Yeah so I was writing another HonoUmiKanan chapter and then another one of my friends talked about an idea they had for a story, and well. This sorta' happened. Unlike the HonoUmiKanan stuff, this will be multi-chaptered and will follow an actual narrative structure, though I can't say whether it'll stay first person or alternate between chapters.

Like my other works, this will be a blending of manga/novel and animeverse, as well as a couple of my own headcanons.

Disclaimer: I do not, in any way shape or form, possess any rights to the characters or the world in which these fics take place in. Love Live! is owned by ASCII Media Works, Lantis, Sunrise, and Sakurako Kimino. This is a fan made work, made purely for my enjoyment.

I sighed softly, my fingers running along the pristine keys of the school's grand piano. It'd been just like this for months now, ever since the (former) third years graduated and μ's had disbanded. No matter how long I sat here, or how hard I tried, I just couldn't bring myself to play or write like I used to. Everything felt... empty, lifeless, as if there wasn't any point to being here.

And, quite honestly, I knew it was pointless in the long run. Daddy had made it very clear that the… "stint", as he called it, with μ's was only to happen until the school had either been saved or was still under risk of being shut down. And after that year, I was to devote the rest of my time at Otonoki to studying anatomy, biology, and chemistry, trying to get into a medical program at Toudai until I could get into medical school.

So really, this entire thing was pointless. I should be studying, or brushing up on anatomy, or… something instead of sitting in front of this… reminder of what I had and what I lost. But… I couldn't. Everything reminded me of μ's—even when I was studying or just trying to destress, I could still hear all the songs I wrote, and still saw all the performances we had.


It was an accident, unintentional, but the scream came out of my mouth and my fingers slammed onto the keys without a second thought, the noise reverberating through the room. I started shaking, my nerves going haywire and tears pooling up in my eyes. I couldn't stand it—I couldn't stand it!

No matter how long and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't

And then I heard a knock on the door, slow and tentative. "J-Just a second!" I called out, trying to get control of my nerves and force back the tears. I didn't want a first year to see me like—

"Maki? Are you okay?"

I stopped for a bit. The slow and tentative knock was Honoka? Honoka? The two of us had barely even spoken since the year started, she'd been busy with Umi and the rest of the student council, so… why did she come here?

"C-Come on in!" No, idiot , don't let her hear that stutter. I stood up and wiped whatever tears were left when I heard the door slide open, hoping I wasn't shaking as badly as I felt like I was.

I took a brief second to look at Honoka, really look at Honoka for the first time since our last concert as μ's. She looked… different, from her second year. Good, as great as she'd always looked, but… different. Older, more mature (though I wasn't sure how true that was), and a little more… tired. She'd stopped wearing the sidetail that she'd worn, as far as I was aware, for a little over a decade now, instead tying her hair loosely and lower, just above the inwards curve of her neck. Her hair had also darkened, looking more auburn than the orange it used to.

But her eyes were what had changed the most, from what I could tell. Gone was the almost endless lustre that used to rest in them, replaced with a dull content with her life. And her eyes were framed with deep bags, bags I could tell she'd tried to cover up with makeup but didn't want to be too obvious (even if the chairwoman was one of her best friend's mother and she was the "saviour of the school", she still had to follow the rules).

Honoka gave me a soft smile, her eyes lighting up like they used to and her features growing a little less strained. "Hey Maki," she said, her voice… unusually soft, a tone I'd only known her to use when trying to convince Umi that she hadn't done anything wrong, or to try to convince Eli to do something that the girl didn't exactly want to do. "How've ya' been?"

I gave her a strained smile, but by the tightening of her face again, I knew she didn't buy it. I let out a soft sigh, sitting back down on the piano bench. "Not, uh…" I tried to choose my words carefully, I didn't want her to think she was at fault for anything (not like I didn't know she'd blame herself anyway). "…Not exactly the best," I admitted, looking away from her.

She let out a soft sigh too, followed by a gentle and awkward laugh. "I, uh…" she started, coughing a little, "I could kinda' tell." Her voice still held that awkward tone to it, like she wasn't talking to someone she'd been friends with. Weren't we still friends? Were we only friends because of μ's?

A well of anger pooled in me. Were we really only friends because of μ's? Were Hanayo, Rin, and I only friends because of μ's? That would explain why neither of the two girls have spoken to me either. "What d'you want," I bit out, my temper getting the best of me. Damn it girl, don't let your emotions get the best of you .

In the corner of my eye I saw Honoka flinch, and guilt raced through me. Of course we were friends for more than just μ's, it's Honoka . She'd just been busy.

"S-Sorry, I uh…" she took a deep breath. "I noticed your grades haven't been what they used to be." No need to remind me, daddy did it often enough. "And so I thought I should come and see how you were doing."

I let out a long sigh, turning back to the piano and resting my hands back on the keys. "It's… been rough," I said. "Having no one to talk to after last year, and with how… demanding daddy's been this year…" My voice trailed off, my fingers starting to glide along the keys for the first time in months.

"Have Hanayo and Rin not—"

My fingers slammed on the keys again, interrupting Kitto Seishun, as I felt the anger again. "I haven't spoken to either of them for months," I bit out. "Haven't even seen them, we're not in the same class anymore."

Honoka hummed and leaned against the cupboards. "I'm sorry I didn't seek you out sooner." I looked up from the piano and at her. Her eyes were looking away and out the window, narrowed and contemplative as I'd seen Eli's many times. "I've been so busy with classes, kendo, the student council…" Her voice trailed off and she shook her head. "Look at me, just making excuses," she laughed. "I'd assumed Hanayo and Rin would still talk to you to make sure you were handling everything okay, so I never made the effort because of it. And with Kotori leaving too…"

I flinched a little at that too. After our final performance, Kotori had received another invitation to study at a prestigious tailoring school in Europe, and with nothing keeping her in Japan anymore, the girl took the offer up.

It was quiet for a bit, before Honoka spoke again. "Hey, Maki?" I looked back at her, the girl's hand running along the cupboard she was leaning against. "You wouldn't happen to know of a… guitar or anything being here, would you?"

"A guitar?"

"Not an expensive one!" she hurried, blushing a little red and laughing awkwardly. "J-Just like an old acoustic would work, I don't need—"

I interrupted her. "I meant, why a guitar? I never took you for a guitarist."

The "and what does this have to do with me" went unspoken.

"O-Oh, well uh…" she looked away. "Well, Eli taught Umi and I the basics when we were kids, and I was the only one that really kept at it…" Her voice trailed off, and her body relaxed again. It was almost an entire minute before she spoke again. "I also wanted to keep you company while you were here." She looked back at me and smiled, her eyes regaining a bit of the shine that I remembered. "Maybe we could make some music together?"

My breath caught in my throat and my heart stopped. Did—Did Honoka really want to make music with me ? Not Umi? Just the thought of making music again, playing music again, with someone from μ's—recapturing those moments and memories from last year made me want to say "yes".

But I hesitated. What if it took away from my study time? What if it disappointed daddy—

No, I want this. I want to make music again, to play music again, even if it angered my dad. I was already willing to live his dream for him, I should be allowed to do the things I like in my free time.

I gave the girl a gentle smile, trying to hide the excitement and the sheer joy I was feeling. "I guess if you can find a guitar—"

I was knocked off the stool by a "tackle hug".

"Thank you Maki!"

Hope you guys enjoyed this first chapter! Another should be out soon, hopefully.