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Ryo The Latchkey Boy, Chapter 11: Dancing in the Secret

 Chapter 11: Dancing in the secret
Ryo was walking down the halls of the Jimusho, not quite like he did a few days ago. Though his manager was next to him like the last time and they were chatting too, this time the amnesic was searching every corner, every doorway, like he was looking for something or someone.
“Are you sure?” he voiced a question as low as he could manage.
“I checked his schedule, Takizawa-kun will be in the theatre till evening.” The other man answered. No matter how much he said it the amnesic idol didn’t believe him.
To prove his manager right Ryo said “If you say so…” with a lingering scepticism in his voice. “Just… let’s hurry to the practice room.”
Even though Ryo was the one who wanted to hurry up, he himself was the one to slow down their pace. The boy was still checking every shadow; hiding somewhere when someone passed by them.
The manager couldn’t help but leave a relieved sigh when they finally arrived to their destination. Ryo, on the other hand, was focused on the noise flowing out of the room.
“Why is there music?” he frowned with confusion. “Did the choreographer start before us?”
The chubby man just shrugged before gesturing to the other to open the door. Ryo agreed with the man, wasting time on the hallway wasn’t going to achieve anything; If the dance teacher wanted to warm up why would Ryo care?
It turned out that he should care; when he opened the door he saw six extra figures in the room. When he focused on those figures, he saw that they were none other than those Kansai oriented idiots.
They didn’t notice the man just arrived right away, they left him remain there with wide eyes and a jaw nearly hitting the floor.
It was indeed unexpected. There was nothing assigned with a band in Ryo’s schedule, the only thing he got was to practice till he learned the song and dance steps.
“Oh… Ryo, good morning.” Hina greeted the amnesiac.
Ohkura was the first to turn to look at the door when they heard Hina. “Great!” the drummer said. “We can take a break now. Do you know how much I am hungry?!”
“Tacchon!” Yassu sounded annoyed.
“What are you doing here?” Ryo was surely annoyed.
“Practice. What does it look like?” Subaru answered without looking at the other, his eyes was focused on the mirror image of himself, checking every move he did.
“I have practice, right here, right now.” Ryo objected.
“Why are you mad? It’s not like we are enabling you.” Yoko laughed. “He is more childish than me Subaru; you should stop getting angry at me only.”
“Besides,” Yassu added. “We should Practice as a band you know.”
“Yay!” Maru yelled. “Ryo will help us too, right?!” he sure looked very excited.
“Idiot...” Ryo mumbled.
“Why are you so surprised Ryo-chan?” Ohkura smiled at him before glancing back at the table. “Wouldn’t it be weird if we were ’not’ here, ‘cause, you know, we are a ‘band’, we work ‘together’.”
“I see…” the panicking monster inside Ryo was calming down. Why was he so flustered in the first place? They wouldn’t bite. He dropped his bag on one of the chairs surrounding the table.
“So, we are taking a break, no?” Ohkura turned to his other band mates with pleading eyes. “And a snack at last?”
“Didn’t you eat before coming?” Hina smacked the drummer on the head.
“Ouch! Don’t hit my head!! Now I’m feeling sleepy.”
“Just endure it a bit more.” Subaru said laughing at the youngers behaviour. “It’s nearly lunch time.”
Ryo on the other hand was dazing off while getting ready. His mind was bothered, although Ryo couldn’t get why. The lack of attention was so relaxing and relieving, yet there was a little part in him that was disappointed. No more than disappointed, he was a bit panicky, though it wasn’t clear why.
Amnesiac boy positioned himself at the edge of the back row, and started to warm up.
Figuring it out was complicating and difficult. So he decided to begin with the easiest; why was he relieved? Simple enough; those guys didn’t pay attention to him, didn’t hover over him like the last time, didn’t distress him with their over protective attention.
Ohkura, who was on his left, pulled Ryo between himself and Yoko. “This is your position in this song.” He said simply. Ryo didn’t answer, nor did he react, though Ohkura didn’t mind, he was so busy with his own choreography.
It was relaxing how he felt free; he wasn’t feeling like a little kid crying for his candy anymore. But… there was a ‘but’ bothering him. But there was an unpleasant part of him which didn’t like this new situation. Then again why? Why, he kept asking himself, why was he feeling down?
He looked around to be sure that they wore not watching him; they were not. Actually they were quiet busy with making fun of the others mistakes.
‘Maybe the reason why you’re feeling this way is the same.’ Said a distant voice inside his head; a voice that sounded annoyingly similar to that Takizawa guy.
