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The Worst Concert (Fanfiction - One Shot)

Faramir · 545

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Offline Faramir

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on: April 14, 2017, 04:13:10 AM
Author's Note: The editing on this story is still a tad rough, but I think it's tight enough to enjoy. This is my first post on this forum. I'd love to write more stories if there's an interest. We'll just see. If you enjoy the story, please do let me know in the comments.:)

The Worst Concert

Tonight’s concert would have been a textbook example of a perfect show, if only they made textbooks for that sort of thing. And if only Hide hadn’t missed his cue on “Blue Blood.” And if only Yoshiki hadn’t bitched at him about it. And if only my voice hadn’t self-destructed midway through the concert. And if only Taiji hadn’t snorted coke just before hitting the stage. And if only . . .

On second thought, the show had been a complete disaster.

Tensions were running high even before the concert started. Taiji missed the pre-show rehearsal and arrived high as a kite, only moments before we went on. Stage managers rushed us out before Yoshiki had a chance to berate him, but he made his feelings clear with a scowl.

To make matters worse, tonight was the final show on the tour, and we wanted things to end with a bang. To that point, every stop on the tour had been a blowout success. But tonight things just wouldn’t come together. We lacked that synergy our fans had come to expect.

During intermission, morale was clearly wearing thin. Yoshiki only made matters worse when he read us the riot act, scolding us for our every mistake. I downed a cheap Sapporo rice beer to cool off. Big mistake; back on stage, my voice came out raw. And not raw in a powerful way. No, this was almost crude. I was missing notes left and right. I could tell without looking that Yoshiki was glaring at me.

Frankly, we were lucky we didn’t get booed off the stage.

During curtain call we managed to pull ourselves together just long enough to bow and wave the fans away. Then we collapsed into bickering backstage.

“What the hell was that Hide? I told you to get that solo down pat,” barked Yoshiki, tearing off his neck-brace.

“Cool it, Yo-chan. It was one mistake.”

“Don’t call me Yo-chan! And Toshi, it’d be nice if you’d at least pretend to make an effort to hit those high notes. And Taiji, I can’t have you using like this. If you can’t get your act together . . .” Yoshiki trailed off, face red and gasping for breath.

“If I can’t get my act together — what? You threatening me?”

Yoshiki held his gaze. “I’ll do what I have to for the band.”

“By which you mean you’ll do what you have to for Yoshiki,” Taiji retorted.

“X is bigger than any one of us. Your drug habit is bringing the band down. If you keep it up, we’ll have to let you go.” Yoshiki was insistent.

Taiji scoffed and stalked out of the room with a glower.

“Give it a rest, Yoshiki,” I advised as I followed Taiji’s lead out of the dressing room.

~~~~

It was just one of many such heated disputes that had erupted between Yoshiki and Taiji during the tour. It all started when Yoshiki had unilaterally declared that it was time for us to clean ourselves up for the sake of the future of the band.

“We’re going places, guys, I’m sure of it. And I’m not gonna let us screw this up. We’re not junkies anymore: we’re professionals,” Yoshiki had said. His ambition had won out over his anarchic nature.

Hide, Pata and I all agreed to get clean. If someone as drug-addled as Yoshiki could clean himself up . . . damn it, so could we.

Taiji had been less willing. “Junkie? Listen, I’m not gonna sell out and become some squeaky-clean pop act just because a major label is giving us a chance.”

“You’ll do what I say.” Yoshiki wasn’t one to argue.

~~~~

The air was thick with tension when the after-party rocked into full swing two hours later. Yoshiki and Taiji still hadn’t made up. Taiji sat playing a drinking game with some of his biker friends, pointedly ignoring Yoshiki.

Like any self-respecting shindig, our party was wild. Everyone was either drunk or getting there on the fast lane. Speakers roped to the ceiling drowned the entire bar in the driving rhythm of dance music. On a raised platform across the room, half-clad dancers moved sensually to the beat. Hide and Pata reclined together on a smooth white couch facing the stage. Hide was slouched back into the body of the couch, and his eyes were glued to the dancers. He limply held a bottle in his hand, his attention clearly elsewhere. Must be quite the girl for Hide to forget his drink.

