Username   Password  
Remember   Register   |   Forgot your password?

Chapter 13 - Thirteen

The legend Ryuichi Sakuma is dead, he leaves behind the gift of a daughter which is passed to Shuichi and Yuki to raise. Now that she is 16 can she find the truth in her existence she has been searching for?

Chapter 13 - Thirteen

Chapter 13 - Thirteen

His head ached, though that wasn't his biggest concern, as he couldn't feel anything below his shoulders. Confused, he titled his head up slightly, only to have blood trickle down his forehead. Beside his head was the limp, lifeless face of his beloved wife Hanako. Though her shiny auburn hair was matted in blood, with her eyes serenely closed she appeared as angelic as her nature. He couldn't feel her soft warm breath and knew the impact of the crash had killed her instantly. His throat became swollen and dry, he wanted to cry, but couldn't find his voice.
A sudden gurgle under their bodies startled him from the light feeling in his head that he'd been finding difficult to battle. Straining, he pulled back. His heart raced wildly, adrenaline rushed, his body screamed in agony, no longer numb from shock. Ryuichi clenched his teeth, and fists. The pain was so intense he thought he'd pass out then and there. But he couldn't, knowing his baby daughter was beside him. Hanako and he had thrown themselves over her just before the impact. He wanted to smile, seeing her in perfect condition.

"Ryu-chan…" he managed to whisper.

Ryuko hugged her Kumagorou, a toy bunny that Ryuichi had given her at birth to always protect her and play games with. She sat in her baby seat, suckling his pink ear. The small child felt her mother over her, but she wasn't moving to hug her like usual, her father also wasn't moving, just staring at her sadly. Scrunching up her face, she began to weep the tears her father wished he could.

Ryuichi's heart sank, listening to her cry. Though he knew the pain would come, he forced his hand to her face. He softly caressed her pink cheeks, and began to hum. Ryuko sniffled, and eased out of her crying. "My sleepless…beauty." He always loved calling her that. His little one barely slept; always too busy crying, laughing, or getting into mischief. But he guessed it ran in the family. Without realizing, he had been smiling widely. It made Ryuko smile too. She giggled, placing her small hand on his.

"It will be OK," he warmly whispered. Ryuko however looked ready to begin her tears again, so he rested his head against her's, took a deep breath and began to sing softly, "Please don't cryin', imitating loneliness, cutting into space with entwined regret. Make me shining, fragments of my scattered heart, a radiance that surpasses ho…" His last breaths had left his body. He lay still against his silent baby. Tears trickled down her small face, laying her head to his; the tears stained her father's still warm cheeks.

Drifting off to sleep, she could hear the faint blare of sirens.


Ryuko stands in the centre of the stage, all she can see is the sea of sea of people in front of her and meek glints of the keyboards on either side of the stage, where she knows Saki and Slacker are positioned. Taking an anxious breath, she raises her microphone above her. In a burst of light, the music fires up. The crowd roars. Ryuko blinks, 'This isn't Sleepless Beauty…it's Shining Collection!'

Saki struggles not to faint from embarrassment, realizing she'd installed the wrong CD. Shrugging the surprise off, she and Slacker go to work playing with the music. Ryuko nods, and walks toward the front of the stage, holding the microphone to her mouth.

"The motion of imprisonment in a bed of glass
that is first broken by the fumbling of a lady
a loose collection of feathers with a tail of soliday
that almost screams the innocence desired at night"

Behind the curtains, Sara mournfully watches Slacker play his father's keyboard. His face is smiling as usual, though she can feel his intense sorrowed rage. She realises it wasn't just Ryuko who stood to lose their individuality through the concert. "Was this a mistake…?"

"Dancing through freedom and lies in the mood of depression
fragile puzzle pieces that break away from this course"

Returning from the dressing room area, Himeka is still in her performance kimono. She holds the box her brother had given her, and her guitar in the other. Listening to her best friend sing to the audience, she sighs, shaking her head, "Man, she can do better, she shouldn't deepen her voice like that it just isn't HER." Himeka wanders to the other side of the curtain to take a peek.

