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Kei = Ex-baroque guitarist, who is supposedly friends with Ruka. Let your imagination run with it.

Yomi sat on one of the makeup tables next to where Hitsugi was sitting, watching as one of the makeup people applied Hitsugi’s with mild interest. He’d seen Hitsugi’s makeup applied dozens of times, but it was always a bit interesting; he was usually the only one who required someone to actually do his makeup for him, since his was the most complicated to apply.

Yomi had finished getting ready almost fifteen minutes before; his outfit, while it had many layers, was not difficult to put on, nor did his makeup take long to do. He wasn’t quite as anal about his makeup as some of the other band members; Sakito had applied and reapplied the line under his eyes nearly a dozen times, continually saying that it was too thick.

Ruka didn’t seem satisfied with his either, opening and closing his eyes continually to make sure that it was perfect. Ruka was always the one who got nervous before lives, no matter how many of them they did; he had gotten better with it over time, but the other band members could see the little tremor of his hand, which was what made putting on his makeup so difficult.

The only other person who seemed to not be bothered by his look as much was Ni~ya. It had always been a trait that Ni~ya had; he felt that if he didn’t do something right the first time, he often wouldn’t be able to do it right at all. He wasn’t as much of a perfectionist as the others, and understandably so; he always seemed to look pretty. Yet still, the same should have applied to Sakito, who seemed to have the most universal appeal of their female fans, but Sakito was a different case entirely.

Ni~ya, instead, was also sitting on top of the counter, leaning against the long mirror and smoking a cigarette. Yomi had a feeling that normally, people got chastised for that sort of thing, but no one seemed to be telling Yomi or Ni~ya to stop or get down, even though crew members were running in and out of the room every minute.

Ni~ya’s attention, however, was clearly on his lover. Yomi wouldn’t be surprised if in a few minutes’ time, Ni~ya was with his lover, putting his arms around the other man and whispering soothing things to him. Yomi always would have thought, considering his temperament, that Hitsugi would be the one to get nervous before performances, but the guitarist had always been perfectly calm. Yet despite Ruka’s knowledge that everything would go all right, that it nearly always did, he could never stop that tiny, almost unnoticeable tremor before live performances. It would only be after having performed a song or two that his tremor would disappear, Yomi knew, and Ruka would give a flawless performance.

Once Sakito had pulled his eyeliner pencil away from his eye to get something with which to wipe it off yet again, Yomi leaned over, smacking him on the back of the head. “It looks fine, Saki,” he insisted, grabbing the eyeliner pencil and putting the cap back on, placing it out of the guitarist’s reach. “Stop obsessing.”

Sakito just glared at him, leaning back in his chair and pulling out his own pack of cigarettes before lighting one up. Yomi glared right back, scooting away. Being around Ruka and Ni~ya was bad enough, considering how much they collectively smoked, but Sakito usually didn’t tend to do it as much. Hitsugi would rarely even smoke at all, and took care especially to not do it around Yomi, who was a nonsmoker. That was one of the reasons that Yomi preferred to spend more time with Hitsugi than the others, though not being treated like a sexual object was also somewhere near the top of the list. He didn’t mind the sexual banter of the group, of course, but he couldn’t imagine having to put up with it all the time.

“Satoru-san,” someone suddenly said, pulling Yomi out of his reverie. He looked over to Ruka, to see that there was a crew member standing next to him, holding out a bouquet of flowers. “These are for you.”

Ruka’s face lit up immediately upon seeing the bouquet of flowers. He took them from the other man gingerly, thanking him with a small bow, though he was still sitting. There was a card attached to the bouquet; Yomi watched both Ruka and Ni~ya as the drummer reached for it. Ni~ya looked vaguely disgruntled, pulling another cigarette out of his pack and lighting it. Ni~ya normally smoked a lot, but the easiest way to tell when he was upset was when he started chain-smoking.

“Is it from Kei-san?” Hitsugi asked suddenly, taking Yomi by surprise. It seemed that the guitarist’s makeup was done, because he was sitting there in full costume, smiling gently. Ruka slid the card out of its small envelope, unable to keep the grin off his face.