Yoshiki sat far removed from the excitement, sulking at the far end of the bar, his head in his hands. Around him lay a smattering of empty beer bottles. Not good. Yoshiki plus alcohol was a bad combination. Pata and I are blessed with a high tolerance; to say Yoshiki is not would be an understatement.

I made my way to his side, and slid into a bar stool. “You alright?”

He replied with a quiet sob.

“It was only one show. Don’t beat yourself up.”

He looked up at me at me with big, teary eyes. “I can’t do this, Toshi. It’s too much,” he sniffed, blinking back tears. “I can’t keep us together. One of these days something is gonna happen. Taiji will OD, or someone will quit, or something. And in that moment of crisis, when it comes down to me to keep us together, I’ll screw up. Like I did tonight.”

Of all the people I know, Yoshiki is the only one who actually becomes more articulate when drunk.

I massaged his shoulders reassuringly. I wanted to comfort him, to tell him that he’d led us this far, and that I trusted him to make the right calls. But the words just wouldn’t come. So I just sat with him there. After a moment he put his head back in his hands.

It must have made a strange sight; amid the turmoil of a party, two friends sharing a moment of melancholic solidarity.

Neither the melancholy nor the solidarity lasted for long.

“Hey, Yoshiki!” Yelled a drunken voice.

Yoshiki quickly wiped his eyes and assumed a look of control. He turned to face the voice. “Yes, Taiji?”

“Well, Yoshiki-san,” slurred Taiji, giving a mocking bow, “I’d like you to do me the honor of watching a performance.” He then retrieved a small pouch from his leather jacket. He plopped it on a table, and began to disperse its contents — a white powder. Giving Yoshiki a scornful smirk, he bent close over the table and snorted loudly. 

There was a clattering sound as Yoshiki rose with a jerk, sending his chair tumbling sideways. He stood with clenched fists trembling at his sides. The bar quieted as all present watched to see which of the two strong-willed bandmates would act first.

It seemed to happen in the space of a breath. Taiji snorted a second line from the table and then straightened and spat in Yoshiki’s direction. The bandleader responded with a roar, charging across the room and hurling an empty beer bottle at Taiji’s head. While the bottle shattered ineffectually against the wall, Yoshiki’s ensuing punch struck true, instantly bruising Taiji’s cheek.

The blow sent Taiji sprawling drunkenly against a table. Fueled by savage fury, he rose and threw a wild haymaker at the centerpoint of Yoshiki’s chest. The target bent double, his breath evacuated, clutching his wheezing torso.

For the next five minutes, everyone in the bar stood transfixed as we watched Yoshiki and Taiji exchange what seemed a never-ending series of punches. When the dust cleared, both were still standing. Yoshiki eyes were feral. He spit a thick wad of blood to the side. Taiji sported a purple cheek and a black eye, but otherwise seemed entirely alert — perhaps a combination of the coke and adrenaline.

I made my way to Yoshiki’s side and put a calming hand on his trembling shoulder. “This needs to stop.”

He nodded, the fire extinguishing from his eyes. Then he spoke slowly and evenly. “Get out, Taiji. Don’t come to practice tomorrow. Go kill yourself for all I care, but I’m not letting you bring the rest of us down with you.”

“Fuck you and your desperation for fame.” Taiji let out a low growl, and skulked out of the bar. His biker friends soon followed, many flashing Yoshiki the finger. “Feel better princess,” one sneered.

