As Yasu stooped over to pick up the newspaper he missed the silent exchange going on behind him. When he straightened up and turned around, however, he didn’t miss the way that Ohkura was shaking his head profusely at Maruyama.
When they noticed him watching, the pair abruptly ended their silent conversation. “Let’s get to class,” Ohkura turned, walking quickly to the building.
Maru shot Yasu an apologetic look before shrugging and following after the drummer. Yasu took his time walking towards the building, wondering briefly about the events of the morning so far. He was positive that Ohkura and Maru were hiding something from him.
As he stood at his cubby, silently changing his shoes, he pondered whether or not to just come out and ask them about what had happened last year. And then, as he finished changing his shoes and followed the retreating backs of his friends towards the classroom, Yasu also felt confused over Shibutani.
The previous day at the music store, Shibutani had seemed shy, but not unfriendly. His reaction this morning to Yasu’s greeting, though, was almost cruel. And as Yasu walked through the classroom door, Shibutani looked over at him.
Their gazed locked for a moment before Shibutani noticed what was in Yasu’s hand and he quickly turned away. Yasu sighed, walking towards his chair and sitting down. Maru and Ohkura were near the front of the classroom and appeared to be having a rather heated conversation.
Yasu set his school bag down, and considered joining them, but somehow he knew their secretive conversation would end the moment he joined them. So instead, he sighed, laying the newspaper on the desk and smoothing out its crinkled pages.
Revolver Gets a New Guitarist
by Ishihara Sara
With a new school year just beginning, Revolver also makes a fresh start. After the events of last year, in which two of the lead members of the band left the group, the future of Revolver remained unclear. I manager to score the first interview with the group since the events, and fans will be pleased to hear about the group’s latest addition!
Yasuda Shota, of class 3-C, was announced to be the new lead guitarist of the band, making him the first new addition since Ishigaki two years ago. Yasuda, or Yasu as the other members call him, transferred from a high school in the Hyogo prefecture.
“I’ve been playing the guitar since junior high,” Yasu smiles, a twinkle in his soft brown eyes. “Eventually, I just started writing and composing my own music.”
Speaking of music, Revolver explains that with their latest addition, they hope to take their music to the next level. “We’re hoping to revamp our sound with completely new music,” drummer Ohkura Tadayoshi explains.
Fans of Revolver can rest assured, that not too much will change. “We’ll remain true to our fans,” Maru smiles, his trademark dimple appearing on his right cheek. “So please look forward to the future of Revolver!”
For more information on Yasuda Shota and the history of Revolver, turn to page 5A.
Yasu hurriedly turned to page five, slightly embarrassed by the way Ishihara had painted him out to be some kind of shoujo manga-esque hero. On the designated page, there were two columns, one with another picture of himself (and he wondered when and where it had been taken) followed by a list of ‘Yasu Facts’, and another column that went over the history of the band. His eyes scanned the column highlighting the band’s history.
The band was formed three years ago by Rikiya, then a second year student, and Subaru, a first year. Shortly after the formation, Ohkura and Maru were added as drummer and bassist respectively. The band soon gained popularity among students and went on to win several local band contests.
A year after their formation, they recruited Ishigaki Daisuke as keyboardist. The addition of Daisuke was a turning point for the band. Revolver went on to win several prefecture-wide band competitions in the following year.
Tension in the band, however, came to a boiling point in January of this year when lead guitarist Rikiya announced plans to leave the group and go to Tokyo. At the same time, Subaru also announced that he would be leaving the group.
As a result of the shocking news, fans of revolver fretted over the band’s future without their lead singer and guitarist. As the end of the school year approached, and Rikiya’s departure became eminent, a hold was put on all of the band’s future activities. Without the founding members, Revolver had to regrettably withdraw from several band competitions.
With the beginning of the school year and the addition of a new lead guitarist, however, Revolver has announced that it plans to resume all activities and encourages fans to look forward to both their new guitarist and their new sound.
The article ended there, and Yasuda put the paper down, glancing out of the corner of his eye. Shibutani, who had been watching him, turned away quickly, suddenly interested in the piece of paper he had been previously scribbling on.
Yasu shifted his attention back to the paper. Although the article shed some light on the situation and whatever secrets Maru and Ohkura were keeping from him, he still didn’t fully understand the events of the previous school year.
The only part of the story that was clear to him was Rikiya’s departure. As far as he could tell, Rikiya had graduated and decided to leave the band to leave for Tokyo. The part he was confused about, though, was the second founding member, Subaru. Apart from Rikiya, Maru and Ohkura had not told him that there had been any band members. Furthermore, Yasu figured, was that Subaru would be his same age and possibly still a student at the school.
