allowed to play any of Bou’s songs, but he did have the guitar parts in An Café’s new music. Kanon was getting used to seeing him on the other side of Miku during practice. But he was not getting used to Riri.
Or her tail.
Riri’s trademark was a fluffy tail belt thing, something that Kanon just couldn’t seem to get used to. It might have been that Bou would have liked it; Bou would have liked a lot about Riri. When she’d been a roadie, they’d been almost as good friends as she and Miku. But it was also in the MiRi fanpairing that seemed to carry backstage, like they weren’t just fanservice. Like they were how he’d been with Bou.
Bouncy, delightful, and the perfect little diva in the same way Bou had been; she was bright and chipper, and demanding without being annoying. She was spontaneous and clever, and absolutely gorgeous. She was perfect with Miku; the fans loved the news that she would be joining him on stage at a full An Café performance. And they loved all the behind the scenes footage that such concerts came with, footage that would undoubtedly contain long stretches of time where Riri and Miku were hanging all over each other. The mere thought made thousands of fans squeal.
“Nee, Kanon-kun,” Riri’s call broke through Kanon’s thoughts. “Can you come help me for a second?”
Kanon sighed heavily. “Coming.” He wanted her to know that he was responding unwillingly. Miku had worn a tail-belt-thing before, and he’d never needed any help getting it on. Of course, Kanon was perfectly aware of the fact that when Miku had been wearing a tail-belt, he hadn’t also been wearing a fluffy pink mini skirt with unruly folds of Lolita ruffles. The bows and folds and ruffles needed to be dealt with before the belt could be attached and that task took up both of Riri’s hands. Why he had been the one assigned to help her fix the tail in place before the first An Café concert in over a year, Kanon hadn’t a clue. But he didn’t like it.
“Arigatou, Kanon-kun,” Riri chirped once the belt had been clipped on securely. As if she was utterly ignorant of Kanon’s distaste for her.
And for her tail.
And for the fact that he had to be the one helping her with it.
With her skirts settled, Riri pounced on Kanon for a hug. He shoved her off, knowing full well that in her clunky Lolita high heels she had no choice but to stagger away if she wanted to avoid falling altogether. She didn’t go half as far as he’d hoped she would.
The bells attached to her stupid tail binged about as she bounced back to his side. Riri grinned at him and latched onto his arm with one of her own as she twirled her tail with the other as they made their way to the edge of the stage that was going to play host to the An Café concert.
The sheer size of the crowd waiting for them made Riri falter in her cheery prance. It was enough to let Kanon escape her and make his way over to fiddle with final tunings for his bass in peace. Physically at least. His focus was still caught in Riri’s hold as she continued to twirl that horribly loud assortment of bells on her stupid tail. Kanon tried to ignore it, but flashes of the grey fuzz caught in his vision as she twirled the tail while looking out nervously on the audience.
Across the stage, Miku and Takuya were making frantic signals of good luck, but Riri wasn’t looking at them. Miku deftly changed tactics and moved to grab a security guard. With a smile, he charmed a walkie talkie off of one and messaged Kanon’s side of the stage.
“Oi, Kanon,” he said once he’d gotten a security guard there to give Kanon his walkie talkie so that Miku could talk with his bassist. “I thought I asked you to take care of her for me.”
With his attention still entirely focused on his bass, Kanon replied, “I’m not going to go out of my way to make sure that your little girlfriend is happy.”
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
Miku sighed. “Really, she’s not.”
“Miku, shut up.”
“She’s yours if you want her.”
“Miku.” Kanon’s voice was dangerous now. This was edging into territory that nobody wanted to step into, not with Kanon.
The singer sighed heavily. “He’s gone, Kanon. Bou’s gone. He’s not coming back.”
“You don’t know that.”
“He hasn’t even texted any of us in more than a year. Bou’s gone.”
Bitterly Kanon retorted, “He’s not gone. He’s just not here. There’s a difference.”
Kanon didn’t wait for Miku to respond. He gave the security guard back his walkie talkie and marched over to join Riri at the edge of the stage to wait for the signal to parade on in front of the fans.
She noticed his approach. “Ne, Kanon-kun,” she said softly. Her voice was vastly different from the chipper idiocy it usually rung with. “I know it’s not really my place to say, but I heard you with Miku, and . . . I’m sorry about what happened with Bou. I don’t think there was anything on earth that could have stopped him from leaving.”
“You’re right,” Kanon growled venomously, “It’s not your place.” After a moment and a huff to take his misplaced anger off of Riri, she was Miku’s not-quite-girlfriend after all, not the singer himself, Kanon added, “But you’re also right that he wouldn’t have stayed for anything.”
“Are you okay with this? Going onstage again?”
“I live for it.”
“But like this? Without Bou . . . and with me . . . “
“I hate the idea,” Kanon said honestly, “But none of it really matters. It changes everything, being onstage. It doesn’t matter if you’re mad, or jealous, or crying, or anything, being onstage is being in a moment. It’s a singular, isolated instant where nothing but the music matters.”
Riri smiled. “That’s beautiful. Did . . .?”
With a nod, Kanon looked off into the distance with his own half smile. “Bou told me that.”
“He’s coming back, Kanon-kun.”
Kanon didn’t respond, but Riri’s words resonated within him. More prophetic than hopeful, sure in the impossible way that Bou always had been of the absolutely insane notions he came up with, notions that always panned out in the end.
The signal came for the band to prance out onstage, but Riri held Kanon back for an instant, grabbing onto his shoulder with the hand that was still twirling her tail as she made him look at her. “He’s coming back.”
With the roar of the crowd exploding as Miku and Takuya came into view, followed closely by Teruki, Kanon smiled. “I know he is.” Then he broke the moment saying, “Now, get that stupid tail out of my face, we have a show to put on.”