Yassu’s voice woke him up from his dreamy state. “There’s no need to frown like that Ryo-chan, don’t be mad.” The guitarist smiled at his amnesiac band mate. “It’ll be better for you too; I mean you will be practicing the actual thing.”
Of course that shortie was right, he did feel much better because he would know what he was going to deal with. It wouldn’t be that hard on him on the stage this way. “Mind your own business shortie.”
Yassu just smiled at him across the mirror, watching his moves closely. If Subaru didn’t smack him he would forget their decision about not bothering Ryo.
The amnesiac was so convinced that the others wasn’t paying much attention to him at all that he didn’t notice Yassu. Ryo was stretching out slowly and carefully. These past days he learned how much he should push himself or when he should stop. He was learning from experience; pushing himself so much didn’t end well.
“Starting from the beginning.” Informed on of the staff members.
“Okay.” Hina replied.
“Start.”
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.” They started to dance while following the rhythm. Though every one of them was secretly keeping an eye on Ryo who was too focused on his own step’s to realize their attention. The real reason was the amnesiac was sure that he was ignored he didn’t pay attention to anything else. Sometimes he did check them, with the corner of his eyes, to see if he was wrong. But no, their attention was on their own moves.
“Don’t forget to match your moves, it’s team work.” The choreographer cried out.
“Sorry.”
“Yes.”
“Understood.”
“Okay.”
Ryo stumbled on his feet and nearly fell on his face. That would have ended badly if luck was not on his side; Ohkura, that tall guy, catched him right on time and pulled him on his feet again.
“Thanks.” Ryo mumbled. Ohkura just nodded and went back to his assignment.
How should Ryo feel, he was very unsure. The relief and disappointment was driving him crazy. That guys voice was echoing in his head, ‘you do want them to-“. He intentionally tripped on his own feet to free himself from that annoying voice. This time who saved his ass was Yoko. Ryo thanked him too but the other didn’t reply. Looking at the elders face he realized that Yoko was not happy with his own steps.
“Oh God, here comes the kick.” Subaru grinned.
“Common! You don’t have to mask your dance steps when you think you screwed up.” Yassu commented.
“Shut up.” Yoko answered with an embarrassed voice.
“Now you said it, he is going to play with his fingers.” Came Ohkura’s voice from his right.
‘cool’ Ryo thought, ‘a distraction.’ He didn’t have to full his head with unnecessary thoughts while trying to master his moves. Those six fools were very distracting actually; Maru was doing silly faces every time he messed up, Hina’s laugh exposed his molar tooth every time he eyes caught Maru, Subaru would join Maru’s funny face mimics in an instant, Yassu would watch them overly excited while Yoko and Ohkura was pulling a stumbling Ryo on his feet every now and then. Yoko would laugh with Hina after making fun of Maru. The drummer was always calm, he was observing everything; well except when he was yawning or rubbing his stomach.
Then suddenly Subaru and Yassu would start a conversation about what patterns on clothing were they in to lately. For the short guitarist it seemed like hea was into all kind of weird stuff and colours. He was a unique human being cause of his taste of clothes.
Hina smacked Yassu’s head. “You, what are you talking about? You’re disgrace to men-kind.” He teased.
“That’s because he’s a gorilla.” Subaru laughed with a wide grin and sparkling eyes..
Ryo suddenly lost his interest on the conversation when a moment flashed in his head; it was more like a feeling actually. What he remembered was being pushed and yelled at; nothing was clear, who was pushing him or who was the owner of that yelling voice, he wasn’t sure when or where it happened… Ryo couldn’t even make out the words or if the voice was male or female, adult or kid. The only thing he was sure was how he felt exactly; alone, disappointed, guilty, sick and angry. That was all before he blinked back to reality.
Fearing from the extra protective act he glanced around; lucky again, they were all occupied with their own dance.
Relief
Disappointment.
Loneliness.
Confused.
‘Damn! Why?!’ he questioned himself with anger.
“You’re a spoiled brat.”
Ryo quickly turned around to look; it was Hina but the words weren’t directed to him. They were for Yassu.
“Eh me?” Yassu questioned with his wide open eyes and a pout. Ryo smiled faintly to the expression; It was funny the amnesiac admitted.
Yoko, unaware of the struggle inside the skinny guy next to him, flashed a smile to Ohkura, just to earn a smack on his head.
“Ouch shin-chan!”
“Careful idiot,” Hina whispered to him. “Don’t frighten the kitten.”
