All right, so this is one of my more recent stories I whipped up, effectively pushing back dozens of others that still need to go up... But I wanted to post this one in time for the movies to drop, just because some of the content of the movies might potentially mess with my idea, so I wanted to share this before the movie could prove me wrong, essentially.
This will have similar themes to Revue, Rewind, Replay, but will extend a bit farther and explore very different things. With that, please be aware it will get a bit dark.
Starting off, this story is set in their third year at Seishou.
Disclaimer: I do not own Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight.
The Girl Who Played God
Chapter 1. Past, Present, And...?
So much has happened at Seishou since Daiba Nana and her friends had first walked through the doors as new students nearly three years ago. Much more than could ever have been captured by all the photos and videos Nana had made certain to take and record whenever possible.
She'd thought she'd immortalized a lot of memories back when they'd finished their second year together, after Hikari had joined them and added one more smile to those photos.
But now, nearly halfway through their third year together, Nana is finding herself presented with a wonderful challenge - she's constantly running out of phone storage and scrap books for all of her photos.
Because, not only has she filled those pages with photos of her own friends and classmates here at Seishou, but also with memories of their friends at the other schools as well. Friends, Nana knows, not she nor any of her classmates ever would've gotten to meet and laugh and live with had she gone through with her wish.
She still dreams about it sometimes.
When she closes her eyes at night, now and then she will find herself on that stage, drenched through with a garish yellow light, a single decrepit tree standing unmoving at the center. She'll still see the shadow of a creature, still hear a deep and haunting voice.
But ever since she and her friends had become third-years, the revues have been few and far between, and she's seen and heard more of Elle than the giraffe.
And with each new day that comes with each sunrise, Nana finds herself more and more thankful for what had happened, for Hikari's victory in their revue, for her sacrifice, and for Karen's selfless actions to save her and absolve all of them from that sin.
Though moving forward and heading toward an uncertain future had been perhaps the most terrifying concept to Nana, now in the present moment she always finds herself thankful for the gentle feelings her friends had given her.
Even as third-years, their school days continue just as they had last year, to the point where it almost feels like time is looping and repeating itself anyway.
Every morning, Nana still wakes up to a room so similar to her room last year that she sometimes forgot she isn't in the same spot anymore. Of course, Junna is still with her. Their beds are arranged exactly as they had been last year, though Junna had convinced her to move around the rest of the furniture again for a slight change of pace.
Nana had happily agreed to the small alterations; she wanted things to be similar to how they'd used to be, but she also wanted to be able to differentiate one year from the next. All of her scrap books and photo albums reside on a shelf adjacent to her bed, and the bulletin board above her work desk is covered with her favorites. She still gazes fondly at them every morning as she waits for Junna, though more often than not it's Junna who is waiting for her and urging her to get ready.
Just like last year, they put on the same uniforms, though perhaps a size larger, and make the morning walk to school together with their friends.
Maya and Claudine are typically the ones they end up with the most, as Futaba often brings a still-half-asleep Kaoruko to school on her bike, and Mahiru is often still running late trying to drag Hikari and Karen out on time.
But every now and then, the nine of them manage to meet up and make the walk together, which are always Nana's favorite mornings.
To her it seems that, for everything that's stayed the same since last year, some other slight change has occurred.
Karen still makes frequent wrong turns during choreography practices, or sings out-of-tune in some numbers. But she's also improved her stamina and her tone fluctuation a very noticeable amount.
Hikari still remains a bit taciturn when dealing with her other classmates, but is gradually becoming a bit more organized with her school work and dorm room keeping.
Mahiru still excels at her baton, but has also started to step outside her comfort zone by trying new things as well.
Futaba still has some of the best vocal techniques in the class, but she has also started landing more central roles more often.
Kaoruko is still the best at traditional dance, but she has dared to expand her horizons and dabble in other kinds as well.
Maya continues to maintain her position at the head of the class in terms of theatre, but she has recently started to overcome some struggles in her art classes.
Claudine has continued to impress her teachers, friends, and underclassmen alike with her exceptional skills, and she has gradually distanced herself from the harmful mindset of constantly comparing herself to others to highlight her own shortcomings.