His train of thought was interrupted as a bento box was placed on his desk. “I made this for you, Yasu-kun.”
When he looked up, it was at the bespectacled face of Ishihara Sara. “For me?”
She nodded, a blush spreading across her cheeks. “It’s not much…”
But Yasu shook his head, smiling brightly at her. “This is the first time a girl has ever made a bento for me. I’m sure it’s delicious, if you made it. Thank you.”
She beamed at his compliment, blushing still. “Well, I should get back to my own class then,” She bowed before leaving him.
Yasu looked down at the bento, thoughtfully, a smile plastered across his face.
“So,” Maru sat on the edge of Yasu’s desk. “Your first bento already. Looks like Sara-chan has taken a liking to you.”
Yasu’s smile widened. Not that he was really interested in her, but receiving a bento from a girl was flattering, none the less.
“You’re still no where near Ohkura-kun, though,” Maru turned around.
Yasu followed his line of vision to Ohkura, who was busy receiving bento from a long line of girls. “How is he gonna eat all of those?”
“He’ll manage,” Maru laughed, having been witness to Ohkura’s eating habits for the past three years.
One of the girls in Ohkura’s line caught Yasu’s eyes and after a few moments, she approached Yasu’s desk. “Um, Yasu-kun?”
Yasu stood up, smiling and bowing to the girl. She giggled in response and handed him the bento she was holding.
“Ah, but wasn’t this for Ohkura-kun?” Yasu asked, taking it from her.
She shook her head, “He has plenty. Besides, I want you to have it.”
Yasu, never having received one bento let alone two, smiled at the girl. “Thank you so much.”
“What about me?” Maru pouted from where he was watching the scene. “I don’t get any?”
By the time lunch had rolled around, Yasu had two more bento in addition to the first two he had received. Maru, also, had received three of his own and after complaining about how Yasuda was already more popular than him, he began eating.
Ohkura had not appeared at their lunch table and Yasu was going to ask Maru where he the drummer was when something else caught his attention.
Shibutani had walked into the cafeteria. Shuffling to a vending machine, he put several coins into the slot. Taking his drink, he walked out of the cafeteria, as quietly and unnoticed as he had entered.
Yasu stood, gathering his extra bento.
“Where you are going?” Maru asked with a mouth full of food.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Yasu answered, his arms full of boxed lunches as he hurriedly exited the lunchroom.
In the hallway, he paused, wondering where Shibutani disappeared to during lunch breaks. He didn’t have to wonder too long though, as he saw the dark haired boy enter their empty classroom. Yasu stopped himself in the hallway, peering into the classroom window as Shibutani opened his canned coffee.
Perhaps, Yasu thought, that Shibutani wouldn’t want to be bothered and that was why he was alone in the classroom. But then he thought, as he slid the classroom door open, that everyone needed a friend. And besides, coffee didn’t constitute a healthy lunch.
Shibutani, hearing the door open, flinched in his chair, covering the paper he was writing on with a book. He twirled around quickly in his chair, wondering who interrupted his private time.
“Yo,” Yasu smiled, stepping forward towards Shibutani.
After Shibutani’s surprise wore off, he turned back around facing away from the newcomer and quietly asked, “What are you doing here?”
“I thought that since I had extra bento, I would share with you.” Yasu answered, placing one of the boxes on Shibutani’s desk. He sat backwards on the chair of the desk in front of Shibutani, so that he could look at the other boy as he ate.
“I don’t want it,” Shibutani answered, shoving it back towards Yasu and refusing to make eye contact.
“But,” Yasu began, “You can’t just drink coffee.”
“I can do whatever I want,” Shibutani replied, distancing his body as far from Yasu as he could manage. “Would you just go back to your friends and give me some peace?”
Yasu opened his mouth to protest but at the last minute, he decided against it. He stood up, “Okay. I’ll just leave you then.”
Gathering up his three bento, he left the forth on the desk. “But please eat the bento. You have to take care of your body.” With that, he smiled at Shibutani and closed the door behind him.
He paused in the hallways, readjusting the bento he was holding. Shibutani had truthfully hurt his feelings, and Yasu wasn‘t sure what he had done to warrant that much hate.
“Yasu,” he heard a voice call, and when he turned around, Ohkura was emerging from the boy’s room. “What are you doing out here?”
“Ah, I was just…” Yasu began, but by that time, Ohkura had already joined him outside of the classroom and was peering through the window at Shibutani.
“Were you talking to him?” Ohkura asked, a slightly angry tone entering his voice.