“I don’t know,” he confessed, though he seemed unable to contain his glee. Ruka and Kei had long ago started sending each other flowers before lives, partially as a joke and partially because Kei knew how nervous Ruka tended to get before them. Yet since the breakup of Kei’s band, the flowers had come less and less frequently, so Ruka had begun to think of them as some sort of rare treat.

He opened the card and his grin widened as he read it. “It’s from Kei,” he confirmed after a long moment, taking a few minutes after that to observe the flowers more closely. They were beautiful and colorful, just the way Ruka liked them.

Ruka leaned forward and sniffed them gently, and Yomi watched as Ni~ya lit up a third cigarette. He could just sense trouble brewing, and he wished he didn’t; the fact that Kei sent Ruka flowers always seemed to have made Ni~ya a little uncomfortable, but he had never noticeably let it on. Ruka had guessed that he was upset more than once, but never had he been able to determine the cause of his lover’s distress, which surprised Yomi. Usually, Ruka was more intuitive than that.

A crew member ducked his head into the room. “You’re onstage in five,” he informed them quickly before ducking back out, clearly ready to run around again to make sure everything was set up properly. Yomi sighed, sliding off the edge of the table and searching for his shoes; he preferred to go barefoot whenever he could, but he knew that his costume really did require shoes. He glanced around the floor, not finding them. The vocalist sidled up next to Ni~ya.

“Ni~ya, have you seen my shoes?” Yomi asked, giving the other man a pleading look. Ni~ya just remained silent, blowing smoke from between his lips. Yomi huffed angrily. “Fine, I’ll ask someone else.”

“They’re over here, Yomi,” Ruka offered, holding up a pair of shoes. Yomi smiled gratefully, running across the room and grabbing the shoes.

“Thanks Ruka!” Yomi said, grinning as he sat on the floor to put them on. Then, he gave Ni~ya a pointed look. “See, some people are nice!” he yelled at the bassist, but he still got no response. Yomi tried not to be discouraged, but he sensed that there would be some sort altercation between Ni~ya and someone that night, and chances were that it would be Ruka.

“Whatever, Yomi,” Ni~ya grumbled, sliding off the counter, sliding a hand through his dyed locks. “I’m going to stand by the stage.” And with that, Ni~ya disappeared around the corner, though the other members could clearly hear someone yelling after him about how he would mess up his hair. Sakito watched his departure with thinly-veiled interest; he clearly could sense what was wrong as well.

Ruka sighed. “I don’t know why he gets like that,” Ruka said softly, though whether it was meant to explain or excuse his lover’s actions, none of them were sure. The drummer stood. “I’ll go talk to him.”

Sakito grabbed Ruka’s arm quite suddenly that it was completely unexpected. “Don’t,” he said simply, his tone holding a deep warning in it. Ruka looked at the guitarist incredulously.

“You want me to let him go out on stage all pissed off like that?” Ruka demanded, clearly beginning to get worked up himself by that point. He tried to pull away from Sakito, but the guitarist refused to let go of his arm.

“If you go talk to him now, you guys will just end up fighting,” Sakito said, with a certainty and wisdom he rarely displayed to others. Ruka often forgot how observant and thoughtful Sakito was, through all his silences; he noticed everything that was going on, even if he didn’t say it out loud. “We have three minutes until we go onstage, and you won’t have time to resolve it. Then he’ll go out on stage even more upset, and he’ll mess up—so will you. He can blow off some steam at the live—then you can talk to him.”

Sakito’s voice was authoritative, which was strange, but in any event, the words held this bizarre, hypnotic power that Ruka felt hard-pressed not to ignore. He sighed, relaxing his arm, and Sakito finally let it go, sensing that Ruka wouldn’t go after his lover.

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” he admitted with a sigh. “But we do have to go by the stage before the concert starts, so I suggest we do so.”

“Two minutes!” one of the crew members yelled, and the remaining members of Nightmare all got up quickly, making their way out of the back room. The one good thing about Ni~ya’s little outburst was that it seemed to make Ruka forget about his nervousness. Unfortunately, Yomi doubted that anything else good would come of it that night.