The rev of a dozen motors rang out as Taiji’s gang sped off.

~~~~

“I shouldn’t have let things get out of hand. This is on me.”

The after party died out pretty quickly after the fight. Hide, Pata and I ushered out the hushed spectators, and the bartender sent the dancers home early. Now, we sat huddled around the couch. Yoshiki’s pained eyes confessed his grief over the situation, but he made no mention of revoking Taiji’s expulsion. When I prodded him about giving the bassist a second chance, his face became an arrangement of steel planes bound tightly together.

“A second chance? And how many second chances should we give him? He’s already spat on a hundred, at least. No, tonight was the last straw. He ruined our concert and made a mockery of who we are.” His cold voice left no room for compromise, so I refrained from reminding him that we’d each played a part in that fiasco that we called a concert.

Hide and Pata had seen this conclusion coming from far off, and considered it the inevitable consequence of Yoshiki and Taiji’s divergent visions, so they too held their peace.

~~~~

Later that night we trudged home through rain-spattered streets in a cheerless silence. Home was a relatively low-rent hotel in downtown Nagoya. Our audience may have grown, but we still traveled like rockers. By the time hotel’s lonely façade appeared in view, it was nearly dawn. We were mostly sober by then, and I could see the signal lights of a nasty hangover on the horizon. I reminded myself to take an aspirin before hitting the sack.

Later, as I slowly drifted off into a weary slumber, I thought for a moment that I heard the faint sound of muffled sobs on the bed next to mine. But when I looked over a moment later, Yoshiki’s body appeared still with sleep.

~~~~

I arose the next day around noon, my head thick and slow with pain. The manager or perhaps some good-hearted angel had left a glass of water and pain medication on the nightstand. I gulped it down greedily, then stumbled out of bed and limped to the tap for another glass.

Down in the lobby, I found Hide and Pata each nursing a beer and lazily watching the news. Damn alcoholics. I poured myself a coffee, black with one sugar, and joined them. The newscaster on the television was droning on about the downward spiral of Japan’s stock market. It didn’t really catch my interest, so I turned to my two bandmates.

“Either of you heard from Taiji?”

“Probably found himself a girl,” Hide laughed.

“Or a boy,” Pata rejoined. Both were distinct possibilities.

“How about Yoshiki?”

“I saw him,” said Hide. “He took off a while ago to take care of some ‘business’. I’m guessing retail therapy. Last night really shook him up.”

I nestled deeper into the couch and nursed the coffee. Its bitter strength cleared my head, flushing out the nausea and fogginess of the hangover. Soon I felt good enough to head outside for a walk. The air was cold, crisp and rejuvenating. I walked briskly down the narrow city streets, enjoying the freedom of having finished the tour. The next few months would be slow and relaxing, our only work being the production of the next album.

I stopped at a street vendor for a breakfast of ramen noodles. The hot food was an answered prayer in the cold autumn air. I chatted idly with the chef as I ate, thankful to be, for a few minutes, just another guy.

When I got back to the hotel, I could tell immediately that something was amiss. Hide and Pata were both gone, and the manager was nowhere in sight either. The receptionist came up to me, a worried expression tightening her pretty features. “Mr. Deyama?”

“Yes?”

“For you,” she handed me a short note.

Meet us immediately at NAGOYA CENTRAL HOSPITAL. Taiji’s had an accident. - H

I felt a sudden anxiety close around my chest like chains. I thanked the receptionist and hastily left, hailing a taxi. My stomach was sick. I regretted that I hadn’t done more to discourage Taiji from mixing drugs, alcohol and driving. Yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that it would have done no good. Taiji’s personality embraced danger the way a bird embraces the air.

Suddenly, I remembered that Yoshiki had been gone when I awoke that morning, and wondered whether he knew yet. Or… then I remembered, with a stab of pain, why Taiji had been out on his motorcycle last night. I gritted my teeth, face flushing with angry blood. If only Yoshiki had let Taiji be Taiji, let him enjoy the after party in his own way, then perhaps he would have walked home with us, or at least chosen to sober up before driving... Damn Yoshiki and damn his pride.

The cab pulled up in front of the hospital, and I paid quickly and exited without waiting for change. The receptionist in the lobby seemed unperturbed by my evident hurry. After a few minutes of clicking around on her keyboard, she directed me to the third floor of the east ward.

I found Hide and Pata next to Taiji’s bedside, pacing. The bassist was still comatose, and covered head-to-toe in soapy-white bandages. Yoshiki had not yet been found, Hide told me, but they had left a notice for him at the hotel.

I knelt down by Taiji’s bedside and took his limp hand. Tears came unbidden to my eyes and leaked down onto the bed bed sheet like raindrops. The three of us waited silently for the next few hours, unable to eat, desperate to hear some news, while an army of nurses and doctors came in and out of the room at intervals. A few of Taiji’s biker friends came and, saying their regards quickly, left.

Yoshiki arrived in the early evening. His soft features took on a hideous, shell-shocked cast seeing the bruised and bandaged body of his friend lying unconscious on the bed. He rushed to it and knelt, his eyes becoming broken faucets. “Taiji, what’s wrong? Wake up, dammit!”

He shook the musician’s shoulders gentle. “Taiji… why… how…” Suddenly he looked to us in horror, recognizing his own part in what had happened. He turned back to the bed, fresh panic on his face. “Taiji, listen! Just wake up, and we can forget all of it. I’ll give you another chance — as many chances as you want. Only please wake up.” He was sobbing wholly now, uncontrollably, and in his remorse the anger I’d felt earlier faded.

I’ve known Yoshiki almost my whole life, and if there’s anything I’ve learned about him, it’s this; as much as he is prone to passionate displays of anger, he is ever more prone to passionate displays of love and forgiveness. Here he knelt, forgiving a habitual problem-maker and giving him a blank cheque, all out of remorse for a single fight.

I put my hand on his shoulder. “It’s not your fault, Yo-chan.”

He looked at me, his eyes begging me to continue the reassurance.

“It’s not your fault, because you didn’t drive that motorcycle; because he would probably have gone out with his friends regardless. Don’t torture yourself over this.” He turned to Hide, who nodded a curt agreement.

Yoshiki looked back at his friend lying unconscious on the bed, and then rose. “Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe it’s not. But I won’t take back what I said. When Taiji wakes up, X will have five members again. This band is about something bigger than even the music. We’re a family. And family should never abandon family.” I realized he must be thinking of his father in that moment.

