A/N: Well, onward we go. Also note- I own nothing.
The Making of the Band
Yohji knocked again, and listened. It had been several hours since Aya had slunk up to his room to pass out, but no one had heard any noise from the room since. The swordsman never slept into the afternoon, so Yohji wondered just how much sleep he must have lost the night before. "Aya?" He pushed the door open a crack, wanting to make sure Aya was still in there, but not wanting his head sliced off for his interference.
Aya was curled up on his bed fully dressed. Yohji saw his sword was sheathed and put away; he probably cleaned it first thing after his mission.
Aya looked kind of harmless, resting with one hand curled up by his face and his bangs splayed over his eyes. But Yohji knew better, and didn't venture any further past the doorway. "Your shift is about to start. Ken promised to get working on the new mission after you take over for him."
He hadn't expected a verbal response, and was satisfied when Aya groaned and his eyes opened. "I'll tell him you'll be down in a few minutes," Yohji said, turning back into the hallway as Aya stirred. He started to close the door, but then realized that Aya's movements had stilled. Glancing back into the room, Yohji saw Aya's eyes flutter closed again. Yohji snorted, less successful in waking the younger man than he'd thought. And yet, he hesitated to speak louder or give Aya a good shove. In addition to it being hazardous to his own health, Yohji knew from experience how taxing solo missions could be, and Aya just looked so tired.
"Aya?" Yohji said tentatively. "Do you want me to take your shift?"
He waited, hearing nothing for a few moments before a small sound finally reached his ears.
Yohji rolled his eyes and frowned, closing the door behind him this time. There's gratitude for you. Sauntering back downstairs to take over for Ken, Yohji sighed as he thought about the night out he'd had planned. So much for that, but it couldn't be helped. Aya was tired, Omi was at school, and Yohji wasn't a completely selfish asshole. And who knows- if Aya was in a good mood when he finally got his ass out of bed, it might even be worth it.
"Kudoh, you have five fingers. You only have to use three. Figure it out."
Three sentences- Yohji had definitely put Aya in a good mood by taking his shift. He did have a funny way of showing it though, ordering him about as if he himself were some sort of guitar expert. They were situated back room of the koneko, Aya standing over Yohji with his arms crossed like a school instructor.
"You try it then!" Yohji said, shoving the instrument towards him. "It's harder than it looks, alright?"
Aya stared levelly at Yohji. Ah, yes. Mr. classically-trained violinist. "I know how hard it is and isn't to play an instrument. And it should not be this difficult to hold it correctly and play one damn chord."
Ken came in holding a tall, wilted plant, one that Yohji vaguely remembered Omi asking him to look after, and set it down in the corner. "Just show him how, Aya," Ken sighed, brushing his hands on his apron.
Aya shot him a look. "Go find us a song," he retorted.
As Ken left in a huff, Yohji tried to reposition the guitar. It certainly was an eye-catching instrument, although not the color he would have chosen. Still, it was sleek and black, and he knew for a fact he looked good with it.
He attempted another strum, and something grotesque sounded from the small amp Kritiker had delivered. Aya scowled and bent down to fiddle with it, and when his backside jutted into the air, and Yohji didn't bother looking tactfully down at his instrument. Suddenly, a loud crack emitted from the speaker, and Aya straightened with the cord in his hand.
"Hey!" Yohji exclaimed. "Put that back in!"
"No," he said, coiling it in a loop.
"Until you can play less offensively, there's no reason to amplify it," he said, again with his obnoxious reason. "The customers will think you're trying to ward them off."
Yohji began to suggest that it would sound better to Aya if his whole head wasn't shoved up his own behind, but then, to his surprise, Aya sat down next to him on his right. Yohji closed his mouth as Aya picked up the thin instruction book Kritiker had so thoughtfully supplied. "Look, Kudoh," he said, opening it. "You've even got diagrams."
Yohji took a close look at the lines and dots, and awkwardly positioned his fingers where it looked like they might belong. He attacked the strings again. Without the amp, it just sounded…plinky, but Aya cringed as if his delicate ear had been insulted. Sighing, he leaned across the instrument, and for a split moment Yohji thought he was going to position Yohji's hand where it belonged. Instead, he just pointed to one of the strings.
He nodded toward the page in front of them. "This string. Fourth finger, right here."
"What?" Yohji said, distracted by Aya's proximity, and yet how carefully Aya was keeping from actually touching Yohji's arm as he gestured at the instrument. "Fourth finger from which side?"
Aya looked like he just barely kept from rolling his eyes, and was starting to re-think their assignments in the mission. "Can you sing?"
Yohji held the instrument tighter towards him, as if Aya might yank it straight out of his hands if he weren't careful. "Not at all, and Manx said I could play this."
"Oh, give it to me," Aya snapped. Yohji yelped as his guitar was pried from his grip. Suck as he may, he was still becoming attached to the instrument. He grinned as Aya fiddled with it, clearly unused to having to finger such a large instrument. Aya's brow furrowed, and he looked back and forth from the neck to the page in the book.
"See? I told you it wasn't as easy as it looks," Yohji sneered.
Giving his positioning one more glance, Aya strummed, and a clean chord sounded out. "Don't hold it so tightly," he said, ignoring Yohji's remark. "Just get your fingers where they belong. Curve them more, too."
Yohji counted to ten as Aya handed him back the instrument.
"That was E-flat Major, by the way," Aya said stoically, watching Yohji continue his vain attempts. "If you were interested."
Yohji certainly was not, and would have told the redhead to fuck off if he weren't enjoying Aya being forced to speak in actual sentences to him. As it was, he set his jaw and set about his task. Fourth finger, curved…. A blessed sound of near-harmony emitted from the instrument, and though he wished it were amped, Yohji looked pridefully up at Aya, smiling.
Aya rested his chin on his hand. "Kind of a slow start to "re-defining" an instrument."
Yohji counted back down to one. Presently, Ken came in with a sheet of paper in each hand. "Okay, guys. I found a couple songs that look good," he said, handing over the lyrics to Yohji.
Yohji glanced down and scowled. "These are all in English. I thought we were going for sex appeal, here."
Ken laughed. "Omi thought it might set us apart from the other entries, and we need all the help we can get. Besides, Aya's English is good enough to pull it off, isn't it Aya?"
"Hn," the redhead grunted absently.
Yohji read off the words at the top of one page, his accent heavy. " 'Simple Affair of the Heart.'"
Aya snorted. Yohji turned the page over. " 'Wish I Had an Angel'? What the fuck, Ken? We won't get a spot in the competition if Aya's vomiting all over the stage."
"He said slow!" Ken said. "I can't play that fast, and you can't play at all. And I'm sorry, but you're not going to find a very badass slow song."
"He's right, Yohji-kun!"
Startled, Yohji jumped as Omi's voice shot in from the computer room. Yohji sighed dramatically, then shrugged at Aya. "What do you say, Aya? Affair or Angel?"
Aya looked more than slightly miffed at the prospects, and barely conceded an irritated response. "Keep looking." He stood up, done with his teammates for the time being. "When you find something worthwhile, someone tell Omi to find a copy of the song, and guitar tabs."
Yohji looked confusedly at the page in his hands, then to Aya's retreating back. "Guitar what?"
A/N: Well, there's that. I know I'm not making it blatantly clear what I'm doing with this, but if you've read any of my stuff and know my prettyangst! tendencies, then you probably have an idea. Here's hoping you review and come back :-)