“Well, yeah. He was alone, so…”
Ohkura sighed. “Have you ever thought that maybe he’s alone because he wants to be?”
“But, no one wants to be alone,” Yasu said, matter-of-factly.
Ohkura sighed again. “We need to talk after school. But for now let’s get back to the cafeteria.”
Yasu allowed himself to be led away by Ohkura, but not before he noticed that inside the classroom, Shibutani had opened the bento.
Ohkura had been distant for the rest of the day, so Yasu relied on Maru’s company to keep him from feeling lonely. When they returned from lunch, there was no sign of the bento that Yasu had given to Shibutani. And although the long-haired boy was avoiding all contact with Yasu, he felt slightly better about their exchange after knowing that Shibutani had accepted his bento.
When the bell rang, signaling the end of the school day, Ohkura hurried from the classroom. Yasu shot Maru a confused look and the bassist shrugged in reply as he rose from his seat. “Are you ready to go to practice?”
Shibutani looked over at them briefly, grabbing his guitar and exiting the room even faster than Ohkura had. Yasu chanced another look over at Maru and did not miss the look of guilt that had crossed the older boy’s face.
“Let’s go,” Yasu stood, gathering up his things and letting Maruyama lead him out of the classroom.
When the two arrived at the practice room, Ishigaki and Ohkura were already there. Yasu, who had brought his own guitar with him that day, set the case down and opened it.
“Wait,” Ohkura told him. “We should talk before we start practicing.”
Yasu stopped what he was doing and put the guitar down, taking a seat next to Maruyama as Ohkura paced the room. “What’s up?”
“Well, I personally would like to leave everything that happened last year in the past. But Maru thinks that we should tell you everything that happened. And after lunch today, I think maybe he’s right.”
“Okay,” Yasu said, confusion leaking into his voice at the serious expressions on all of his bandmates’ faces.
“If you’ve read the newspaper earlier, then you already know that Revolver used to have two other members.”
“Well, we already told you about Rikiya. He was our lead guitarist until a few months ago when he graduated. Out of almost nowhere, he decided to leave the group and move to Tokyo.” And there was a fondness in his voice as he spoke about Rikiya.
“Well, I kinda figured that part out for myself,” Yasu replied, shifting, and wondering if they were going to tell him more about the second ex-member.
His request was answered moments later, as Ohkura continued, “The other member, Subaru, was our lead singer and second guitarist. After Rikiya announced he was leaving, Subaru also decided to ditch the group.”
Maru opened his mouth, and for a moment he looked almost upset over what Ohkura had said. But he closed his mouth immediately after Ohkura glared hard at him.
“Well,” Yasu said, uncomfortable at the dangerous tension that had filled the room. “That’s interesting and everything, but what’s in the past is in the past, right? I mean, there’s nothing we can do about two members who aren’t even around anymore…”
“That’s not exactly true,” Ohkura replied. “You see, one of them is still around.”
Yasu’s eyebrows shot up under his bangs, and his suspicions that Subaru was still a student at the school were confirmed.
“Shibutani Subaru is still here.”
As Yasuda walked home from band practice, an uneasy feeling spread through him. Shibutani and the famed Subaru were one in the same. The news itself wasn’t so shocking. Yasuda wasn’t the type of person who judged others based on their past or the way they chose to live their lives. Subaru leaving the band he had become a member of meant absolutely nothing to him.
The part that made him uneasy was that, although he had not said it directly, Ohkura did not want Yasu associating with Shibutani Subaru. Of course, Yasu was happy to be friends with anyone, regardless of what others thought. But there was a part of Yasu that was terrified of disappointing his new friends.
And he found himself in a moral dilemma over the entire situation. If he decided to befriend Shibutani regardless of Ohkura’s warning to stay away, he would risk losing his friends and becoming a social pariah. His mother raised him better than that, however, and the thought that Subaru was friendless simply because Ohkura forbid others to talk to him was sickening to Yasu.
And before he knew it, he was standing outside of the music shop where Shibutani worked, trying to decide whether or not to go in. “Excuse me,” A boy stuck his head out of the shop, a smile stretching across his face. “You wouldn’t happen to be Yasuda, would you?”
“Eh?” Yasu looked at the boy, startled. “I am.”
The boy held the door open, the bells above the frame jingling loudly. “Come in here.”
Yasu, utterly confused, forgot about his dilemma and followed the boy into the shop.
“Ryo-chan? I head the bell…” Subaru stuck his head out of the stockroom, and when he saw Yasuda standing there, he sputtered.
“Yeah, it’s Yasuda.” The boy called Ryo smiled, ushering Yasu in.