Even though the other agreed he couldn’t help but say “That kitten might grow up to be a wild tiger you know.” with a grin. Maru winked at him across the mirror.
Ohkura couldn’t hold himself anymore. “Break!” he yelled. “Now! I am dying.” He purposely fell on the ground and moaned.
“Okay, okay. Break!” the others agreed.
“Great!” Ohkura jumped on his feet, surprising only Ryo. “So what are we going to eat? Sushi?”
“Sushi?”
“Why did you think of that?”
“Let’s eat ramen.”
“No, no. Sushi it is.” Subaru grinned. “If ‘we’ don’t like it then we’ll go to a ramen place.”
“Ah.”
“Oh.”
“Okay.”
“You’re evil Baru.”
“Are you going out for lunch?” a staff member asked.
“Yes.”
Ryo was completely clueless on what was going on; he just tagged along.
They went to a restaurant just across the street.
“Good afternoon.” The owner greeted them. “It’s been a while isn’t it?” he smiled at them. Kanjani members really liked the guy; they came here a lot to eat since their junior days, the owner always treated them well, sometimes it was on the house. “what do you want today?”
“Sushi.” Ohkura said simply.
“Sushi? Okay, six sushi and one ramen.” He yelled at the back.
“No, no. you got us wrong.” Yoko smiled. “We want seven sushi’s, we’ll decide on ramen later.”
The shop owner glanced to Ryo, who was examining the décor. The last time he gave fish to that boy it was a disaster; the skinny boy jumped around the place, ran to the toilet and didn’t come out for nearly an hour.
“Seven?” he asked in a very suspicious voice.
“We have a bet going on with Nishikido.” Yoko whispered to him with an evil smile on his face. The shopkeeper wasn’t very sure if he should help this kid with his mischievous plan. But what else could he do. “Cancel the last order, seven sushi’s no ramen. Oh what kind of sushi do you want?”
“Doesn’t matter really.” Ohkura shrugged.
“Whatever you want, we are okay with anything.” Hina said. The others went to sit. Ryo wasn’t very sure why he was with them to start with, they didn’t ask him to come – not that they didn’t want him. The amnesiac felt like he was like a weak student who would follow the stronger ones. And they were not paying any attention to him.
When did he became an attention freak?
But just when he decided he would be okay with the attention they started to ignore him.
Did he really think that?
What was really with him?
Was he sick?
Of course he was.
Not like that.
Yoko’s clear voice suddenly broke his interior monologue. “Your optimism is annoying.” He said to Yassu.
“But think about it.” Yassu insisted. “If you’d see it from the bright side wouldn’t you feel better?”
“So…” Subaru played with the pepper in front of him. “are you saying things would be alright if we were optimistic?”
“Yes. I mean no!”
“Haha!” Yoko laughed. “You’re stumbling on your own words.”
“Yokocho.” Yassu frowned to the other, actually others; Hina was laughing with the eldest too. “You are not getting-“
“So-“ Hina continued this time. “Let’s say, for an example, if Ryo was very happy, I mean extremely happy, running after the butterflies and such, he wouldn’t be robbed?”
“No! I am trying to-“
“How do we know he wasn’t optimistic that time.” Maru said.
“Common.” Subaru laughed. “We all know he is grumpy in mornings.” Subaru laughed. “You should know that the best because you’re, his usual victim.”
“No need to add we had a fight the night before.” Ohkura said, watching every move on the other side of the curtains which was hiding the kitchen area. “Besides Maru gets Ryo angry every time because he is being foolish.”
Maru pouted, causing the others to laugh, again. Those osakans wouldn’t miss an opportunity to laugh.
“Don’t be down.” Hina smacked the orange rangers back. “He is trying to say that your behaviour is very dangerous for your sake. Its lake… waking up a lion.”
“Whatever. That’s the way you are.” Yoko said with a smile.
Maru grinned. “Now you accept me as who I am, I can continue as I like.”
“You see that?” Ohkura turned to pat on Ryo’s shoulder. “He is not apologetic at all.” The smaller guy didn’t know how to react to that. Well he didn’t knew what to do from the beginning.
“So what were we discussing?” Yoko asked with a shining smile.
“You never let go do you.”
“Go on Yassu, we are listening.”
“Finally.” Yassu sighed. “You don’t get what I’m saying. Optimism doesn’t change the events.”
“Ah, then what’s the use if we will still face the same thing.” Yoko complained.
Yassu continued “No matter how happy or angry he was he would still end up in this situation.”
“What kind of optimism is that!”
“What? Did you believe optimists had the power to change things?”