And Junna had naturally been promoted to Student Council President, so this year she has a lot more responsibilities to juggle than she had as Class Representative. And she has been using her free time to steadily improve her swimming whenever possible.
All of these changes, and more, have been occurring as time has progressed into their third year at Seishou.
It would seem that the changes Nana had initially been afraid of had turned out to be all good things. She still wonders how, if at all, she herself has changed since then; since the point last year where she would consistently interrupt the flow of time and force it all to repeat.
Has she improved anything since then? Her cooking, perhaps? Her directing or script-writing? Her relationships with her friends?
She likes to think that's the case. She likes to believe that trusting her friends and allowing their futures to continue onward had made her a stronger and better person.
She tries not to think about repeating it all over again.
Their performance of Starlight at the end of last year had been their most successful rendition yet, and perhaps even the most successful performance Seishou had ever put on. The new Starlight they had performed together had been just like their new individual stories; generally similar, with just a few smaller tweaks of improvement overall.
Nana has loved every second of it. The time she had once been so adamant about fighting has now become her greatest ally.
Halfway through their third year now, they have put on so many spectacular performances they never would have gotten the chance to experience otherwise.
Every day, no matter how mundane it may feel, is a new surprise, a new step forward.
Every day, Nana feels as though her world is a little closer to perfection - to the way things should be.
This morning starts out like any other as the sound of her alarm starts rousing her. Rolling over, she stretches out her arms with a satisfied moan as she opens her eyes to the sunlight already streaming in through the window.
She looks up and finds Junna already sitting up in bed, just putting on her glasses and gathering her hair to begin brushing it. Nana sits up with a grin and gives a shake to her own ruffled bedhead.
"Good morning, Junna-chan!"
Junna reaches for her planner from her nightstand and begins leafing through it, humming to herself.
"Let's see, for today… Ah, I have a meeting this morning. And then at lunchtime I promised I'd talk to some of the first-years. And then-"
"Junna-chan~" Nana sings. "Don't start stressing out first thing in the morning, okay?"
Junna pouts good-naturedly.
"I'm not stressing out. In fact, I think you should be a little more mindful, Nana. Don't you have to join Class B for a directing workshop this afternoon?"
"Ah, you're right! As expected of Junna-chan! You know my schedule better than I do!"
"Right?" Junna smirks. "What would you do without me?"
"I don't even wanna think about it!" Nana chuckles. She gets up from her bed and pulls the covers up, then makes her way over to Junna. Placing a hand on the planner, she gently pushes it down into her roommate's lap and leans down to kiss her.
That's another thing that has changed since they'd become third-years.
Not only had Nana and Junna started dating, but so had Futaba and Kaoruko, and though they didn't openly admit it to most, the same was true of Claudine and Maya. As for Karen, Hikari, and Mahiru, there was also something between the three of them, though with how dense the former two could sometimes be, Mahiru wasn't rushing anything.
As Nana kisses her now, she can feel Junna relax just a little bit. A moment later, Nana eases back to find her roommate blushing slightly as she fumbles to readjust her glasses.
"Geez, Nana…" she mumbles. "Now my thoughts are all jumbled…"
With a sigh, Junna closes her planner and gets out of bed.
"Well now that we're both up, let's get ready. We've got a lot to do today."
"Yes, ma'am!" Nana gives a salute and scurries over to pick up her uniform, pausing for a brief moment to admire her wall of photos. As she scans each one of them, she can recall each memory as though it has just occurred yesterday; last year's Starlight Festival, Christmastime, the hot pot they'd had a few months back, Mahiru in her lead role of Cinderella, Maya, Hikari and Futaba as Edward and his brides, Karen and Claudine as Holmes and Watson, Kaoruko's birthday party, Junna's award ceremony when she was made President-
With a small jolt, Nana pulls herself out of her reverie. She turns back to find Junna already dressed and waiting for her.
"Are you coming?"
Nana beams and skips over.
And so she leaves the photos of the past behind once again this morning as she sets out on another day living in the present, heading toward the future.
A/N: Re-reading this first chapter now... it almost seems it could be a little reflective oneshot and just end here... But no no, I've got lots more in-store, so stay tuned!