Subaru, who didn’t know what to say, disappeared back into the stockroom.
“He’s so shy,” Ryo commented, leading Yasu to the register counter. “He’s been waiting for you all afternoon, pacing around.”
Yasu felt his stomach flop for some reason at the image of Subaru pacing around anxiously waiting for him. “Me? Why?”
“He wanted to give you this,” Ryo pulled an empty bento box out from behind the counter. Ryo paused, glancing towards the stockroom door, where Subaru had still not emerged. “I guess he’s being to shy to come out and give it back to you himself.”
Yasu smiled, picking up the bento. “Oh.”
The two stood silently for a few minutes, Yasu secretly hoping that Subaru would at least come out and say hello, and Ryo snickering to himself about the awkwardness of the entire situation.
“Well,” Yasu finally began after the silence had stretched on too long and it was apparent that Subaru had no intention of joining them. “I should get home for dinner. Tell Subaru I said hello.”
“Will do,” Ryo grinned, leaning against the wall and watching as Yasu waved to him from the door.
When the bells rang, signaling that Yasu had left and Ryo was alone again, Subaru poked his head out, whispering, “Is he gone?”
Ryo clicked his tongue, annoyed at his friend. “Yeah he’s gone.”
Subaru emerged from the stock room, meeting Ryo at the counter. “Did you give him the bento box?”
“I gave it to him,” Ryo growled, annoyance at Subaru overtaking his earlier thoughts about how cute the situation was. “I don’t know why you couldn’t do it yourself. You waited for him to come for like three hours.”
“It was too embarrassing,” Subaru began, searching for his keys and wallet so that he could lock up and go home. “You didn’t tell him that I was waiting, did you?”
“I might have,” Ryo answered, his grin widening.
“Ryo…” Subaru began, his voice taking on an angry tone that Ryo clearly wasn’t afraid of.
“I don’t know why you’re so nervous about it. Yasu clearly likes you too.” Ryo started, and Subaru didn’t miss the way Ryo had placed emphasis on the word ‘likes’.
“It’s not like that,” Subaru ground out.
“Well, either way, I don’t see the harm in being friends with him at the very least,” Ryo watched as Subaru opened the register, placing the contents into a bank bag.
“There’s lots of harm,” Subaru began. “He’s friends with Ohkura and Maru.”
“So? Yasu doesn’t seem to care about that, so why should you?” Ryo commented.
“You don’t understand.” Subaru replied, his voice shaking slightly and he was glad that his back was facing Ryo as he spoke.
“I don’t understand,” Ryo agreed. “But I can see that you need some friends and Yasu is willing to be one.” He waited for a reaction, circling around Subaru so that he could see the older boy’s face. “You know, he was pacing back and forth outside the shop for about twenty minutes trying to decide whether or not to come in…”
And Ryo didn’t miss the minute, brief smile that crossed Subaru’s face.
After his homework was done and he had taken his bath, Yasuda Shota had a nightly routine. He would come up to his bedroom, pick out a CD and lay in bed, blanking his mind as he just listened to the music.
Tonight, however, for the first time in his life, Yasu was having trouble blanking his mind. Perhaps it was because he always had a happy life. He never had trouble making friends, never had the worries of being in a relationship or of getting bad grades.
He was, as his sister once said, the boy would could do anything. And because of that, he’d never worried about anything. Even when there were things that normal people would worry over, he knew that if he closed his eyes and went to sleep, things would be better the next day.
But now, he found himself preoccupied with the Shibutani Subaru situation. Maru and Ohkura were both nice guys, and he didn’t want to lose them as friends. They had been kind enough to not only welcome them into the school, but their band also. And he was thankful for their kindness and excited for the future of Revolver.
And then there was Subaru. Yasu thought, that perhaps the easiest option would be to forget about Shibutani Subaru and focus on his new friends and the band.
He sighed, looking over at his desk, where the bento box he had given Shibutani lay. He sat up, padding barefoot across the floor towards his desk. Deciding that washing the empty bento boxes would be a welcome distraction from his thoughts, Yasu opened the lid.
Inside, lay a neatly folded piece of paper. Yasuda picked it up. On the paper, in messy handwriting, was a message that said only, “Thank you” and a doodle of a flower.
Yasu smiled, folding the paper and placing it safely in his desk drawer. He knew then that forgetting about Subaru wasn’t the easy option. And as long as the dark haired boy wanted to be friends, Yasu knew he would stick by his side.
End Chapter 2
A/N: Kind of a slow chapter, but it explains the back story of Revolver a little better. I hope to have at least one more chapter up before the end of the weekend, so look forward to it. Thanks for reading ♥.