"Kiss shining; we're kissing in my eyes
Melting away even the flower petals in our way
Make me shining, changing into the most exciting colours
That first shone in a vision"

Ryuko moves her arms and body as if she were Ryuichi Sakuma, her mind and soul is now immersed in his spirit. Through the music she almost feels she is Ryuichi. Note after note, bar after bar, the music is pumped out through the speakers, echoing across the night.

"The field of view excels the dimension of panorama
a perfect mimesis that can only tremble
a cheap touch whose reaction is to look for secrets
you want to see them even if they are coldly obscene"

Tatsuha places his fingers against the backstage monitor. "Ryu…ichi…" he breathes, lowering his head. Yuki sighs, laying a hand on his little brother's shoulder. Tatsuha raises his head, grinning like an idiot, starting Yuki. "Not Ryuichi!"

Yuki nods, "Good to see you're back to reality."

Tatsuha points accusingly at the screen, "Hey you! No wannabe aloud! Get your @$$ off stage if you're going to sing like that!!!"

Groaning, his elder brother whacks him into the ground. "Idiot."

"A sea of gushing pleasure that alters the colours of the rainbow
that strikes into this world adding shadows to the fringed game"

Himeka and Sara catch each other's eye. Their gaze then returns to the stage. Though they don't utter a word, they know exactly what the other is thinking, and they agree. Lighting up with snide smirks, readying to shake the past, and change the set future, the girls take their instruments.

"Kiss shining, imitating loneliness
Cutting into space with entwined regret
Make me shining, fragments of my scattered heart
A radiance that surpasses hope"

Saki presses down Noriko's tunes on her keyboard; she gasps as Himeka Nakano, armed with guitar steps in front of her. Himeka slams the keyboard with her fist, "Hey, I'M Ryuko's right-hand girl, get to the other side of the stage."

Saki continues playing, hearing Sakano wail in fright in the background. Himeka steps to the side and lunges at the keyboard, watching it fall offstage. Saki steps back in horror, gasping for air.

Himeka grins, winking, "You look cooler with a hand-held anyway; you'll find one waiting on the other side. And for God's sake, let your hair down."

Saki emulates her smirk, laughing to her self, she runs offstage.

"Red soaked fingertips dye the atmosphere with fluttering butterfly tears"

Sara clutches one of the two keyboards Slacker plays on. "Seguchi Senpai, you don't have to do this."

Slacker frowns, "Get off the stage, what are you doing?!"

"I mean it!" Sara begins to tug at it, pulling it away from him. "You don't have to take his neglect."

Slacker abandons the other keyboard and clutches the other side of the keyboard, playing a game of tug-o-war with his cousin. "This has nothing to do with you, Sara-chan!"

"Stop being a coward!"

"I'm not a coward!" He roars, the keyboard slipping from their grasps, flying into the air. Bullets pelt the keyboard as it soars in the air; it explodes into the lights of the stage, becoming one with the glow.

"And all is turned to sand...Shining, make you cry!"

The music continues to play. The lights switch off after the bridge is over. Ryuko steps back. Two hands pull her back, and begin to undo her belt. She shrieks off-mic and blushes. "What's happening?!"

"Oh relax Ryu-chan," laughs Saki, "this'll only take a minute." Ryuko's jeans slip off, as does her shirt, some soft leathery outfit is slipped over her and her hair is quickly done up.

"Saki, what is going on?"

"Something that is bigger than Bad Luck and Nittle Grasper combined."

Ryuko half-smiles, not quite sure what she's talking about.

A spotlight beams down to the front right of the stage, Himeka is there. She rips off her traditional kimono, to reveal a black and blue short leather kimono. Thrusting her body out, she slips her guitar over one shoulder and overpowers the guitar in the backing music.