~~~~

Taiji awoke six days later. We spent each of those six days in the hospital, anxious for any change in condition. Yoshiki never left, choosing to sleep on a couch outside the bassist’s hospital room. When Taiji came to, it quickly became apparent that the concussion had eliminated his memory of the day preceding the crash; he didn’t even remember the bar fight, and dismissed Yoshiki’s teary apology as more of his usual geisha-like dramatics.

One good thing came of it all. Taiji was so mentally shaken by the accident that he agreed, after much encouragement by the rest of us, to enter the hospital’s week-long rehabilitation program. He came out a changed man, more full of life than at any time I’d known him. And it wasn’t just him; the band had never been so close as we were following that worst concert of our career.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 05:22:35 PM by Faramir »



Offline axlroseX

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Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 02:08:03 PM
Im breaking lime a year of silence on here...

What the fuck is this????



Offline Faramir

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Reply #2 on: April 14, 2017, 03:52:30 PM
Im breaking lime a year of silence on here...

What the fuck is this????

Fanfiction, perhaps? To each their own, but there's no call to be an asshole about it.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 05:11:32 PM by Faramir »



Offline Teemeah

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Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 04:50:39 PM
I liked it. :)

X-ed pretty hard on first listen. My first Japanese band and second Japanese music love after Miyavi.  My Interview with Yoshiki


Offline nb

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Reply #4 on: April 14, 2017, 06:02:34 PM
Im breaking lime a year of silence on here...

What the fuck is this????

Fanfiction, perhaps? To each their own, but there's no call to be an asshole about it.

Thank you :)

Nice to read and finaly a New fan fiction \o/

Looking forward to read moar Form your Storys :)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 06:04:30 PM by nb »


positively unsure。


Offline Teemeah

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Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 01:52:32 PM
Want more one-shots like this. I re-read it today and enjoyed it even more.

X-ed pretty hard on first listen. My first Japanese band and second Japanese music love after Miyavi.  My Interview with Yoshiki