“No, we thought they were idiot enough to believe that.” Ohkura commented. He was not teasing, it was just a fact – for him.
Yassu sighed again. “Well you are wrong. The thing about optimism is no matter what happenes you’ll find a bright side of the events.”
“The actual meaning of your words are ‘go read Pollyanna’ right?” Subaru laughed.
“Yeah!” Yassu rolled his eyes. “Go read it for God’s sake and stop teasing me! Optimism helps you to free yourself from those gloomy ideas which are poisoning you.”
“Are you talking about someone particular now?” Subaru teased.
“Hey if you don’t want to be happy it is not my fault. Go enjoy the life as it is, try to be happy.”
“Optimism is happiness?”
“It is being strong.” Ryo spoke for the first time. Everyone turned their attention to him right away, mostly because he joined the conversation. But their amnesiac band mate didn’t seem to realise their attention “No wonder optimistics are rare.” He said with dreamy eyes staring at the wall.
“I thought optimists would be considered weak.” Yoko mumbled.
“Because optimism means feelings and that means weakness? Yokocho you’re so wrong. Optimism or pessimism, it doesn’t matter; they are all about feelings. Humans are all about feelings. But while optimism welcomes these feelings the other one is afraid. At the end pessimist live with the fear of the worst things. They are disabling themselves from being happy.
“Well they’ll be able to bare the loss.” Subaru commented.
“Wrong again.” Ryo commented. “sadness, being sad is weakness. Happiness is what everyone craves for. And for those who actually have it, they are the strongest in the world.” Everyone was staring at him now, without blinking an eye. “What?”
“Nothing.” Yoko eyed him.
“You’re just the most pessimist among us.” Ohkura said what the others were thinking.
“No I am not!” Ryo denied with his high pitched voice. But again how could he be sure?
“Kidding.” Ohkura laughed. “Remembering things again?”
Ryo shrugged.
“So happiness is optimism?” Yoko asked.
“Happiness is idiotism.” Ryo finished.
Yassu pouted. “And I thought you were on my side.”
Ryo shrugged. “You can’t be happy in a world like this. The only way is to turn blind to everything.”
“Even though you strongly defended optimism you are a weak pessimist at the end.” Hina comented.
“Told you so.” Ohkura laughed.
“Ryo-chan,” Yassu smiled. “Do you openly admit that you fear from your emotions?”
“No!” Ryo blushed. What an idiot he was, he shouldn’t just hold his tongue.
“I think he secretly wants to be an optimist, but doesn’t have the strength for it.” Subaru said, stealing Yoko’s evil smile.
“You! I-am-not-weak!”
“Oh really?” Ohkura raised an eyebrow.
“Can we change the subject already?”
Yassu felt pity for him. “Sure why not. Ryo-chan when you mess up don’t look angry.”
“I agree.” Maru nodded. “You’re not a robot. You make mistakes, all of us do.”
“No need to be hard on yourself.”
“Just laugh it off.”
“Again the optimism?!” Ryo said in a dangerous rebellious voice.
“Do you surrender?” the others laughed.
“No! Ugh! What’s this smell?” Their order just arrived.
“It’s nothing. Time to eat.”
“I think I am going to puke.” They laughed while watching Ryo run to the toilet.
“Don’t be such a baby Ryo-chan.” Maru yelled.
“I’ll get a ramen right away.” Said the owner. “You shouldn’t play pranks like that.” He laughed. “After that last incident, you should just be happy that he is with you.”
They looked at the man’s genuine smile.
“We are.” Said Yassu.
“That’s why we are doing these kind of stuff.” Ohkura finished.
The second half of the day was pretty much the same. At the end Ryo thought it wouldn’t be bad at all if he would join those idiots; dancing with the music while making fun of the others mistakes and goofing around, still managing to do their actual job. He felt his heart warming up towards them. Maybe that Takizawa was right; maybe he should give a chance to people. But again, he shouldn’t get caught by that ‘takki the weirdo’ guy. He carefully headed to the van which was going to take him home.

A.N.: still not sure with the title, but that is it. It matches right?
I am not very satisfied with this chap (usual), but well this is it for now. Have some ideas for the next chap (raising optimism), but might not have time (falling optimism), and I might be lazy, like I wasn’t lazy enough (rising pessimism).
and why do I have a problem with 'copy + paste'ing? why no tabs or italics etc is seen?
Feel free to correct any mistakes, comment, just read, whatever you like.
Tags: fanfic: kanjani8, fanfic: news, fanfic: nishikido ryo
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