Another spotlight falls to the left, where Saki emerges with a keyboard strapped over her shoulder. She walks along the stage, and waves to Himeka.

Saki laughs into her mic, "Bring on the bam-bam-babee!"

Backstage, Tatsuha does a cheesy karate stance, "Ninja ha!" He spins around and mightily kicks a large drum kit onto the stage. He bows, "Wah!" His father growls, taking him by the ear, "YOU'RE A MONK, NOT A NINJA!!!"

Slacker leaps into the seat of the drums, drowning out the drums of the music. A spotlight falls his way; he smirks, loving the pleased howls of the audience.

Still in the darkness, Ryuko's heart flutters, seeing her friends come together. She wonders where Sara is, until a smaller spotlight plunges off-centre, to reveal Sara Fujisaki, readying her violin. Her eyebrows rise. Sara goes to work on the strings of the violin, following the tune of the song. Ryuko is so amazed she nearly misses her queue.

A final white spotlight falls on her. She lifts the mic to her mouth and follows the spotlight across the stage.

"Kiss shining, we're kissing in my eyes
Melting away even the flower petals in our way
Kill me shining, changing into the most exciting colours
That first shone in a vision"

Ryuko catches a glimpse of her outfit; made of short pink shiny leather, it reaches mid her thighs and zips up to her neck's end, though it's zipped down to show some cleavage. Her hair is all over the place, tied into a ponytail that resembles a palm tree. She looks so different, but so…her. 'Is this my truth? Is this who I am?'

Her eyes widen innocently, she stamps at the stage and brings out her most passionate voice to end the song.

"Please don't cryin', imitating loneliness
Cutting into space with entwined regret
Make me shining, fragments of my scattered heart
A radiance that surpasses hoooooooooooooope!"

Ryuko steps back, catching her breath, allowing her band members to end the musical score of the song. Coming together, they finish with the bang - Tohma's other stray keyboard sniper shot several times at the climax.


"Excellent work, Michael!" Proudly exclaims K, hugging his boy.

Michael blows on the end of his gun, "It's a gentleman's job to come to the aid of the needy. Plus…Tohma Seguchi told my senior officer this afternoon of my misconduct in Osaka and had me fired. Hope you're not too disappointed, Dad."

"Fired? Hmm…need a job in the secret service?"

"Nah, I was thinking…another profession…" Michael directs his attention to the five on stage.

K nods in understanding. "You may need bigger guns…maybe a tank too."


Ryuko motions for the audience to settle down. She becomes flush, lowering her head. "I now realise I spend more time saying 'I am NOT Ryuichi Sakuma' instead of 'I AM Ryuko Sakuma', so I will work hard to show the world who I am instead of wasting my moments to disprove who I am not." Ryuko quietly tilts her head a little upward. "My name is Ryuko Sakuma, I am pleased to meet you. I am 16 years old and an average high school student who likes nothing more than sleeping through math and counting down the minutes till lunchtime. I live in a high-rise apartment with my two loving fathers, Shuichi Shindo and Eiri Yuki." Ryuko lifts her head high. "I was born from the womb of Hanako Morita and fathered by Ryuichi Sakuma. They're treasured legends and should never be forgotten for their talents or good hearts. I see them every day of my life. I see my father, Ryuichi, when I play with my Kumagorou, and when I make a silly face; and I see my mother, Hanako, when I get complimented for my emerald eyes, and especially whenever I goofily fall over from my own ignorance and laugh. They are always with me, as they are with you. So instead of shedding tears for the past, follow me in rejoicing them for the future, with the many gifts and lessons they have left behind."

The crowd rises in applaud, Ryuko bows, wondering where to go from there.

"Sakuma Senpai," says Sara.

Ryuko looks back to see Sara, who has readied her violin. "Perhaps we should…reek up the stage with another song?"

"Bad Luck or Nittle Grasper?" Wonders Ryuko.

"Neither," yawns Saki, making up a tune on her keyboard.

Himeka strums along to the tune, "So, who are we exactly?"

"Snowflakes," mindless whispers Ryuko.

Saki fiddles around with her keyboard some more, and walks up to her microphone, "Saki-chan here! Hi-hi! Our kawaii vocalist Ryu-chan will now enchant you with our first song! Welcome to SNOWFLAKE!"

Ryuko almost falls back, sweat dropping, "What are you doing?"

Sara and Slacker follow the lead of the two musicians in front. The people in the crowd clap along joyously. Ryuko scratches her head, "What am I supposed to sing?! I don't have any prepared lyrics!"

Himeka scoffs, "You're a writer, so WRITE."

Gulping nervously, Ryuko closes her eyes and lets the night inspire her.

"Silken shadows press against my heart
And I shudder in the dust
Awakened by a distant memory
I drift into the deep black sky.

Floating through the void of time
I try to shatter the sky
Break free of the abyss I'm in
And find that certain star.

Could it be? Should it be? Tell me now
Shaken into this bitter feud with space
Make me a dreamer; make me a believer
Drain away my sorrow into the oceans
Could it be? Should it be? I need to know.

Surrounded by chills of yesterday
I try to run toward it courageously
Pushed away and pained by rejection
Carry on to tomorrow

Could it be? Should it be? Tell me now
Shaken into this bitter feud with space
Make me a fighter; make me a pioneer
Give me the light to see the way
Could it be? Should it be? I need to know.

That star is you and I, a place we shine so brightly
Follow me to that day where we held each other
And smile.

Forgotten memories follow me today
Am I trapped in this sombre dream?
Make a wish and I will see it through
And paint it across the sky

Could it be? Should it be? Tell me now
Shaken into this bitter feud with space
Make me a dreamer; make me a believer
Drain away my sorrow into the oceans
Could it be? Should it be? I need to know.

Could it be? Should it be? Tell me now
Taken into this warm place of love
Give me pain; give me joy
Drain away my sorrow and replace it with hope
It could it be! It should it be? In my heart."

As the song draws to an end, Ryuko struggles to keep from falling, faint from the strain of thinking on her feet and the heat of the stage lights. Two arms reach around her back and give her a tight hug. It's Shuichi.

"Ne, Snowflake, a request?" He coyly asks.


"A duet with Bad Luck!" He gleefully begs. "Please! Please! Please!"

Ryuko looks around at her band members, who give their approval. "Sure thing! Gotta be Blind Game Again though."

"Spicy Marmalade," huffs Himeka.

"Rage Beat?" Sheepishly requests Sara.

Shuichi scratches his head. "But we've sang all of them already. Sorry Ryu-chan…we kind of forgot you were supposed to sing Blind Game Again. Heh…"

The girls gasp in horror. Shuichi spreads his arms open and directs his attention to the audience, "Everybody, like to hear Bad Luck and Snowflake sing Bird?!"

The crowd approves.

"Done!" The girls mope at their defeat.

Suguru and Hiroshi enter the stage with their instruments. Slacker takes his microphone and turns up the volume. "We would also like to invite Nittle Grasper's Noriko Ukai and Tohma Seguchi to join us in this song."

Backstage, Tohma is still dealing with the loss of his keyboard. "I…this wasn't part of…my plan…I didn't think Setsuna would…"

Mika folds her arms; "You wanted your son to be happy; to play in a band with his cherished cousin Ryuko. Well he did and is happy, so why don't you try to revel in your success. You have plenty of other keyboards anyway."

Tohma frowns at her lack of empathy. Noriko comes from behind and takes him by the arm, "Come on Tohma, we can't let the kids show us up!"

Tohma casually nods, "I suppose you're right, Noriko."

The two make their way onto stage. Tohma stops by Slacker, and bows his head to him. "Good work, Setsuna Seguchi."

Slacker nods, "Thank-you, I learnt well from my father."

With everyone assembled, Ryuko and Shuichi raise their fists high, "LET'S GO, EVERYONE!"


And that's how I became a rock star. Today I have a record deal, legions of fans worldwide and my own bowling alley. Yep, it all went according to destiny's plan. I think next I'll become an ice-skater…or a helicopter!

"'Swear to God, you are such a moron," yawns Himeka, slurping up a French fry.

The girls sit in their favourite café, sipping soda and eating junk food. A week has passed since Bad Luck's performance.

"Hey, if I want to play pretend rock star I can!" Insists Ryuko.

Himeka laughs, "OK, OK. Y'know, it's weird to know I'll live in Tokyo for a year, even though I am glad Bad Luck have decided to put out a new album."

"I'm more shocked you didn't make a big stink about it. After all, Kumagorou and I know how much you love your precious Kyoto and can't stand this wretched big fake city." Ryuko makes stupid faces mockingly, while wiggling around her toy.

Himeka turns away dryly, sipping her vanilla coke, "You are such a child. I am a mature young woman who wouldn't make a fuss about such things."

Ryuko sips up on the table, knocking their food off. She peers into Himeka's face with a dangerous gleam in her eye, "It's because you're going to go to a school with boys isn't it."

Himeka gulps.

"Little sexually deprived all-girl private school snob gets her chance to mingle with big city…BOYS! Suddenly public school isn't looking so bad, eh?"

Himeka bites down on her straw angrily.

"But of course you're only FOURTEEN so your daddy would NEVER EVER let his innocent baby girl DATE!"

Himeka pulls the straw from the coke can, puts it to her mouth and blows coke into Ryuko's eye. Ryuko yelps falling off, rubbing her face and aching butt. "Ouchy!" Ryuko springs up, armed with a ball of borrowed scrolls. "Evil cow, I'll kick your @$$ with the powers of Buddha!"

"Bring it on!"

Just as they go into attack mode, a man dressed in a black suit bursts through the doors, armed with a machine gun. The patrons scream, ducking under their tables. That is, all but Ryuko and Himeka, who return to their fight. The man fires a shot into the air. The girls decide to pay attention, and stand before the man.

"Big news!"

"How original," sarcastically spits Himeka, "It's ok folks, he's harmless…sort of."

Ryuko folds her arms, "Michael, we don't need a manager, remember? We told the press we weren't interested in signing up to be a pro band, we're all busy with school and stuff, plus I'm not sure I even wanna be a pro singer."

Michael holds his gun to the side of the girl's head and smiles courteous, "Snowflake may not be a record producing band, but you're going to be a band nether the less, correct?"

"As a hobby, yeah," explains Himeka, "for extra pocket money. That yaoi manga isn't going to buy itself, you know."

Ryuko glares at her friend. "Pervert."

"The band may be a hobby for you, but Mr. Seguchi is paying me a handsome salary to be your manager and I intend to take my job seriously."

Ryuko snatches his gun and uses it to hook his neck, "Are you telling me Tohma Seguchi is paying you to be our manager?!"

"Ack!" He gags, "No! Setsuna Seguchi is."


Slacker sips grape juice from a crystal glass, stroking his dog. "It's good to be me."


Ryuko droops her head, "It's all just one big plot against me, isn't it?"

Himeka eats a few salt'n'vinigar chips, "You're so paranoid; the world does not revolve around you."

Ryuko sighs, she presses play on the DVD player.

"What are we watching? A movie?" Asks Himeka.

"A music video collection."

"Excellent. Bad Luck?"

Ryuko shakes her head, smiling, captivated as the DVD begins. "No, but just as good."

Himeka narrows her eyes and gazes at the screen. She leans over and rubs her friend's hand kindly. "Just as good."


Comments (0)

You are not authorized to comment here. Your must be registered and logged in to comment